Entertainment

Gina Rodriguez Is Starring in Hollywood’s ‘Miss Bala’ And Her Fans Are Screaming

Our very own beloved Gina Rodriguez is gracing the big screens once again next February 2019 as Gloria, a.k.a. “Miss Bala.” We know her best as Jane Villanueva in The CW’s “Jane the Virgin,” but out in the real world she is so much more. Rodriguez is one of the best representation of Latinas we could ask for in this moment.

Now, she’s taking on the action thriller lead role in Hollywood’s remake of “Miss Bala.” The literal only spillage about this movie has been the trailer, which Rodriguez posted to her Twitter. Here’s what we’ve pieced together of the plot.

Miss Bala is not to be messed with.

@MissBala / Twitter

Rodriguez a major advocate for educational scholarships for Latinos, who are falling behind every other ethnic group in achieving college degrees. “I am the educated Latina you’ve been warned about,” she posted to her Instagram. “But you haven’t been warned about us. Because you don’t think we exist.”

You’ve been warned.

Instead of the good-intentioned virgin mom we’ve grown to love on JTV, Rodriguez packs heat in this film.

@awkwardlycray / Twitter

It seems as though the Internet is here for it. The only other times Rodriguez has posted about “Miss Bala” has been to share a photo of Jonathan Adler packages from her agency (caption: “I love my agency.”) Claro.

And this on June 15, 2017: “Began my summer film and feeling really challenged along with outrageously gracious. #missbala”

Jane’s TV Dad came through with some emotional support.

@jaimecamil / Twitter

Anything Jaime Camil has to say is going to make me tear up. I don’t care that his undying love for his daughter is fictional, who couldn’t love Gina like that in real life?

The trailer sets the scene in México.

@MissBala / Twitter

The opening lines in the trailer start out with Gina Rodriguez saying, “After my parents died, I didn’t really think I was going to be able to come back to Tijuana.” The Wikipedia page about the 2019 film says that it was produced in both México and the United States.

There are some breakout Latinx stars getting their shot on the big screen.

@MissBala / Twitter

Cristina Rodlo plays Suzu, Gloria’s soul sister in “Miss Bala.” Rodlo is recognizable in Spanish-Language films, but “Miss Bala” is really her breakout role in Hollywood. We’re excited to see actual Latinas playing Latina roles.

All starts out pretty cheery with Gloria and Suzu.

@MissBala / Twitter

Rodriguez is sitting on a bed, teary eyed, when she tells Suzu, “You’ve always felt like family.” She responds, “Because you are family.” Then comes the montage of them smiling, taking chupitos and dancing at a Tijuana club.

But then a gang infiltrates and shoots out  the club.

@MissBala @RadioRodriguez / Twitter

At this point, we’re all realizing that this is a remake of México’s Spanish Language film of the same name in 2011. The whole 2011 film’s plot is loosely based on a real story. It seems that Hollywood’s version veers away from the original beauty pageant backdrop.

It looks like the gang takes them both hostage, but separates them.

@MOyadiran @MissBala / Twitter

We don’t really know what happens to Suzu, but we know that Gloria is hell bent on finding out. Once the gang finds out she’s an American citizen, they use her to blow up a DEA safe house.

The DEA now has footage of her committing a horrible crime.

@MissBala / Twitter

Now, she has to work with the DEA as an undercover informant to avoid going to prison for the rest of her life. Casual trip to Mexico gone real bad, right?

No te preocupes: there’s a Stockholm love interest situation brewing here.

@MissBala / Twitter

Smoldering Ismael Cruz Córdova, de Puerto Rico, and famous for his breakout role on “Sesame Street”, is now playing Lino, the gang leader and love interest of Gina Rodriguez. I’m melting for all this character development.

Gloria continues to prove her worth on both sides, but TBH, looks like she defects to Lino.

@MissBala / Twitter

I mean, we see cops shooting at them and Gloria turning back to help Lino escape while they drive through a hellfire of burning DEA cars. But what do we know?

One woman tries to tell it to Gloria straight:

@MissBala / Twitter

“Forget your friend. No one is coming to save you.” But Gloria won’t abandon Suzu, who appears to be used for some kind of sex trafficking.

Lino tells Gloria, “You’re going to be my queen.”

@HereisGina / Twitter

Though his fellow gang leader is suspicious of her, saying that everything started to go wrong when she arrived. Psh, everything in my life is going right since Gina Rodriguez arrived, verdad.

What he also tells her?

@mandylub @MissBala / Twitter

“The bala always settles the score.” Gloria takes it to heart and is seen walking away from some dead bodies in a glamorous red dress with an AK-47 as an accessory.

