2015 was the year Ana de Armas conquered Hollywood!
After starring in Eli Roth’s thriller “Knock Knock” with Keanu Reeves and Lorenza Izzo, the film opened the doors for the Cuban actress. I spoke with Armas about how she landed the role in “Knock Knock,” as well as how it is to be a Latina in Hollywood and her future projects.
This article was originally published on Variety Latino.
Back in 2015 I had the opportunity to interview Christina Milian for her new show on E! Below is the article about our chat!
Christina Milian is ready to take on the music world once again and this time she is letting us join her for the ride.
In her new reality series “Christina Milian Turned Up” on E! we will get an inside look at her personal life, professional life and see just how this talented star works hard for what she wants.
Born in New Jersey to Cuban parents, she had and has that fiery Latina spark in her eyes that makes her unique. From an early age Christina, or “Tina” as her family calls her, fought and worked hard to make her dreams come true. The Grammy nominated singer struck gold with hits like “AM to PM,” “Whatever U Want,” and “Dip It Low” and made us fall in love with films like “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” and “Bring It On: Fight to the Finish.”
Of course there always comes a time when a star has to turn her lights down, let life happen and put her dreams on the back burner. The birth of her first child, daughter Violet, in 2010 made Christina take a break and focus on her baby girl.
But now with a fire that runs deep, Christina is getting back in the studio, doing things her way and letting us be part of her family.
Before The Wizarding World of Hary Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood opened to the public, I had the honor of going on a private tour of the magical castle and J.K. Rowling imagined land with “Harry Potter” production designer Alan Gilmore. Thanks to Variety, I got to speak with the art director, that was in charge of “Prisoner of Azkaban” and “Goblet of Fire,” about the newest park attraction. And the experience was unforgettable!
SEE MORE: Eugenio Derbez Conquering Hollywood One Project At A Time [Exclusive]
Eugenio Derbez has already achieved success in Latin America and is considered a household name. The actor, producer and director recently received his star on the coveted Hollywood Walk of Fame, an honor he dedicated to not only his family but to his Latino fans that have supported his career throughout the years.
Speaking with the Miracles From Heaven actor, I asked Derbez what is the dichotomy of already being a huge star in Mexico and now transitioning over to Hollywood.
“It’s hard when you come from another culture and another language. Trying to be funny in English is different,” the Mexican actor stated. “I don’t feel the same. It’s like I’m a different person. Every time I try to act or try to be funny in English it’s different. I sometimes need weeks to feel comfortable with the material. But the first time I read a script I felt so uncomfortable. So I need to work a lot. I need to make it mine. I really need to focus because it’s another culture, another language, it’s everything. It’s hard.”
While it may be difficult to get a jump-start in Tinseltown, Derbez stated that he has an understanding for what Latinos in the US want and what the industry should take in consideration.
“Acting is not instant magic. There’s hard work behind each scene that allows the magic to appear,” admits model turned actress Stephanie Sigman.
Born in Ciudad de Obregón, Sonora, Mexico, Sigman began her career at the age of 16 as a model only then to transition to secondary roles in film and television series such as Cambio de Vida and Los Minodo. Her breakout moment arrived when she was chosen as the lead in the drama Miss Bala. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011 to positive reviews. It followed the story of an aspiring Mexican beauty queen who upon witnessing drug and gang-related murders was held hostage by the cartel to transport drug money across the U.S. border.
At the age of 22 Natalie Martinez landed her first role on the small screen in the short-lived series Fashion House. Fast-forward nine years later and the actress has a slew of films and credits to her name.
She began modeling at the age of 15 and was handpicked to be Jennifer Lopez’s brand ambassador in 2002. Martinez then went on to star in Justin Timberlake’s music video for “Señorita,” as well as in videos for Sean Paul and Pitbull and Marc Anthony.
In 2008 she worked alongside Jason Statham and Tyrese in the action flick Death Race. In 2011 she starred in Magic City Memoirs, a story based on the life of director Aaron J. Salgado that tells the tale of three friends in Miami whose lives are put in danger after they indulge in reckless behavior days before their graduation. The drama was produced by Andy Garcia and Salgado and received the Pursuit of Perfection Award during the Miami Film Festival.
Born in Mexico, Diego Boneta knew at a very young age that he wanted to be a performer. At the age of 12 he audition for the children’s reality TV show Codigo F.A.M.A., where after conquering a series of challenges made it to the Top 5.
Boneta made his television debut in the Spanish-language children’s telenovela Alegrijes y Rebujos in 2013. He later starred in Misión S.O.S. and played a small role in Don Darvelio’s Secret. He catapulted to success after portraying a high school student named Rocco, in Univision’s hit telenovela Rebelde. The series gave Boneta the opportunity to focus on a music career, subsequently he released his first self-titled album and toured with the newly formed musical group RBD.
Lorenza Izzo is taking over Hollywood one horror film at a time. Izzo made her acting debut in the Chilean comedy Que pena tu boda directed by Nicolás López. She reunited once again with López in Qué pena tu familia and the 2012 horror film Aftershock.
“As Latinos we are at a very interesting stage in the industry,” said Izzo. “Cultures are interconnecting and it’s important to show those differences. We shouldn’t focus on stereotypes. What offends me is when we are not given the opportunities to be all types of characters.”
Diane Guerrero’s success stems from her sheer determination and vision. The 29-year-old actress is now known from her roles in Orange Is The New Black and Jane The Virgin but before conquering Hollywood she had to fight for what truly mattered to her the most, her family.
Born in New Jersey and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, Guerrero was only 14 years-old when her parents and older brother were deported to Colombia. The unfortunate set of circumstances left Guerrero to fend for herself. With the help of friends, she attended the Boston Arts Academy and later moved to New York to fulfill her dream of becoming an actress.
She worked on a slew of independent short films such as Ashley/Amber (2011) and features like Festival (2011) and Open Vacancy (2012). She made her television debut in the series Body of Proof and then had a stunt on Are We There Yet?.
She’s an unstoppable force in Hollywood. Eva Longoria has done it all. The 40-year-old can proudly call herself a producer, writer, actor, director, entrepreneur, philanthropist and activist. She attributes her success to the strong women in her family. “I grew up with a family of strong women. My role models where my mom, my aunts and my sisters. I get so much creativity from their lives. I see their struggles, I see their obstacles and I see their victories and that’s inspiring to me,” said Longoria to Variety Latino.
She’s currently shooting “Telenovela,” a comedy series for NBC that she’ll be directing, producing and starring. The predominantly Latino cast will take audiences behind-the-scenes of the making of a telenovela. “At first I was only involved in the production side but when I read the character description of the protagonist, Ana Sofía, I knew I wanted to play her,” admits Longoria. “I thought the script was hilarious and something I had never read before.”