Exclusive interview with actress Laura Patalano

Photo by Stewart Cook – © 2022 The Walt Disney Company

The incredibly talented Los Angeles based actress LAURA PATALANO is a Latina woman in showbiz on the rise! She is starring alongside Latino comedian Chris Estrada as a series regular in This Fool‘ the highly anticipated Hulu Original comedy series which is produced by ABC Signature and began streaming on August 12th 2022. Laura plays the strong-willed, pragmatic, and loving Esperanza who lives with her 30-year-old son Julio (Chris Estrada).  

Laura was born in Mérida, the vibrant capital of the Mexican state of Yucatán. She began her career after graduating from El Instituto de Arte Escénico, where she learned and trained the craft of acting. After moving to the states, Laura was a force to be reckoned with. She began her acting career in shows such as Vida, Bosch, The Politician, Undone, Mayans Mc, and Shameless among many others. 

Laura’s acting credits continued to grow due to her recurring television roles. Laura became a recurring guest star on Showtime’s The L Word: Generation Q where she played Nana, Cartoon Network’s Annie Award-nominated series, Victor and Valentino, where she voices the loveable Grandma Chata (appearing in over 45 episodes), and Netflix’s feel-good comedy and Latinx focus series Gentefied where she plays Beatriz Morales.

 ‘This Fool’ is a new Hulu Original comedy series that premiered on Friday, August 12, 2022 (all 10 episodes). Inspired by the life and stand-up of star and co-creator Chris Estrada, “This Fool” is an irreverent, cinematic half-hour comedy set in working class South Central Los Angeles. The show centers around Julio Lopez, a 30-year-old who still lives at home, has been dating his girlfriend on and off since high school, and finds any excuse to avoid dealing with his own problems. Julio works at Hugs Not Thugs, a gang rehabilitation non-profit, where he butts heads with his older cousin Luis, an ex-gang member who just got out of prison and moved in with Julio and his family. 

“This Fool” is written and executive produced by Chris Estrada, Pat Bishop, Jake Weisman and Matt Ingebretson. Jonathan Groff and Fred Armisen also serve as executive producers on the series. The Hulu Original comedy series is produced by ABC Signature.

ESPERANZA (Laura Patalano) Julio’s mother is strong willed, pragmatic and loving. Esperanza is proud of Julio for his job at Hugs Not Thugs, but she has a way of undermining Julio (among other things, she says he can’t fix her roof because he has “lawyer hands”). Esperanza has no problem letting her nephew, former gang member, now ex-con Luis, live at her house while he gets back on his feet. However, Esperanza is very clear about the fact that if Luis stays, he has to do something with his life, and he can start by going to Hugs Not Thugs 

The show is a genuine portrayal of the working class. It presents the day-to-day jobs, places, relationships and lifestyle that so many Americans experience – and that relatability is what brings the comedy and allows the show to resonate with a broader audience.

Often, when you see gang members/ex-cons represented in TV/Film they are associated with violence. “This Fool” offers a non-judgemental look instead, humanizing the people in rehabilitation programs and putting them in a comedic setting where they are earnest about wanting to change their lives. 

“This Fool” joins Hulu’s acclaimed lineup of comedy series including “Pen15,” “Ramy,” “The Great,” “Shrill,” “Life & Beth” and “Only Murders in the Building.”

LOS ANGELES – AUGUST 12: Laura Patalano attends a screening of Hulu’s ‘This Fool’at NeueHouse Hollywood on August 12, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stewart Cook/PictureGroup for Hulu)

Laura, can you please tell us about your beginnings in the film industry?

I began working in the film industry back in Mexico where I worked in several movies, several years later I had the opportunity to move to NY where I started working in theatre and movies. In 2012 I came to LA to film Mosquita y Mari, an indie film that went to Sundance and actually that film opened doors for more opportunities.

Which projects would you count as the best projects to date?

Definitely “This Fool” is my best project so far, even though I had the opportunity to work in several recurring shows that were very special to me. In “Victor and Valentino,” I do the voice over of Grandma Chata. In “Gentefied” (NETFLIX) I played Beatriz Morales and in “The L Word: Generation Q”  (Showtime) I play Nana.

Who inspired you to become an actress and why?

When I was younger, I was exposed to theatre but there was one specific play called “Aquelarre” which caught my attention and inspired me to try acting. That’s when I joined a drama class back in High School and my teacher, Alejandro Bichir, a very well known Stage Director, was the one who told me I was good at it and that I should pursue it.

What advice would you give to young women out there who would like to succeed in the acting world?

I have the equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree in Drama and this has really helped me throughout my career.

My advice to young women out there is to take classes, to prepare, study different techniques, learn about the business and of course once you have started do not give up, even though you may want to!

Any upcoming projects we should watch out for?

I have a couple of projects lined up which I cannot talk about. I am filming season 3 of the “L Word Generation Q.” My most recent project is “This Fool”so if you haven’t  watched it, check it out – make sure you do so. It’s streaming on Hulu Nationwide  in the USA and on Disney Plus Internationally.