Vanessa wasn’t the only surprise at the Garcia family dinner during the May 4 episode of The Baker and the Beauty. Natalie came out to her family in an emotional scene, but Mari didn’t immediately accept her daughter’s sexuality. Belissa Escobedo talked with HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY about Mari’s reaction to Natalie coming out. “I was a little surprised only because so often we see the story of usually the father having a really tough time when it comes to sexuality, and I thought that was where they were going to go,” Belissa told HollywoodLife. “With Mari, it’s a bit more heartbreaking for me just because that mother-daughter relationship is so sacred. You really see both sides struggling, and it’s such an honest and understandable struggle on both ends. You know Mari is really shocked by all of this and is just taking it all in.”
Belissa opened up about how this moment will impact this mother-daughter relationship going forward. “Their relationship is forever changed,” Belissa admitted. “From here, it’s only about growth. It’s going to be a challenge for both of them to see where they’re going to be able to come together and have this relationship again.” She added that this will cause “tension” throughout the Garcia family, which is not something they’re used to. “They’re such a vocal family, everything’s usually out in the open, and we’re all in each other’s business,” she said.
As for Natalie and Amy’s romantic future, Belissa teased that they will be “going on lots of adventures together.” She talked about how that relationship has evolved into a sweet romance. “What I really love is how genuine the friendship built,” Belissa told HollywoodLife. “From their first meeting and as you’ll see throughout the season, you just watched these two young girls find a best friend and then discover that it’s something else. They’re learning how to navigate that and all the awkwardness. It’s not a fairy tale romantic comedy. There’s a lot of mess-ups. You get to see that with them. They’re so so forgiving and compassionate with each other. It’s beautiful.”
The actress said that it’s “so vital for the younger generation” to be seeing a relationship like Natalie and Amy’s on TV. “Growing up, I didn’t have that. Not only did I not really have any LGBTQ representation on TV, but specifically as a Latina, that was really tough. It’s a different navigation that you have to go through, so I think it’s really important to have Natalie on-screen right now.” The Baker and the Beauty airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on ABC.