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Diana Maria Riva Explains How Her Dead To Me Role Expanded Throughout The Course Of The Show

Grief can make people do some strange things, like make reckless decisions and behave erratically, but it also can be a positive experience that can make an individual grow and learn. In other words, grief is a potent emotion that every person handles a little differently and in their own way, based on their own life experiences up to that point. Netflix's "Dead To Me" is one such example. The dark comedy predominately follows Jen Harding (Christina Applegate) and Judy Hale (Linda Cardellini), two unlikely friends who have both suffered the loss of their husband — though both definitely handle their respective pain in very different ways which leads to a rather interesting dynamic between the two.

Season 3 of "Dead To Me," which is the final installment, premiered on Netflix on November 17. For fans who have followed the series since the very start, "Dead To Me" ends on a bittersweet note, but that's better than the alternative. Over the course of the show, both Jen and Judy run afoul of several different parties including the Greek Mafia, the police, and their respective families. The police get involved due to suspicion and circumstances surrounding the death of Judy's husband, and their efforts are often led by Detective Ana Perez (Diana Maria Riva). It seems though that Detective Perez's role was never supposed to be as big and as important as it became, which Riva has recently explained.

Riva said the showrunners loved her performance

Diana Maria Riva recently spoke on "The Adam Carolla Show" podcast, and Carolla said that he finds "Dead To Me" to be incredibly binge-able. Upon hearing this comment, Riva heaped praise on the writing staff of the show, and how they were able to shift and adapt the show based on feedback. Riva then added that as an actress, one's hope is always to find something special, though it is always a pleasant surprise when the role becomes monumental — which is what happened to her character of Detective Ana Perez, at least according to Riva.

She continued, "As Liz said to me in the middle of season two — the creator of the show Liz Feldman — she said, 'I thought you were just going to be a detective until I met you.' To hear that, it prompted or inspired a character arc that went to where it goes — that's an actor's dream. You want to surprise yourself. You want to surprise the audience. And you hopefully inspire people to write something for you that's that juicy. That's that big of a deal."

This sounds like the original part for Detective Perez wasn't as extensive or as important to the plot in the early stages of "Dead To Me," but due to Riva's performance, the role was expanded and made significantly more important. Let's just hope that we see more of Riva's impressive talent in the future.