Only ET is bringing you on-set secrets from Freeform's reboot. 'Party of Five' premieres Wednesday, Jan. 8 at 9 p.m.
Party of Five has gotten a timely new twist.
The new Freeform series, which premieres Jan. 8, follows the Acosta siblings as their parents -- Javier (Bruno Bichir) and Gloria (Fernanda Urrejola) -- suddenly get deported to Mexico. Right from the beginning, the reimagined version is as heart-wrenching as it sounds and is not only a story made for television, it is what thousands of people have gone through.
Ahead of its premiere, ET is sharing what the cast said during our visit to the show's set and why the series is so prevalent.
"No matter who watches this show, whether you're a parent or a child, you're going to be able to relate to this show," relays Brandon Larracuente, who plays older brother Emilio. "It has so many beautiful nuances that it's just so well-written and I'm just honored to be part of something so special."
Right from the beginning, viewers will get a real-life look at how a family with undocumented parents can be ripped apart within a matter of seconds, without any warning.
"I could never imagine myself going through that, so just imagining families and kids that are going through it is terrible," Elle Paris Legaspi, who plays Valentina, expressed. "Even when we were rehearsing it back at the hotel with Fernanda and Bruno, we were, like, sobbing in our hotel rooms while we were rehearsing. It's such a powerful scene."
The first episode, Emily Tosta (Lucia) shares, captures some of the most emotional scenes between her and her on-screen mom. "It was crazy. I remember Fernanda, who plays our mom, and I just couldn't stop crying even between takes."
As for Niko Guardado, who takes on the role of Beto, it took a moment for him to really understand what a powerful tale they were sharing with the world. "It hit me on the ride home, [it] was just kind of this overwhelming sense of gratitude for the lives we're living and also this sense of how badly we wanted to portray authenticity with these stories going forward," he explained. "So it was really eye-opening. It's super humbling to know that this stuff is really happening."
The original Party of Five has gone down as one of television's best series. And while they would love to pay tribute to the 1994 drama -- with original cast member Lacey Chabert even up for making a cameo -- Larracuente and Tosta would prefer if they kept the story fresh and authentic.
"I think that our biggest goal here is really not to try and make cameos. It's just to tell a story about a middle-class family who's going through this treacherous time in their life and that's first precedence before any cameos you know ever happen," he noted.
With Tosta adding, "I think we definitely want to bring in the authenticity and these new characters rather than try and think about the old characters. We have a new storyline, we have a new theme and it's a Mexican-American family. I think we just want to portray that for now and we don't know what can happen in the future."
For more from the set, watch the video above.
Party of Five premieres Wednesday, Jan. 8 at 9 p.m. EST/PST on Freeform.