Mariel Molino©Alberto Hidalgo
Actors to watch

Mariel Molino says her character in ‘Promised Land’ is constantly underestimated, and ‘that’s what makes her dangerous’

The Mexican American star; what can the audience expect from her character and the Latinx show

Tonight, January 24, is the premiere date for the highly-anticipated ABC show Promised Land. This new epic, a generation-spanning drama about a Latinx family vying for wealth and power in California’s Sonoma Valley, will keep you at the border of your seat when two very different worlds collide in pursuit of the American Dream.

The series promises not to fall into Latino stereotypes but will definitely feed many of the audiences’ guilty pleasures-Monday night drama. The cast includes John Ortiz, Cecilia Suárez, Augusto Aguilera, Christina Ochoa, Tonatiuh, Andres Velez, Katya Martin, Rolando Chusan, Bellamy Young, and Mariel Molino.

ABC’s Latinx upcoming drama ‘Promised Land’©ABC
ABC’s Latinx upcoming drama ‘Promised Land’

Molino plays Carmen Sandoval, a Heritage House Vineyard heir in her twenties, trying to forge her unique path as the youngest daughter of the Sandoval family.

Ahead of the show’s premiere, HOLA! USA had the opportunity to interview the Mexican American star; what can the audience expect from her character and the Latinx show.

Mariel Molino©Mariel Molino
Promised Land is stepping away from stereotypes and is bringing drama, wealth, and power to our screens, from a family living and doing business in California’s Sonoma Valley. Keeping the aforementioned in mind, when did you realize that securing a role in the show was almost imperative?

For the first time on tv, we’ll get to see a prominent and privileged Latino wine empire that started from nothing but an American Dream. The Latinx community will be represented in all their rightful humanity — the good and the bad. We are not just a monolith; therefore, we are relieved of the burden of representation for our community. This show humanizes the immigrant experience, which is why it is important.

Walk us through your role as Carmen Sandoval.

Carmen is the youngest daughter of the Sandoval Family. Unlike her older siblings, she is a lot more easy-going and free-spirited. She doesn’t see things black and white. She hasn’t found her place in the business or the family, for that matter, her family constantly underestimates her, but that’s what makes her dangerous. It’s the threats you don’t see coming that will kill you.

Your character takes advantage of being underestimated in the shadow of her overachieving older sister. Can the audience expect the unexpected from Carmen?

Carmen is the flawed artist of the family. She’s the observer of the family. While everyone around her is busy plotting a way to take the empire, she is taking notes. This season, we’ll see Carmen try to navigate adulthood, stop trying to please her family, and instead try to make a name for herself.

Do you have anything in common with your character?

Carmen is passionate, impulsive, sarcastic, and at times immature; we share all those qualities. I just wish I had her closet.

Mariel Molino©Mariel Molino
The series will also include storylines sharing immigration journeys and experiences. As the daughter of Mexican immigrants, do you think your parents will feel represented?

I am proudly a first-generation American. My parents left their family, their language, and their roots. That sacrifice isn’t always met with welcome in this country. I remember being confused about my identity, not feeling thoroughly American or entirely Mexican, and not knowing my place in the world. Still, my parents always instilled in me a pride in my culture, and I don’t have to choose one or the other. I believe they will see their reflection of what it means to succeed in this country and how proud I am to be living proof of their sacrifices.

Mariel Molino©Mariel Molino
Speaking of parents, Latinx parents tend to be traditional when it comes to careers. What did they say when you decided to pursue a career in the entertainment industry? How do they feel now when they see you succeed?

It was definitely a hard pill to swallow at first. Some of my family thought it was a phase I would go through. And kissing on tv is still always a shock. My mother always worried I would become depressed due to the rejection while auditioning. But when they saw how committed I was and how hard I was working, they were the first to support me, and for that, I am very thankful.

Please invite our readers to watch Promise Land.

I can‘t wait for everyone to meet the Sandovals. This cast has become my family; we made something we love. We hope that this show will give you your sense of family, whatever that means to you. Tune into the Promised Land, mark my words; you are in for a ride.

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