Season 3 of the hit show On My Block recently dropped on Netflix. The teen-based dramedy series follows five bright, street-savvy and witty AF friends navigating their way through high school, family and friends in South-Central Los Angeles. The tight knit group deal with the danger of gang life, raging hormones, estranged family in both financial and emotional straits and the struggle to stick together through it all.
Created by Eddie Gonzalez, Jeremy Haft and Laura Lungerich in Season Three we are introduced to a new foil for the group. Her name is Cuchillos and she is Lady Scarface reincarnated. Cuchillos is played by standout Ada Luz Pla who manages to steal every scene she’s in. This says a lot when you’re working with a group of actors who are scene stealers in their own right. During this quarantine ‘LLERO got to chop it up (pun intended) with Ada and talk all things On My Block, her work on that other hit show Mayans MC, how the industry is coping with the quarantine and the state of Hollywood for Latinos.
‘LL: First and foremost. How are you and family coping during the quarantine?
Ada Luz Pla: Alive and well, gracias a dios! Most of my family is in New York in the Bronx. It’s hard because you are in an apartment building, very compact, some family must work others not. You have a range from a 6-year-old year old to a 67-year-old. But you have to adjust and move forward.
‘LLERO: Thanks for chatting with us and congrats on the success of the show. What was it like when you first stepped on set?
ALP: It was fantastic, I wasn’t familiar with the show before booking it, but I fell in love with it. Very relatable, coming of age. Young folks trying to survive. When I stepped on set it was nothing but love. I remember the director telling me. You realize you’re going to have 21 million viewers seeing you out of the gate, right? No pressure. (Laughs). These kids are so popular, but so humble, it really was nothing but love on the set.
‘LL: Cuchillos is an ominous presence on the show. She is what drives the kids on their mission. Her presence is felt even when not on screen. What did you tap into to play the character?
ALP: I’m Latina from the Bronx. That had something to do with it! (Laughs). I know struggle, but I don’t know that world. A couple of years ago I booked a film, unfortunately it did not come to fruition, it was the story of Griselda Blanco (aka La Madrina). And so, in doing research for that film, I was able to draw from that world. So, I went back to that. I think my journey wasn’t for that film, but rather for Cuchillos.
‘LL: Season Three shows the fate of Cuchillos. But the show has been known to play with timelines. Is this the last we’ve seen of Cuchillos?
ALP: I hope not. I hope there is a Season Four. She’s a woman, who has love and lost, a woman who knows how to play in a man’s world. Very successful but who hides her emotions, just like a man. She’s a baller.
‘LL: Speaking of operating in a man’s world. Aside from On My Block you appeared on another show, full of testosterone – Mayans MC. What was that experience like?
ALP: Wow, I was a little concerned, my first day on set I was nervous. There were some big names. You had Kurt Sutter, Elton James, Edward James Olmos, Tony Plana. My knees were buckling. So, at the table read I had to bring it. I had to prove myself and let them know I deserved to be there. And I did, but even though it was a set filled with burly tough guys, it was a pleasure to be around them. They were so protective, like teddy bears. Once again, it was a story from a Latino perspective, so it was a breath of fresh air to be on a set where you’re not auditioning for the same role, it was filled with diversity and its multicultural both in front and behind the camera. It was a great experience; Celia will be with me forever.
‘LL: Were all on lockdown around the world. The industry is at a halt in terms of cancellations of productions. What do you believe will be the after effect of this? Less content, more content? As an insider what’s your take?
ALP: I think we’re going to see more. Because we are on lockdown it’s given us a chance to work on our craft. It’s given us as artists an opportunity to come back to basics. To what’s really important, god, family, marriage. In terms of the industry because we are not doing anything right now, writers, directors, studios are all ready to move it forward. Hollywood is so important because right now it’s what keeping us busy. Entertainment is crucial now because it’s keeping us same. What am I watching right now – On My Block – Netflix and chill baby. Laughs.
‘LL: What do believe will be the impact on story telling going forward will we see more pandemic/coronavirus content resulting from this?
ALP: If they don’t write, I sure will. This is a going to be a great story to tell.
Well said, thanks for Ada for telling her story, about her past, present and future. You can catch Ada on Season 3 of On My Block currently streaming on Netflix.