Starring Jeanine Mason, “WondLa” Teaches How Family Saves Us


The new, feel-good, Latina-led show WondLa asks, what does a family look like? It’s adapted from a book series of the same name, written by Tony DiTerlizzi, and stars Cuban-American Miami native, Jeanine Mason. You might remember seeing Jeanine moving gracefully across on So You Think You Can Dance or acting as Dr. Sam Bello in ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. In WondLa, you can watch her bring life to Eva (Eh-vuh), a curious 16-year-old exploring a futuristic, alien-covered Earth.

WondLa is a story about family and illuminates the inherent truth that community, born or found, is essential to survival. This is something Jeanine Mason agreed with while talking to LatinaMedia.Co about her new role. She said, “Family is everything…It’s so grounding to me to always return to home.” In fact, she recently moved closer to her family so she can visit home about every two months.

As an actress, she travels a lot and cannot always make it back home, so she values the found family she can take with her, saying “Found family is sacred to me. Found family is always there to lean on, to find, and to forge.”

Through high-stakes quests, the WondLa characters unexpectedly form a family, which Eva depends on and fiercely fights for. Eva grows up alone having only her AI “mother” to care for her in an underground facility awaiting the day she can emerge onto Earth’s surface.

When Eva finally, and a bit traumatically, makes her debut onto Earth’s surface, she finds it is unlike anything she was expecting, filled with otherworldly plants, creatures, and customs that she was not trained for. Mason, describes Eva as unapologetically herself, without the social insecurities that teach us to dim our light. She says, “Never is a good time to put less of yourself on display.” Because Eva did not grow up in a society, she is not tainted by society’s “rules.”

It is this unashamed personality that makes Eva the glue of her found family, even before she realizes they are her people. Even when some of the characters fight against coming together, Eva’s magnetic spirit holds them close and teaches them that a family is what really makes life worth living.

Of her fellow castmates, Mason has nothing but praise, sharing that watching their performances made her laugh and broke her heart as she fell in love with their work.

Like Eva, Mason depends on family for survival in Hollywood – and sometimes that family comes in the form of cast and crew like the wonderfully collaborative and supportive Skydance and Apple TV+ teams that helped bring Tony DiTerlizzi’s books to life.

WondLa is a beautiful story and example of finding your people, of what it means to build a family, and not only defend them with your life, but allow them to defend you.

The animated series WondLa premieres June 28 on Apple TV+.

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