The Family premieres tonight on ABC, and the dark drama about a missing boy’s mysterious return packs plenty of unanswered questions. Luckily, the show's star Floriana Lima will be snooping around to get to the bottom of things onscreen. She plays reporter Bridey Cruz in the series, and her character is on a mission to uncover details about strange happenings surrounding the show’s titular family, the Warrens. And as their community starts to piece things together, even more questions emerge.
“It’s very soapy, and there are a lot of webs of drama,” Lima told InStyle during a recent visit to our New York City offices. “It’s kind of like House of Cards meets Scandal meets Grey’s Anatomy, only without anything medical going on.” So, what is going on? Lima filled us in. “Joan Allen plays Claire Warren, the mayor of a small town in Maine, and her son was kidnapped when he was eight,” she said. “Now, cut to 10 years later—present day—when he comes back after everyone thought he was dead.”
It sounds like a story that should have a happy ending, but the reunion isn’t quite as joyous as you’d imagine. “There’s something sketchy about the way he resurfaces, and it only gets more intense,” said Lima, whose character is “trying to figure out the crime of it all.” Before tonight’s series premiere, here are three reasons we can’t get enough of the star behind The Family’s kickass reporter.
1. She’s not afraid to take on a challenge.
Lima’s character, Bridey, dates women—and trying to accurately depict her sexuality onscreen was a learning experience for the star. “Playing a lesbian is exciting, but it was also a challenge for me,” she said. “I had never done an on-screen love scene with a woman, and it was totally intimidating because there’s some vulnerability with really going there.”
2. She’s a huge advocate for girl power.
While Lima was determined to portray her character’s sexuality the right way, she also wanted Bridey’s strong feminine voice to shine through. “I’m all about female empowerment,” she said. “And I think we are pushing more envelopes with this show. You might think these women would be more demure and prudish, but they’re not.” Lima credits the show’s creator, Jenna Bans, with developing such bold and unpredictable characters. “She wrote underneath Shonda [Rhimes] on Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal for eight years, so she’s in that same head space of wanting to empower women,” said Lima. “It is a very female-driven show—especially with Joan Allen playing the matriarch.”
3. She knows who she is—and who she wants to become.
For Lima, things are just getting better with age. “Each year, I start to realize that I know myself more and I like myself more,” she said. “In my twenties, I was trying to fit into so many different molds and figuring out who I was. But now, I’m a lot more comfortable in my skin—and I’m not going to stand for certain things now that I did back then.” Lima’s goals for the future? “In my thirties, I want to be more raw and put less into my everyday appearance,” she said. “And when I talk to people, I’ve started to just be myself. I used to have a facade, but now if they don’t like me, they don’t like me. I’m not going to act every single day of my life.”