Gloria, Lili and Emily Estefan get real, talk candidly in new ‘Red Table Talk’
For rising musician Emily Estefan, her Grammy-winning mother Gloria Estefan—a household name for decades—and her Daytime Emmy Award-winning cousin Lili Estefan were icons already.
“But through the process of this show, they’ve become superheroes for me, and I think they will for everybody else,” Emily told NBC News.
The three generations of Estefan women are coming together to host the “Red Table Talk: The Estefans,” a new Facebook Watch talk show featuring a series of candid conversations with family members, celebrities, friends and experts about topics people constantly think about—and should talk about more.
“The truth is often the most entertaining. Am I right?” Gloria told NBC News.
The show is a new addition to the existing “Red Table Talk” franchise starring actress and producer Jada Pinkett Smith, her daughter Willow Smith and her mother Adrienne Banfield-Norris.
From relationships and heartbreak to love and sexuality as well as mental health and grief, there are no topics that seem to be off the table for the Estefans. They start off the show with a bang, talking about Lili’s very painful and very public divorce from Cuban businessman Lorenzo Luaces after 25 years of marriage.
“Go to the baptism of fire,” Gloria told her niece, TV host and model, Lili. “This is the best way to make sure that people understand we’re willing to go to the places where they have questions, about things we’ve never spoken about and that are very personal.”
For Lili, the show is also about bringing back the tradition of la sobremesa, a pillar of Latino culture, in which family members hang out and drink coffee at the dinner table after a heavy meal.
“In the world now, you have the connections but not the time. There’s something there that it’s not balanced well, and I think of the Red Table Talk as la sobremesa. We’re staying there having those hard conversations,” said Lili.
“I was going through hell,” Lili, host of Univision’s “El Gordo y la Flaca,” told NBC News about her divorce. “I don’t think he had to handle half of the s— that I had to handle.”
Lili said this is the first time that her family sits down to discuss what everyone went through from their own perspectives, including her own daughter as well as her famous uncle, music mogul Emilio Estefan, Gloria’s husband of 42 years and Emily’s father.
“In the same way that my divorce was so, so crazy, it happens to a lot of people. I’m just hoping to connect with so many women that are going through the same thing,” said Lili.
“In the entertainment industry, it’s rare to go to work in front of cameras and feel like you also healed at the end of it,” said Gloria. The new show seeks to serve as “a healing source for whoever watches besides entertainment.”
“You take them on an emotional journey and hopefully, along the way, it’s healing for them as it is for us. And the risk that you always take when you do something and open yourself up, needs to be worth it, and the only way to make it worth it, is by trying to help other people,” said Gloria, who during the show opens up about the terrifying tour bus accident that almost left her handicapped decades ago.
“I learned so much about my mom’s accident,” said Emily. “There’s so much more strength that I now attribute to vulnerability.”
Some of the guests the Estefans are bringing to the red table are Mexican actresses Karla Souza and Kate Del Castillo, one of Mexico’s most famous and controversial celebrities who rose to stardom in 2011 with her breakthrough role of narco queen Teresa Mendoza in the international television hit “La Reina del Sur.”
Shortly after her success with “La Reina del Sur,” Del Castillo made headlines in Mexico and the U.S. when her secret meeting with Mexico’s most notorious narco chief, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera, the head of the Sinaloa cartel, was revealed. Mexican authorities vilified Del Castillo, even at one point accusing her of money laundering, and though she was never charged, her career took a dive and she could not enter Mexico for fear of being arrested.
“I knew her story. I read about her, but when she sat there, and she’s crying, telling parts of her story that I don’t think anybody has been able to capture on camera, we were on the edge of our seats. I almost broke the table in half,” said Emily.
Other episodes feature conversations with actresses and activists Michelle Rodriguez and Rosie O’Donnell as well as social media influencer Lele Pons and Emilio Estefan.
“He’s one of the only people I’ve met that truly, even in hard times, finds a way to find the silver lining,” said Emily about her father. “The table definitely is red, but it has a silver lining.”
The Estefans also sit down with Gloria Guillen, the mother of slain Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen, and Matt Hauser, the widow of Christina Hauser who died in the same helicopter crash that killed Kobe and Gianna Bryant, to discuss loss and grief.
“We’re connecting to something real,” said Emily.
“My mom will always say, you can’t fake real,” she said. “There’s a feeling and there’s an authenticity to a person that you can feel more than you can even hear.”