Francia Raísa Talks ‘How I Met Your Father’ & Embracing Her Culture

Lead Photo: Patrick Wymore/Hulu
Patrick Wymore/Hulu
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How I Met Your Father, the spinoff to the beloved and somewhat divisive How I Met Your Mother, isn’t trying to be the original, even if it also centers around a group of friends. Well, that, and the story of how Sophie (played by Hilary Duff) met the father of her kid. But the spinoff is trying to recapture the magic, the fun, and the sense of friendship, all while being more diverse and shifting the gaze from men to women.

Remezcla got the chance to speak with Francia Raísa, who plays Valentina, Sophie’s best friend, and yet, very much not the stereotypical Latine best friend, about the show, the focus on female friendships and moving past the original.

For her, as a fan of HIMYM, coming into this new show meant asking the question of who, exactly her character, and all other characters around her, were supposed to be in relation to the original. But, Raísa shared, “the more we shot, and now actually seeing it put together, we are so different from all of them.”

The show isn’t trying to replicate HIMYM’s story beat by beat, nor carbon copy the character’s personalities. Instead, Raísa likes to think of it as “there’s this apartment we all knew, and now we get to see who moves in there afterwards.” It is, after all, brand new characters, a brand-new storyline, and a brand-new decade. 

Plus, a brand-new perspective, as this time it’s a woman telling the story, and a female friendship at the center of it – a healthy, supportive one at that. To Raísa this isn’t just important, it’s a lesson. “Television is almost teaching us how to react as human beings in certain situations,” she told us, adding that “growing up I saw a lot of drama in relationships, and I thought that was normal, so I brought a lot of drama to my relationships.” 

Growing up has meant understanding how to be better, and hopefully shows like HIMYF can help with a new perspective for girls and young women alike, so they don’t repeat the mistakes of our generation. But that’s not all HIMYF is doing well regarding Valentina, it’s also allowing her to be proud of her culture but be more than her culture.

“I bring up that I’m Mexican, and I wear a Selena Quintanilla shirt, but no one else brings it up. I know what it is, (as did I), and for the audience that knew, there’s a sense of pride. I’m just a human being who embraces her culture and it comes up every now and then like it does in regular life.”

As for the dad, Francia Raísa has no idea who it is, though she did share that her favorite guess is Charlie. Perhaps, she told us, Valentina and Sophie are such good friends that they both wanted to have kids and have them be related. 

How I Met Your Father is available on Hulu.