Art Imitates LifeBy Robert Schork Posted: May 19, 2004
Comparing her situation to her character's, for starters Tamargo admires Pilar's controversial and oft-maligned sense of duty and loyalty €” both to her MIA husband, Martin and to her children. "People mock her because she keeps lighting candles [for Martin], and say, 'Come on, he's not coming back!' but for her it's not even an option to think that way. Same thing with her disease, it wasn't even a possibility for her to tell her children. I gotta tell ya, I wish I was more that way myself.
"As a parent myself I can relate to her, because when you have a child, all the interests of yourself and all the self-centeredness that you have is gone," continues Tamargo. And it's not even by choice, it just happens. That other human being relies on you 100 percent, and that is what comes first. That's why, when the disease struck, the last thing she wanted to do was to add to any of her children's existing burdens -- especially when she feels confident she can beat it anyway, why even bother telling them."
Rather than be rattled by the art-imitating-life aspect of her storyline, Tamargo has, to the contrary, drawn strength from the parallels. "On a personal level it was like 'Wow, it's funny how things happen in life.' But I realized that it happened for a reason. God works in mysterious ways. I think I'm going to be able to channel a lot of my sadness and frustration and anger and all that that I went through last year with my parents sick, in this storyline. So it's been wonderful in that sense...if there is anything that can be said that's wonderful about playing somebody sick on a show, that can be it. It gives me inspiration even toward my own mortality in the future and what's going to happen to me and my children. Like my friend says, the universe always says 'Yes' to you, it doesn't say 'No.'"