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.”
*Article originally published on Variety Latino on 5.27.15
Isabela Moner is not your typical Nickelodeon kid, she’s not only talented and charming but also has a long resume behind her – this isn’t her first rodeo, if you catch my drift.
Raised in Cleveland, Ohio from Peruvian descent, at the age of 10 Moner made her debut on Broadway in the revival of Evita and on television as a singer in The Next Big Thing New York. She gained the lead role in the acclaimed film The House that Jack Built, appeared in numerous theatrical productions such as Little Miss Sunshine as Rosa Maria, became Annie in Annie and Young Cosette in Les Misérables. Fans also got a chance to see her in NBC’s Growing Up Fisher and soon in Nick’s upcoming movie, Splitting.
Now, at the age of 13, Moner joins the ranks of Paola Andino as a lead Latina actress in a Nickelodeon show and is ready to have her big break starring in the brand new series 100 Things To Do Before High School as CJ Martin.
*Article originally published on Variety Latino on 6.2.15
After a successful performance in the indie film Filly Brown, Gina Rodriguez was determined to take Hollywood by storm. Her starring role in the CW’s Golden Globe nominated series Jane The Virgin, did just that. Her innocent yet feisty character captured America’s heart. It goes without saying, she’s now a household name.
She’s currently working on a film with Mark Wahlberg and getting ready for the second season of Jane The Virgin. I had the opportunity to chat with Gina about her new movie Deepwater Horizon, her role models and her obsession with boxing.
How did winning a Golden Globe change your life?
It’s pretty freaking awesome and super. There are no words. There’s that feeling of gratitude, love, [feeling] blessed and being freaking stoked about everything. Now, I’m doing a movie in New Orleans. It’s outrageous! I’m boxing everyday. It’s so fulfilling. This is what I had dreamt of 15 years ago when I was a teenager. It’s wild.
Tell us about your character in Deepwater Horizon.
In Deepwater Horizon, I play a Latina from San Diego. I feel very honored to play her. The story centers on a devastating explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. Working with Peter Berg has been outstanding, he is somebody I’ve always desired to work with. He is a genius, hands down. He teaches you to let go and just jump into your role while he provides the parachute. And I am having a blast working with so many male actors, Kurt Russell, Mark Wahlberg, John Malkovich and Dylan O’Brian.
*Original story published on Variety Latino 12.17.14
Your life can change in an instant. That is what’s happening to Jack O’Connell, star of the new Angelina Jolie film, “Unbroken.” The British actor has captured the attention of critics and the hearts of many around the world portraying the Olympic distance runner, Louis Zamperini, whose life changes in a matter of days.
The true story of Zamperini, who died on July 2, 2014, is amazing and miraculous. Known as “Louie,” he was a renowned Olympic athlete, who at the age of 24 became a soldier for the Second World War. At the age of 26, his plane crashed into the sea during a search mission and survived on an inflatable boat for 47 days until the Japanese army captured him and his partner.
For two years Louis was a prisoner of war, brutally beaten daily and tortured by the prison guard, Mutsuhio Watanabe, until the war ended in 1945. This telling tale of physical and spiritual survival shows how strong a person can be under unimaginable circumstances.