In the latest episode of our Character Conversations series, the two actors and longtime friends recently caught up over Zoom, sharing their thoughts on Asian American representation, their latest TV work and what they’ve been up to during quarantine. Cheena stars as Pradeep in NBC’s new quarantine series “Connecting…” which follows a close-knit group of friends who keep in touch via video chat during the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, Santos has reprised his role as sales associate Mateo Liwanag in the sixth season of “Superstore,” which airs Thursdays at 8/7 Central on NBC.
Santos and Cheena were quick to reconnect and share what they’ve been working on during the pandemic. “Connecting…” was self-filmed by the series’ stars, while “Superstore” has been shooting with pandemic precautions in place. “I’m feeling good,” Santos said. “Everyone’s quarantine and pandemic has been challenging. We’re all sort of adapting to the new normal, and I’m grateful to be back at work, it’s really nice to be working … It’s definitely weird to be filming with the new COVID protocols.”
The two went on to discuss how they each got into entertainment (“For those who are watching and don’t know us,” Santos joked), the story of how they got to know one another and their experiences with both on-camera and on-stage diversity. Cheena and Santos wrapped up the conversation with sound advice for the next generation of actors, reminding audiences of the positivity that comes from uplifting others. “You should never surround yourself with people who aren’t your biggest cheerleader, and fan and friend,” Cheena stated. “You should be joyous and cheerleading all your friends … Support each other, because if we don’t, who will? We need to tell our stories. I’ve always thought this, a rising tide lifts all boats.”
Watch the full conversation above, and catch Santos and Cheena’s highlights below. Then, make sure to check out “Superstore” and “Connecting…” for your next binge-watch!