“East Willy B” is a new web series created by Julia Grob and Yamin Segal that launched last week. The multi-platform Latino web series was firstly created by a casual conversation between the talented actress and producer Julia Grob and writer and director Yamin Segal in Brooklyn.
“We know each other since high school and we wanted to work on something that could pull all of our talents together,” Julia explained.
Julia further states how she was tired of playing the same roles: “I wanted to create a central Latino character, not the outsider or a token role.”
“I want you to all enjoy it. After all, it is entertainment,” Yamin says.
“East Willy B” is perhaps one of the most entertaining and original pieces of work set in the Latino community of New York. The accurate image of the Latinos portrayed by a fine set of actors, including the multi-talented Flaco Navaja as the main character, makes it even more enjoyable to watch.
We had the chance to talk to him about “East Willy B” and more.
How did you get involved with “East Willy B”?
Julia gave me a phone call one day. I worked with Julia before on “The Flaco Show,” a sketch comedy series that I created. They approached me and I saw the passion and the diligence in the approach to things. That’s why I wanted to be part of it.
What did you enjoy the most?
The recollection of actors and our repertoire. We know each other or known of each other for a long time. It didn’t feel like work. The energy on set was really light and you can definitely sense the love for the project from all of us.
Are you looking forward to many more episodes?
I definitely am. What I like about it is that there are so many storytellers. I don’t feel like I am the main character, the neighborhood is the main character. It is funny, but poignant at the same time. It is a serious subject, but it’s humorous, sometimes you get too serious with the message kind of thing.
Photo credit: John Walder
Besides starring in the feature film “Gun Hill Road,” what is next for you?
I am singing a lot of salsa stuff/Boricua roots music from Puerto Rico … I am a spoken word artist that moved into theater, then film/TV and now, singing. It all comes together.
Who is your Latina celebrity crush?
Rosaria Dawson, she is super intelligent and represents our Latino community in an awesome way.
Who do you look up to?
John Leguizamo as an actor and a performer in general, but also Benicio del Torro. My main inspiration is Hector Lavoe, my name comes from a song by Ruben Blades called “Pedro Navaja.” But also Mark Anthony and my mom.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
The web series works well in that medium … but I also think that it is mainstream enough to be on TV. It is time for more real stories, TV with integrity, humor and good craft.
Julia Grob hopes for another pilot season: “With 80-90 min content, we could expand the series, which would have an impact on the community. We would like to continue to play with different genres such as novella, horror, comedy…we love the short form and doing more content under three minutes nevertheless.”
“East Willy B” hopes to have Latino celebrity guest stars including New York natives Rosie Perez, John Leguizamo, Rosario Dawson and many more. We hope so too!