On Day 4 of our countdown to Prime Video original series, With Love, stars Constance Marie and Benito Martinez join me to talk about their characters, Beatriz and Jorge Sr, parents to Lily (Emeraude Toubia) and Jorge Jr (Mark Indelicato).
I was so invested in their storyline throughout the five episodes because their relationship is not perfect. It’s realistic and messy behind the veneer of the perfect marriage they present to their kids. In a typical rom-com, their characters would be relegated to the sidelines. With Love has broken that mold and given a gorgeous story arc to this couple in their 50s and the challenges that their marriage faces.
I absolutely love that Beatriz and Jorge Sr aren’t side characters in their children’s stories, and that their storyline was so relatable. What was it about your characters that you found most compelling?
Benito: Everything. It’s just lovely to be three-dimensional characters that have their own journey. Gloria did a wonderful job of painting all the characters with depth. If you go in our direction for two hours, you’re going to get a great story. If you go to the kids, the grandparents, Beatriz’s sister, or Desmond [Chiam’s] character, Nick, all these characters have that depth, and they’re based in reality. I loved everything about bringing this character to life.
Constance: I love the way that on paper, this couple looks one way. They met, they had kids, they have a successful business together. And then you look a little deeper inside at the disconnect and the struggle, and how that affects their family. What do you do with the happily ever after once it hits this blah area? Do you do the work? What is the work? First of all, you have to wake up to the a-ha moment of “Oh my God, what happened in the last 10 years? Where did we go? What did we do?” That’s something that really needs to be explored.
There are a lot of people that don’t see themselves or their relationships reflected on TV today. Also, it’s not irreparable. Something cataclysmic has not happened, there’s still a chance and they’re willing to do the work. It’s awkward and vulnerable and hilarious. And it’s wonderful to be a part of something that represents that with integrity.
Beatriz’s isolation and Jorge Sr’s complacency in the relationship felt so real at times, it hurt to watch them in that place. Why do you think it’s important to portray the not-so-happy parts of a marriage instead of just the good things?
Benito: It’s the fun of getting into a character. When you see a great play, you’re seeing all the scabs and, and you get that journey. In film, it’s cut shorter and the scenes are smaller. And yet, within these five episodes, we have a full journey, and we have wonderful scenes together. We’re two flawed individuals. [Their actions seem small], but these things have a bigger impact overall. There’s a beautiful line that Constance says — and she knocks it out of the park — when my character goes to her and says, “You’re not fine. What happened?” She goes, “I was … until I wasn’t.” The honesty in that line and the way Constance says it, it just shatters you. And you realize, “Where are we?” The facade is gone. That’s just wonderful writing.
Constance: It’s important because showing these types of characters and this type of relationship really connects to people in their isolation and in their lives. It’s a way of giving empathy to them, and saying “You’re not alone.” We’re all in this big boat of love and relationships together, and we’re doing our best. We see you, we hear you, and there is hope if you’re willing to take the journey or do the work. I love this show because it’s just a gift of reflection on a lot of struggles that people are going through.
Season 1 of With Love is available beginning Friday, December 17th, on Prime Video. If you’ve missed our other interviews, read our Day 1 interview with Gloria Calderón Kellett, Day 2 with Isis King and Todd Grinnell, and Day 3 with Vincent Rodriguez III.
Photos courtesy of Prime Video