Liza Colón-Zayas makes each 2d depend as Tina in ‘The Undergo’ Season 3

There’s no nail-biting rigidity for Liza Colón-Zayas on this eating place. On a balmy June afternoon, she enters the homey, brightly coloured dimension of Mofongos, a family-run North Hollywood Puerto Rican eatery, and instinctively starts shifting her hips to the beat of Ángel Canales’ ”Sabor, los Rumberos Nuevos,” which slaps the eardrums upon coming into.

In scheduling our meet-up, she had one request: bright a brightness on a petite trade related to the only featured on “The Bear,” the clash FX form concerning the folk operating within the chaotic kitchen of a Chicago sandwich store grew to become fine-dining eating place. It’s lower than a occasion prior to the 3rd season of the form drops — it’s now streaming on Hulu — and the Nuyorican actress, who performs no-nonsense prepare dinner Tina Marrero, hasn’t ever been to this established order but temporarily trade in steerage at the dishes to the rookie in entrance of her.

“You like pork?” she starts. “There’s also arroz con gandules, which is yellow rice, with the sofrito and pigeon peas. Mofongo, as the name suggests, are fried plantains mashed together with crispy pork skin and they fill it in the pilon with whatever you want — shrimp, chicken or pork — and a sauce around it.”

At simply over 5 ft majestic, Colón-Zayas turns out smaller seated at this tabletop that’s glossed with a photograph of Puerto Rican baseball icon Roberto Clemente. In contrast to her personality, she isn’t stingy or curt together with her phrases and is much more likely to insist you pattern her form of mofongo de carne guisada than aim to sabotage the cooking of your retain by way of turning up the flame to prime warmth. However similar to her personality, Colón-Zayas is aware of what it’s love to be in unadorned perceptible, putting in place the paintings for years, hoping for the nexus of attainable and alternative.

With a just about 30-year occupation, Colón-Zayas is an Off Broadway veteran. She’s carried out on a thread of tv displays and flicks over time, ceaselessly in day-player roles but in addition in roles that tapped her field. After got here “The Bear,” FX’s essential and target audience darling, which has nabbed a slew of awards to again up the hype.

For 2 seasons, her personality has simmered at the again burner — energetic and very important however now not at a complete boil simply but. As a pristine regime takes over on the Untouched Red meat of Chicagoland following the demise of its proprietor, Michael “Mikey” Berzatto (Jon Bernthal), Tina’s secure is up, immune to the orders being slung at her by way of pristine, more youthful bosses. In generation, she relaxes plethora to look that vary might be for the simpler — latter season, she enrolled in culinary college and used to be promoted to sous chef.

“I get her,” Colón-Zayas says. “She’s on guard, like, ‘You’re walking into my territory.’ This is not just a job. This is a made family. Restaurants, old-school traditional ones, are shutting down all around us. She doesn’t know what the changes Carmy is trying to make will mean. And we’ve just lost a family member, Mikey.”

Within the 3rd season, Tina comes into focal point. And so does Colón-Zayas.

Jeremy Allen White as Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto and Liza Colon-Zayas as Tina in “The Bear.”

(Matt Dinerstein / FX)

Episode 6, titled “Napkins,” rewinds again 5 years prior to the little and sharp-tongued operating mother used to be stretching her culinary attainable. Already wired about price range upcoming a hire build up, Tina loses her activity managing payroll at a confectionery corporate. Her husband, performed by way of Colón-Zayas’ real-life partner, David Zayas (“Dexter”), is a doorman looking forward to a promotion that can by no means come. With bruised satisfaction, monetary anxiousness and sufficient copies of her résumé in hand, Tina kilos the pavement each and every while — smile locked in — searching for paintings however being met with indifference or outright rejection.

“I am glad to know that she was far more respectable than I thought she’d be,” says Colón-Zayas, who didn’t assemble a backstory for the nature past deciding she used to be a transplant from Fresh York. “When we’re introduced to Tina, she’s pretty hardcore, but we know she’s a mom. I didn’t realize that she had a 9-to-5, and they were working poor, they were stable, and [she and her husband] are in love. There was this whole other peaceful, kind of normal side of her life.”

