Cristela Alonzo on ABC’s ‘Cristela’: ‘I Just Want to Show People the Real Me’ #TCA14

Creator and star of show says authenticity is key
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Cristela Alonzo has limited expectations for her new ABC show Cristela.

“I don’t try to put any expectation on this show except for I want the show to portray me as me,” said Alonzo Tuesday during the TCA summer press tour for the series. ‘The name of the show is Cristela. The character in the show is very much who I am in person and I just want to show people the real me.”

Though the majority of the questions were addressed to Alonzo, she was joined on stage by executive producers Marty Adelstein and Becky Clements; cocreator and executive producer Kevin Hench; and costars Carlos Ponce, Terri Hoyos, Andrew Leeds and Sam McMurray.

Cristela is part of ABC's fall programming slate and is set to premiere Oct. 10.

“Every step as we move towards it, I keep thinking I can’t believe I’m here,” said Alonzo. “I can’t believe I’m here.”

Other highlights of the panel included:

—Alonzo is keenly aware of the potential to fall into stereotypes. But she said her solution to that issue is simple: “I think you just try to speak honestly and actually don’t exaggerate what you’re trying to say.”

“It’s never about doing any kind of stereotype and I think that as long as you’re honest and right with something’s authenticity, you’ll never go into the stereotypical area that you could fall into.”

—Cocreator Hench commented: “Cristela is so much more than the star of the show. She guides us and teaches us through every step of it.”

—On the reason why Cristela is a multicam, Alonzo said: “I grew up in a border town in south Texas right next to Mexico a million miles away from this world and to me multicam is like theatre, when they’re done well it’s just you dive into the life and you follow the characters.”

—Alonzo said that she is a “die hard Dallas Cowboys fan” and the team will continue to be a part of the series. “I love sports. I love basketball. I love football. I mean I think that’s a dimension you don’t see in a lot of female leads especially.”

—The Texan’s background is in stand up. “With stand up, I liked that you could create your own material and perform it,” she said, later equating her show to stand up in regard to the creative process.

—A question was asked about whether Spanish would be spoken in the show. Alonzo responded: “My goal is to represent the family that I grew up with and that I have. And that does include speaking Spanish.”

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