Gloria Estefan Opens Up About Red Table Talk —and Why Latinos Are Not a Monolithic Community
This is Dr. Estefan for you.
Before Gloria Estefan established herself as the queen of Latin Pop, she wanted to become a psychologist. And what a bloody shrink it could have been. As a mother of two and somewhat of a matriarchal figure to Latinx fans around the world, Estefan instinctively has the warmth of someone you would share your deepest secrets with. “Everyone calls me first,” she says, joking that it is in the Estefan Gloria family who can give you valuable advice if you need it.
During an exclusive interview with E! News, Estefan speaks to me like a friend she has always known. When I mention that as a Latino kid who grew up in Miami, the place where she has lived for decades, her music is very important to me, she makes fun of me and says, "Where's your Miami?" -Accent? What the hell happened? " (She's not wrong: Miamians often speak with an exaggerated, always excited inflection - just like her.) After a few laughs, it becomes clear why her family keeps her on speed dial: she will make you feel comforted. If I had been born the Estefan King, I would no doubt turn to her for a warm hug with some cafecito.
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Estefan, 63, is best known as the Cuban-American voice behind hits like "Get on Your Feet," "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You," and "Conga," a universal jam that's likely at every wedding and PG-13 - Celebration is played. I was in. Earlier this year, the Grammy winner released her 14th - yes, 14th - solo album Brazil305. And she was the topic of conversation before and after Jennifer Lopez and Shakira's Super Bowl halftime show. After all, Estefan supporters remembered her as the first Latinx artist to lead this mega-event in 1992. To say she's an icon is an understatement.
Where does an artist of her caliber go from here? Straight to the heart.
Leaning on her hobby as a pseudo psychologist, she is now the main host of Red Table Talk on Facebook Watch, a talk show opportunity that - after being presented with several - she has finally found right. It officially premiered on Wednesday October 7th.
"I immediately thought, 'Oh my god, that's what I've been waiting for! The main thing that led me to this format was the opportunity to really have a conversation, "says Estefan during our 20-minute phone conversation." You know how talk shows work: people are in and out, they have something to promote and you have two to three minutes with each person. You're lucky if you get five. But there is no space in which you can really delve into any really serious subject. "
Red Table Talk The Estefans, Gloria Estefan
If you're a fan of the Emmy-nominated eponymous show starring Jada Pinkett Smith, her mother Adrienne Banfield-Norris, and daughter Willow Smith, don't fret. The Estefan version is not a replacement for the original, but rather an extension of a relatively new franchise that has already made major headline interviews (remember the conversation with Jordy?).
Instead, Red Table Talk takes place: The Estefans Gloria reunites with two very well-known co-stars: she and husband Emilio Estefan's 25-year-old daughter Emily, an LGBTQ + musician and activist, and 53-year-old Lili Estefan, her niece and the long-time Host of El Gordo y la Flaca from Univision. In fact, Estefan says the Smiths approached her with the idea of a spin-off.
In the first episode, the trio of Latina women - brave, glamorous and bilingual - tackle a subject they have never spoken about in public: Lili's divorce from ex-husband Lorenzo Lauces, a mind-boggling breakup that included blackmail and a shocking fraud scandal. Just like the Smiths' Red Table Talk, the Estefans are quickly up to date in all eight episodes and get to the bottom of their complex topics, which appeal to Latinx families in particular.
Other topics of discussion are sexuality and grief, and each one is scrutinized with tidbits from experts who can provide viewers with specific advice on how to cope. Celebrity guests such as the Mexican actress Kate del Castillo, Michelle Rodriguez and Rosie O'Donnell appear as well as Gloria Guillen, the mother of Vanessa Guillen.
Despite moonshine as a therapist, Estefan jokes that she wanted to make sure fans got practical, actionable tips after they turned on. She adds, "The most important thing for us was that people knew from the start that we were going to be as honest and personal as we could."
And she's no exception. Estefan says that losing her mother in 2017 "really put me in a big hole". A hole, she says, that she climbed out of looking for therapy, a concept she never thought she would explore: "I know that a lot of people can't afford therapy, and that is a very nice luxury. We can somehow. " Be their therapy in a fun way if they open their hearts as we share what we've been through. "A free session with Dr. Estefan? Sign up with us.
Scroll down to learn more from Estefan as she shares her Latinidad family and what else to expect from Red Table Talk: The Estefans.
E! News: What is the Estefan variant of Red Table Talk?