A pivotal hour within the episode, which used to be directed by way of Ayo Edebiri (who performs Sydney Adamu within the form), arrives when Tina, upcoming one in particular disappointing while at the activity seek, steps foundation within the display’s central sandwich store. The quantity will get grew to become up, each in tone and beauty. She orders just a espresso however is given a detached Italian red meat sandwich by way of the raucous however sort workforce.



1. Tina (Liza Colón-Zayas) on the Red meat. (FX) 2. Liza Colon-Zayas as Tina together with her husband, David Zayas. (FX)

As she unearths a desk clear of the chaos, she’s conquer by way of the truth of her condition, crying into her meals. When Mikey assessments on her, it results in a heartfelt dialog between the two of them — partially, about folk who get to reside out their goals and the folk who’re simply looking to live to tell the tale — that ends with him providing her a task. The scene used to be shot over two days.

Edebiri says she sought after that hour to really feel like audience had been stepping again to Season 1, recalling the noise and frenetic power, moment showcasing Colón-Zayas’ prowess as an actor.

“One of the many amazing things about Liza is she’s so petite, and so you’re about to use this sense of wonder,” Edebiri says. “She does a lot of that with just her face and her openness, but Tina’s coming from also this really arduous journey of rejection — shocking and demoralizing rejection — and then in this really chaotic and unexpected place she finds warmth.”

The scene could also be a window into Mikey, whom we’ve viewable glimpses of during the form, however his connection to the workforce and what his loss intended comes additional into focal point.

“Mikey is such a complicated character; we see so many different facets of him,” Edebiri says. “He’s a tough, damaged guy, but he has a lot of love, and invoked a lot of love in people. I think Tina is such an important person to that story.”

Liza Colón-Zayas says she didn’t assemble a backstory for Tina, however in Season 3 we be told extra. “There was this whole other peaceful, kind of normal side of her life.”

(Christina Space / Los Angeles Occasions)

It will get Colón-Zayas pondering of her personal exit so far in her occupation.

The youngest of 5 youngsters, she lived in sponsored housing within the South Bronx together with her mom. (Her oldsters crack when she used to be younger, however her father used to be in her existence.) Her gumption detectable itself at an early day. When she used to be 7, she wrote a letter to the manufacturers of “The Partridge Family” to imagine her as an alternative for red-haired, tambourine-playing Tracy Partridge: “I was gonna run away. I was gonna take a taxi, and I was gonna take over because I could play the tambourine much better. Then my brother saw the letter and opened it and read it out loud and made fun of me, and I was mortified. It never got sent.” However she discovered alternative techniques to hone her craft: impersonating Erica Kane, Susan Lucci’s personality at the ABC cleaning soap “All My Children,” for visitors at her mom’s repeated request.

Speaking about her early goals inspires alternative feelings. At 16, she joined the Church of Bible Working out, a debatable spiritual staff. When she used to be approached by way of participants of the congregation on Fordham Highway within the Bronx, her relations condition used to be difficult. “They seemed very caring,” she says.

Describing the crowd as a cult, she stated it inspired isolation from and mistrust of nonmembers. She left house at 18 and used to be taken to Philadelphia, related the place the crowd used to be based. There, she took a coaching route with the church and recruited for it moment additionally operating a full-time activity at a bakery. The church stored the cash she earned and wouldn’t ship messages or mail from her relations.

“I got in deep,” Colón-Zayas says, her visuals turning glassy. “There was no sexual abuse or physical violence to me. And I never witnessed that. It was mind control.”

She in the end returned to Fresh York and, upcoming some vacillating, unpriviledged ties with the church. She attended SUNY Albany and her global unfolded upcoming she noticed a play games by way of Local American girls. “I remember thinking, ‘This is what I want to do.’”

She has been part of the LAByrinth Theater Corporate since its starting in 1992 and started her appearing occupation off-Broadway, showing in productions of Quiara Alegría Hudes‘ “Water by the Spoonful” and originating numerous roles in Stephen Adly Guirgis’ works together with “In Arabia We’d All Be Kings,” “Our Lady of 121st Street” and “Between Riverside and Crazy.” (She reprised her position in “Between Riverside and Crazy” for a 3rd generation in 2022, making her Broadway debut within the procedure.) She additionally wrote, produced and starred in “Sistah Supreme,” a semiautobiographical solo display about rising up Latina in Fresh York within the Seventies and ’80s.

