'One Day at a Time': Isabella Gomez and Marcel Ruiz on Alex's New Look and That Pregnancy Shocker (Exclusive)

Isabella Gomez and Marcel Ruiz opened up to ET about the show's epic Halloween episode!

One Day at a Time celebrated Halloween on Tuesday, and a pregnancy scare ended with a treat for the whole extended Alvarez family!

The episode kicked off with everyone showing off their respective costumes -- Elena (Isabella Gomez) and Syd (Sheridan Pierce) were, of course, socially conscious as Greta Thunberg and a melting glacier; Lydia (Rita Moreno) and Dr. B (Stephen Tobolowsky) were Beauty and the Beast, though it wasn't a couple's costume; and Penelope (Justina Machado) and Max (Ed Quinn) got their hand jive on as Sandy and Danny from Grease.

Ever the semi-rebellious teen, Alex (Marcel Ruiz) declared himself too grown-up for a costume, though he did shock his mother with a new look -- dying his hair silver. And it's not a Halloween wig, the young actor committed to the part, bleaching his locks in real life!

"I wanted to do it in real life anyway, I wanted to do this color or pink or something like that," Ruiz recalled of his new 'do when he and Gomez chatted with ET's Deidre Behar earlier this month. "When I talked to the showrunners, Mike [Royce] and Gloria [Calderon Kellett], I just said, like, 'What if Alex just dyes his hair? That would be fun, I feel like that’d be the age he’d do it.'... So we loved the idea and we did it. It was really fun to do it for the show."

The episode ends up being quite a roller coaster for Alex and his new girlfriend, Nora (Raquel Justice), who have to resort to TMI when angrily confronted by their parents over a positive pregnancy test that was found in the Alvarezes' trash can. Turns out, the pair have been taking it slow -- and there's no way the test was theirs.

"That was really fun to film," Ruiz recalled of the comedic misunderstandings in the episode, as Penelope frantically tries to deduce the owner of the test. The reveal ultimately came when Schneider (Todd Grinnell) and Avery (India de Beaufort) returned home from their Halloween party -- after a series of elaborate and hilarious costume reveals -- to the pandemonium at the Alvarez apartment, and Avery was forced to confess that the test was hers, much to Schneider's delight. 

"It’s just one of those classic One Day at a Time episodes, where everyone in the family gets in on it," Ruiz said, while Gomez added that the episode was "so crazy and on-brand" for the family, but "so much fun."

When ET visited the set earlier this year, Calderon Kellett spoke on the importance of addressing teen sexuality through Alex and Nora's storyline, noting that she was inspired by the idea of showing "a male perspective" on the issue of losing your virginity. "It's really great to have a season where we have a really handsome boy character decide he's not ready yet," she said.

"It’s just showing what One Day at a Time does in many ways -- it’s showing that these things are normal," Ruiz noted. "And there’s not really one way to feel about something, because society tells you to feel a certain way about it."

"It’s good to be open and have conversations and talk about this, because, I mean, you’re still growing up," he continued. "You’re not only learning about other people but you’re still learning about yourself. So it’s important to make sure that you’re 100 percent OK with what you want to do."

As for how the cast is handling their long-awaited fourth season -- which debuted on Pop TV earlier this year after the show was canceled by Netflix -- airing amid coronavirus social distancing, Gomez and Ruiz said they're doing their best to stay in touch via texts and live Zoom chats during the episodes.

"It still feels like we’re together watching it," Ruiz said, noting that he was especially bummed to have to take a break just as they were getting back into the swing of things. "We were halfway through the season, it was getting better every week and now we took this break. It just feels a little weird, and we just want to be back. This season is so great, it’s been so much fun to film."

"This is the first time us as a cast has been on a network show, so like, texting about numbers and all that stuff after is so weird," Gomez added. "Just getting to do episode by episode is such a different thing... and we’re getting to live tweet and we’ll do the Zoom or we’ll text ourselves during and we do all these Instagram Lives. It’s been a really nice thing to look forward to during quarantine." 

One Day at a Time airs Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. PT on Pop TV. See more on season 4 in the video below!



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