 This might not be a tear jerker, but we’re already crying.

@mayraapedroza / Twitter

Raise your hand if you felt invincible after watching “Wonder Woman,” porque mujeres se puedan hacer todo. Imagine watching a Latina, and not just any Latina, but Gina Rodriguez, the champion of Latinidad facing present day problems. OK, her problems are extreme, pero still.

I tried to give them my money but you can’t buy tickets four months in advance apparently.

@Hersheyy_Cookie / Twitter

Bet that when the movie comes out on February 1, 2019 that I’m going to be there. And then again the next day because we turn out for nuestros hermanos.

Plus, I’m just paying to stare at the beauty of this ship.

@jamilahYo @MissBala / Twitter

Why are they so beautiful and perfect? So much more perfect that Raphael and Michael. If you’re not picking up what I’m putting down, educate yourself on Netflix, pronto.

Gina could have shared a 3 minute video of her playing with her dog, Casper, and we would have all had the same reaction TBH.

@sandy_4323 / Twitter

Gina is the Latina who is strong and confident enough to clap back at haters calling her not “Latina enough.” In a HuffPost Live interview, Rodriguez explained that her parents raised her to speak English because “they wanted to assimilate us into a culture that wouldn’t, right away, put up their guard against us because of our accent.”

“I’m going to be reprimanded by a culture that I’m supposed to support and is supposed to support me because of the way I was raised?” she posited. “That is too limiting. That is unfair.”  ???? ???? ???? ???????? ???????? ????????

The fact that Gina Rodriguez can be Latina, the star of a production, and not hypersexualized is a victory of its own.

@babyhoneymendes @MissBala / Twitter

And this is exactly the type of movie where that would happen. This isn’t “Real Women Have Curves.”

So block out your calendars. ????

@MissBala / Twitter

You’re booked February 1st on a third wheel date with Gina Rodriguez and Ismael Cruz Córdova. ???????????? Let’s support movies that Hollywood does right. It’s just so rare.

READ: Rita Moreno And Gina Rodriguez Shared In Mutual Puerto Rican Love And We Should All Aim For This Kind Of Relationship

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America Ferrera Celebrates 20th Anniversary Of Working On ‘Gotta Kick It Up’ With Sweet IG Post

Entertainment

America Ferrera Celebrates 20th Anniversary Of Working On ‘Gotta Kick It Up’ With Sweet IG Post

It has been 20 years since America Ferrera’s dream of becoming an actor back true. She took to Instagram to reflect on the moment that her dream started to come true and it is a sweet reminder that anyone can chase their dreams.

America Ferrera shared a sweet post reflecting on the 20th anniversary of working on “Gotta Kick It Up!”

“Gotta Kick It Up!” was one of the earliest examples of Latino representation so many of us remember. The movie follows a school dance team trying to be the very best they could possibly be. The team was down on their luck but a new teacher introduces them to a different kind of music to get them going again.

After being introduced to Latin beats, the dance team is renewed. It taps into a cultural moment for the Latinas on the team and the authenticity of the music makes their performances some of the best.

While the movie meant so much to Latino children seeing their culture represented for the first time, the work was a major moment for Ferrera. In the Instagram post, she gushes over the celebrities she saw on the lot she was working on. Of course, anyone would be excited to see Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt hanging out. Yet, what stands out the most is Ferrera’s own excitement to realize that she can make money doing what she loves most.

“I wish I could go back and tell this little baby America that the next 20 years of her life will be filled with unbelievable opportunity to express her talent and plenty of challenges that will allow her to grow into a person, actress, producer, director, activist that she is very proud and grateful to be. We did it baby girl. I’m proud of us,” Ferrera reflects.

Watch the trailer for “Gotta Kick It Up!” here.

READ: America Ferrera’s “Superstore” Is Going To Get A Spanish-Language Adaptation In A Win For Inclusion

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This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

Entertainment

This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

On a recent episode of ABC’s game show To Tell The Truth, three celebrity panelists were tasked to uncover the identity of a real mariachi singer.

Each contender embodied “non-traditional” attributes of mariachi culture either through physical appearance or language barriers, leaving the panelists stumped.

When it came time for the big reveal, with a humble smile 53-year-old Timoteo “El Charro Negro” stood up wowing everyone. Marveled by his talents, Timoteo was asked to perform unveiling his smooth baritone voice.

While not a household name in the U.S., his career spans over 25 years thriving on the catharsis of music.

Timoteo “El Charro Negro” performing “Chiquilla Linda” on Dante Night Show in 2017.