Gloria Estefan: One thing we have that the Smiths don't have is that we have a red piano! Yes, they had one Alicia Keys played, but we have our own. Emily and I are doing three appearances in eight episodes. They are songs that we made together and that no one has heard of. This is an additional feature that will be fun and very exciting for Em and me. And we co-wrote the theme song for the show! Emily produced all the music and I wrote the lyrics with her, so we shot a fun video together too and we had a lot of fun doing it.
E !: How was it to meet Jada Pinkett Smith, Adrienne Banfield-Norris and Willow Smith?
GE: We were supposed to be doing this show last March so it was fantastic because before COVID happened we had to go to LA to see them on the set of their house. Oh my god what a great home they have. And when we saw that table, it was like one of those movie moments where you hear like an angel choir or something. The damn table is already a star like Jada! It was really very interesting and very informative to sit back and watch. They were filming the colorism episode that day, so they had a lot of guests. And it was amazing to see the backgrounds and amazing work of the producers and see how this huge conversation would be cut down. You do it masterfully.
E !: Did you offer hosting tips?
GE: They just told us you will be yourself. And they came to us because they had already done their homework and knew who Lili was and who I was. So you didn't go blind. And they followed Emily and saw how she was doing. So they came up to us thinking we were good for the show because they thought what we could bring to the table was what they were looking for when the series expanded. We really loved it. It was a great experience. And I had to hang out with my niece and daughter even more. So it was fantastic.
E !: You, Lili and Emily all went to therapy before the shooting. Why? Guide us through this decision.
GE: Yeah, but not because we were filming. We went to therapy to heal. I lost my mother three years ago and Emily came out [gay] at the same time. And for the first time, I had really emotional problems. The grief was enormous. At the same time, Emily withdrew because of what she was going through. And I put Lili and Lina [their daughter] in therapy because of the divorce. They were in very bad shape. So we all came to therapy. That helped us get to the table.
Red Table Talk The Estefans, Gloria Estefan
E !: Were you nervous about getting into those tough, emotional conversations?
GE: you know what? I've never been nervous, I was excited about the conversation. Because that's exactly what we want to do. At this point in my life, there is no subject to make me nervous. To be honest, I feel very safe in my own skin. And I have very clear opinions and thoughts that have been shaped by a life full of experiences. Are some things incredibly personal that many people will hear for the first time? You will learn a lot. There has never been a way to have conversations like this. So it's a completely different ball of wax. It’s exciting to me.
E !: There are three Latinas on this show - and you've represented the Latinx community for decades. Why is this visibility important to you in 2020?
GE: First, the Facebook community is global so I can talk to fans that I have all over the world at the same time. No other platform can give me that. And because of the Smiths and their Red Table Talk, there is already a community of RTT fans who have their own table that they founded. We hope that we can add that and take the Latinos away. Our dream is to be able to do some offshoot shows entirely in Spanish. And I just think it's a great way to connect. After COVID, we have all connected to such a degree, despite being locked in our separate cubicles in the world.
E !: On another Facebook watch show, Latin Music Queens, Thalía talks about being stereotyped as a Latina in the music industry. Have you ever felt stereotypical?
GE: People will always try to pigeonhole you and put you in a box or label you because that's how people feel comfortable. I remember the day I was going to do the opening for the American Music Awards. And one of the ideas from someone there was to put some fruit on my head. I go: "Wait, Missy! I am not Carmen Miranda! There will be no fruit on my head for this performance! 'But I don't understand that terribly.
Latinos, we are by no means a monolithic community. Each of our Latino countries is different, has its own nuances, its own music, its own food, its own stars. That's what I like about breaking barriers. They told us, "You're too Latin for the Americans, you're too American for the Latin Americans, get rid of the horns, get rid of the drums." I go: "That's us!" To be successful, I want to be who I am. I don't want to put myself in a box that goes with all these other artists. Because what then? Who am I? I love breaking stereotypes. And I love doing unexpected things.
E !: Spanglish is an integral part of bilingual Latinx families. Are we going to hear about it?
GE: Well, that's thrown in, but Facebook really wants it in English because it's worldwide. Although, Lili, sometimes even her English might qualify as Spanish! And Emilio is going to need subtitles whether he speaks English or whatever he says. He's such a papa bear to all of us. We are his three favorite girls and Lili and he is incredibly close. It just felt like family.
We originally wanted to do Spanglish, but then we thought the subtitle people would get incredibly confused. And I'll tell you how important this is to me: I got them to send me the transcripts that they'll be broadcasting in Spanish, the subtitles, so that I can review and review them. And of course I had to change a few things because there are things that are said and I want to make sure that the Spanish-speaking public sees exactly what we said and what was intended.
Red Table Talk: The Estefans are broadcast every Wednesday at 12 noon. See ET on Facebook.
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