The summer finale of ABC Family’s The Fosters ended with Lexi’s family deciding to go back to Honduras permanently, only they weren’t going to tell their daughter that just yet because she was so happy dancing with her boyfriend at his moms’ wedding. In truth, though, Justina Machado, who plays Lexi’s mom, didn’t know if those lines of dialogue would make the final cut of the episode.
“I didn’t know if that would be left up in the air or if it was really going to happen,” Machado said to LA TV Insider Examiner when we caught up with her at TCA in Los Angeles late last month.
“We’ll see what happens [though]. They don’t have to write Carlos out, my husband. He can always dump me and get somebody new. Why should he not have a job, you know what I mean?”
Machado is now starring on NBC’s Welcome to the Family, a job she actually got before The Fosters. She shot the Welcome to the Family pilot in the spring, and just two months ago filmed her arc on The Fosters. While ABC Family has opted to order additional episodes of The Fosters‘ first season, it appears they have done so without Machado and her illegal immigrant storyline, as she is now committed to Welcome to the Family as the matriarch of yet another strong family raising their kids to be good students on the straight and narrow path. Of course, things take a term there, more for the comedic than dramatic, when her on-screen son gets his high school girlfriend pregnant, blending two very different families, whose fathers already have beef. And of course, should the timing miraculously work out (like if they were shooting be on her hiatus), Machado would certainly be up for returning to The Fosters even with a heavy work-load on We Are Family.
“It’s a great show, and I’m so honored, and I’m so proud to be on that show,” Machado said of her The Fosters experience.
“At first I said, ‘Why would they want me to play a conservative character? There’s nothing conservative about me!’ I was scared that I wouldn’t give them what they needed, and so Peter Paige, who is amazing, was like ‘Well, this is the storyline, this is why we want you,’ and I was like ‘Okay, I’m in.’ But I was worried.”
If the role had been a woman in a Catholic family who was against gay marriage, though, Machado shared she would not have taken the role at all. Thankfully, the character was strict when it came to raising her daughter, but she made a point to be open-minded about others’ lives and never wanted to make anyone feel unaccepted. She did attend the wedding, after all!
“I don’t care if I am an actress, I don’t want to do that. That’s something that’s very dear to me. My brother’s gay [so] if the story had a redeeming quality, and she turned around it would be fine, but I don’t want to play a bigot; I’m just not interested,” Machado said.
The Fosters aired its summer finale on August 5th 2013. Welcome to the Family premieres on NBC on October 3 2013 at 8:30 p.m.
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