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Timoteo, born Timothy Pollard, moved to Long Beach, California with his family when he was eight years old. The move to California exposed Pollard to Latin culture, as the only Black family in a Mexican neighborhood.

As a child, he recalled watching Cantinflas because he reminded him of comedian Jerry Lewis, but musically he “got exposed to the legends by chance.”

“I was bombarded by all the 1960s, ’70s, and ’50s ranchera music,” Timoteo recalls to mitú.

The unequivocal passion mariachi artists like Javier Solis and Vicente Fernandez possessed heavily resonated with him.

“[The neighbors] always played nostalgic music, oldies but goodies, and that’s one thing I noticed about Mexicans,” Timoteo says. “They can be in their 20s but because they’ve grown up listening to the oldies it’s still very dear to them. That’s how they party.”

For as long as he can remember, Pollard “was born with the genetic disposition to love music,” knowing that his future would align with the arts.

After hearing Vicente Fernandez sing “Lástima Que Seas Ajena,” an awakening occurred in Pollard. While genres like hip-hop and rap were on the rise, Pollard’s passion for ranchera music grew. It was a moment when he realized that this genre best suited his big voice.

Enamored, Pollard began to pursue a career as a Spanish-language vocalist.

El Charro Negro
Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

At 28, Timoteo began learning Spanish by listening and singing along to those artists he adored in his youth.

“When I decided that I wanted to be a mariachi, I didn’t think it was fair to exploit the culture and not understand the language,” he says. “If I’m going to sing, I need to be able to communicate with my audience and engage with them. I need to understand what I’m saying because it was about honor and respect.”

Pollard began performing local gigs after picking up the language in a matter of months. He soon attracted the attention of “Big Boy” Radio that adorned him the name Timoteo “El Charro Negro.”

Embellishing his sound to highlight his Black heritage, Pollard included African instruments like congas and bongos in his orchestra. Faintly putting his own spin on a niche genre, Pollard avoided over-saturating the genre’s sound early in his career.

Embraced by his community as a beloved mariachi, “El Charro Negro” still encountered race-related obstacles as a Black man in the genre.

“There are those [in the industry] who are not in the least bit thrilled to this day. They won’t answer my phone calls, my emails, my text messages I’ve sent,” he says. “The public at large hasn’t a problem with it, but a lot of the time it’s those at the helm of decision making who want to keep [the genre] exclusively Mexican.”

“El Charro Negro” persisted, slowly attracting fans worldwide while promoting a message of harmony through his music.

In 2007, 12 years into his career, Pollard received a golden ticket opportunity.

El Charro Negro
Pollard (left) seen with legendary Mexican artist Vicente Fernandez (right) in 2007. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In a by-chance encounter with a stagehand working on Fernandez’s tour, Pollard was offered the chance to perform onstage. The singer was skeptical that the offer was legit. After all, what are the chances?

The next day Pollard went to his day job at the time and said, “a voice in my head, which I believe was God said, ‘wear your blue velvet traje tonight.'”

That evening Pollard went to a sold-out Stockton Area where he met his idol. As he walked on the stage, Pollard recalls Fernandez insisting that he use his personal mic and band to perform “De Que Manera Te Olvido.”

“[Fernandez] said he did not even want to join me,” he recollects about the show. “He just was kind and generous enough to let me sing that song on his stage with his audience.”

The crowd applauded thunderously, which for Pollard was a sign of good things to come.

El Charro Negro
Timoteo “El Charro Negro” with Don Francisco on Don Francisco Presenta in 2011. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In 2010, he released his debut album “Me Regalo Contigo.” In perfect Spanish, Pollard sings with great conviction replicating the soft tones of old-school boleros.

Unraveling the rollercoaster of relationships, heart-wrenchingly beautiful ballads like “Me Regalo Contigo” and “Celos” are his most streamed songs. One hidden gem that has caught the listener’s attention is “El Medio Morir.”

As soon as the track begins it is unlike the others. Timoteo delivers a ’90s R&B love ballad in Spanish, singing with gumption as his riffs and belts encapsulate his unique sound and story.

Having appeared on shows like Sabado Gigante, Don Francisco Presenta, and Caso Cerrado in 2011, Timoteo’s career prospered.

Timoteo hasn’t released an album since 2010 but he keeps his passion alive. The singer has continued to perform, even during the Covid pandemic. He has high hopes for future success and original releases, choosing to not slow down from his destined musical journey.

“If God is with me, who can be against me? It may not happen in a quick period of time, but God will make my enemies my footstool,” he said.

“I’ve continued to be successful and do some of the things I want to do; maybe not in a particular way or in particular events, but I live in a very happy and fulfilled existence.”

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