Head of the Class: Isabella Gomez Takes Charge in Her Second Reboot

Actress Isabella Gomez is making quite the transition from being the student on One Day at a Time as Elena Alvarez to becoming the teacher in the HBO Max reboot Head of the Class as Alicia Gomez. Based on the original series created by Michael Elias and Rich Eustis, the new series comes courtesy of Ted Lasso and Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence. Speaking to Variety, Gomez talked about what she learned from One Day at a Time to take to the new series.

Head of the Class HBO Max Reboot Trailer Introduces New Cast
Isabella Gomez in Head of the Class (2021). Photo courtesy of Nicole Wilder/HBO Max

"It makes so much sense for me, especially with this character," Gomez said. "She's so different than Elena. The show is so different than 'One Day at a Time' that I didn't feel like, 'Oh, I'm doing another reboot.' Right now, we need so much joy and so much laughter after the couple of years we've had as humans that I was really excited to sign on board." When it came to taking the lead on the HBO Max series, she brought up her former co-stars and what she learned from them. "I was like, 'Really, they want me to play the teacher? OK…' [There's] a cool vibe to have Alicia blend in and maybe seem like one of the kids. I was very lucky to work with Justina [Machado] and Rita [Moreno] for such a long time that I feel like I got really used to seeing them lead and seeing them come into a room, so I tried my best to emulate that. It was also just fun in that I have a baby face and I look super young."

Head of the Class HBO Max Reboot Trailer Introduces New Cast
Courtesy of HBO Max / WarnerMedia

The HBO Max reboot of Head of the Class follows the similar story of the original series that ran on ABC of a teacher trying to get more from his/her overachieving students to enjoy their lives. "What I liked about it is that it wasn't even a conversation about that [the diverse cast]," Gomez said. "And in fact, Alicia was Alicia Adams before she was Alicia Gomez. I think that the creative team really went in and auditioned people and just wanted to get whoever was the best for the role. And it just so happened that the cast was super diverse because there's so much talent all over the spectrum. I was stoked that that's what the cast looks like. It was just, "Here's what a normal high school room would look like. And this is how they are." Head of the Class is streaming on HBO Max, and you can check out our interview with Gomez here.

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About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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