interview by JANA LETONJA

SAG and Imagen Award winner Liza Colón-Zayas stars in the Emmy-winning series ‘The Bear’, which premiered its third season on 27th June. She has previously starred in series such as ‘Sex and the City’, ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’, ‘Blue Bloods’, ‘Dexter’, and many more. 

Liza, we can currently watch you back on our screens in ‘The Bear’, which just returned for its third season. What can the fans expect from the upcoming episodes?

Season 3 will keep bringing more. More challenges, depth, stress, shenanigans and unanticipated plot twists.

What do you love the most about this series and also your character Tina?

There’s a lot to love, so it’s hard to choose one thing that I love the most. I love all of it. The writing, our cast, and the crew. I love Tina’s evolution. 

The series has won 4 Golden Globe Awards this year, besides already previously winning numerous Emmy Awards. How does it feel working on such a critically acclaimed project? 

Mind blowing. I never anticipated that I would be on a show that’s receiving such epic levels of love. I feel so proud, grateful and lucky.

Do all the awards and nominations put any additional pressure on the cast and crew?

I don’t know. The recognition is great, but I’m not sure that’s why we want to do quality work. The show had high standards from the start. 

Released in May, we saw you take on a pivotal role in John Krasinski’s ‘IF’. What is most challenging about balancing two projects at once?       

Thankfully, ‘The Bear’ and ‘IF’ schedules didn’t overlap. We did start shooting ‘IF’ in the fall before the strike and then picked up to complete the film the following fall season.

Before ‘The Bear’, we’ve seen you in many well known TV projects. Which role has left the biggest mark on your career and why?

Well, ‘The Bear’ has proven to be the breakout project, for sure. 

Your career started off-Broadway. How does stage work differ from on screen work for you?

The theater is a living thing and every show is a different experience. Film is more technical. For me, theater trained me to have a full inner life in front of the camera. The camera is training me to control it. I’m still learning. 

What is your favorite part of performing on stage, live?

I appreciate the control I have on stage over the performance. I can adjust accordingly to the actors on stage and the energy from audience. I don’t surf, but I imagine that’s what it feels like. 

When you have time off, how do you like spending it?

I just love being at home, sleeping in my own bed, tending to my personal life and loved ones. Simple. That’s a luxury.

What other upcoming projects do you have on the horizon? What can you share with us about them?

I can’t share at this time, but it will be announced soon.

photographer KENDALL BESSENT