Mayan Lopez’s co-star in her new NBC sitcom “ Lopez vs. Lopez “ happens to be her real-life dad, George Lopez.
The two play a father and daughter who are repairing their relationship after years of not getting along. As is the Lopez way, art imitates life: George’s previous TV roles in “The George Lopez Show” and “Lopez” were also based on his real life.
After her parents divorced in 2012, Mayan Lopez says she felt resentment toward her dad and the two didn’t have much contact until they reconnected during the pandemic.
“Two years ago, my dad and I weren’t really talking, but family became something that was really important when the whole world was up in flames,” she said. “As you grow older, you start to see your parents as people.”
Mayan Lopez recognizes her dad’s communication style was influenced by being abandoned by his own parents and raised by his maternal grandmother, whom he did not get along with.
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“He didn’t always know how to relate to me. I get to kind of have that (perspective) now,” she said.
The genesis of “Lopez vs. Lopez” came about when TV producer Debby Wolfe stumbled upon Mayan’s TikTok account.
“Someone was talking about my dad, the past things that have happened, you know that my dad was unfaithful, about my parents’ divorce, and it was getting a lot of likes. And I was like, ‘You know what? I want to say something about it because some of the facts aren’t right,’” she said. “And I thought, ‘What will get people’s attention?’ And I thought, ‘Oh, let me just twerk upside down (against) a wall. Why not? I’m a comedian. I’ll go for the joke.’”
Wolfe saw that, plus Mayan’s other content, including videos with her dad and even posts of both her parents together, bickering like they were still married, and thought: “This is a show.”
The opportunity was a dream come true for Mayan Lopez who studied sketch comedy and improv and also trained at Second City. She’s also respectful of her dad’s talent and showbiz experience.
“I have a world-class comedian to be able to learn from,” she said. “I take his advice and his knowledge and I have my own things that I bring to the table. He even says we make each other better because he’s like, ‘Oh, there’s another one of me.’ We bounce off of each other and collaborate on set. We’ll write things and even improvise as we’re performing. It’s been great to work with him in that way.”
Her mom, Ann, is also “so proud” and there in the live audience every week, Mayan Lopez said.
“It’s kind of the Lopez way of doing things, making our life art so that people can enjoy and also be able to be a representation of the Latin community,” she added.