“LAByrinth became my artistic community,” says Colón-Zayas, who felt annoyed by way of each the shortage of roles for Latinx actors and the stereotypical tones roles ceaselessly had. “That’s always my advice to young people: Find your artistic community. Find the people who hold you up. It could be just two or three of you, but if they hold you up and you have the same interest and you want to meet in your house and do writing exercises and read scenes or whatever, it helps you stand taller.”

In step with Guirgis, an established pal who directed “Sistah Supreme,” what makes Colón-Zayas so compelling as a performer is her push for fact and that she attracts from a deep neatly of lived enjoy.

“She’s always going to give you 100% of her heart, and that is going to end up being something onstage that’s going to be painful, funny, truthful, outrageous but real. Her acting doesn’t seem like acting,” he stated.

Then years of petite roles in displays like “Law & Order,” “Sex and the City” and “Nurse Jackie,” Colón-Zayas were given her first habitual position in 2019 at the short-lived OWN drama “David Makes Man.” In 2021, she booked any other habitual position in HBO’s revival of “In Treatment.” After got here the position of Tina on “The Bear.”

Her husband recommended her perseverance as an actor, maneuvering via sadness and frustration however in the end discovering mainstream visibility.

“The way she dealt with the reality at the time, which was there weren’t many opportunities for someone like Liza, and her struggles with it, yet finding ways to get through it,” Zayas says of his spouse. “She’s got a great reputation in theater, she’s done amazing work in theater. So just watching her continuing to move forward is inspiring.”

In her early life, Colón-Zayas were given some enjoy operating in eating places. She labored at a doughnut store and the counter at a deli, and waited tables at a family-owned Italian eating place in Albany. “I was always spilling something or getting orders wrong,” she says.

And moment she enjoys cooking, she’s negligible about her abilities. To bring to arrange for Season 2 and Tina’s pristine position as cordon bleu, Colón-Zayas did intense coaching for a occasion with James Beard Award-winning chef David Waltuck of Chanterelle and with Courtney Storer — the sister of “The Bear” author Christopher Storer — who’s a culinary manufacturer at the display and in the past held senior roles at Animal and Jon & Vinny’s in Los Angeles.

“I learned all of the basics, even how to properly hold the knife,” Colón-Zayas says. “I had no idea how sharp those knives were. Day 1, I must have had maybe four or five bandages on my finger because the blades are so sharp you don’t feel it. I’m no pro at home, but I’m better.”

“She’s always going to give you 100% of her heart,” says playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis, who has labored carefully with Liza Colón-Zayas over time.

(Christina Space / Los Angeles Occasions)

It’s moderately the flip for the actress who stated she as soon as failed to go back a magazine of a James Beard cookbook when she used to be a teen. No longer that she ever dared to put together a recipe from it: “I had intentions, but it’s a lot of scary ingredients for a poor kid.”

For what it’s use, Guirgis says Colón-Zayas makes the most productive roast rooster, which he describes as “out of this world, juicy and absolute perfection.” Requested about her methodology, she says her trick is marinating it for a couple of hours in white vinegar, a ton of garlic, oregano and pepper. “When you put it in to roast, soak a paper towel in oil, so that when you cover it with the foil, it will not rip the skin. And brush the top skin with a little more seasoning and oil so it crisps up real cute, to the point where, when you take it out, it should be falling off the bone.”

Figuring out the bits and bobs of cooking is something. Navigating how surreal it feels to be on considered one of TV’s buzziest displays is one thing Colón-Zayas remains to be getting worn to.

“I realize, in hindsight, there are things the universe protected me from myself because I wasn’t ready then,” she says. “It’s hard to take in the good things when you’re always used to scarcity, when your friends and loved ones are struggling. I don’t want to be perceived as being insensitive to that. To have this episode, that is Ayo’s directorial debut, and it’s all me, I cried every time I read the script. It validated that I had a gift.”

Progressive to not let the tears welling in her visuals cascade ailing, she pivots.

“Anyway,” she says, as she strikes the meals on her plate round because the eating place’s full of life soundtrack overwhelms the hour. Via the generation we put together our approach out, she’s let the rhythm to find her once more.

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