Entertainment

In The Middle Of National Adoption Awareness Month, This Movie Is Making A Statement

“The things these kids go through is insane. You can’t even fathom it until they tell you.”

This is what 17-year-old actress Isabela Moner learned as she prepared for her latest role in the movie “Instant Family.”

Based on the film director’s real life experience, “Instant Family” takes you through the adoption process of three young children who are in the foster care system. Director Sean Anders used comedy to tell the story to make it as accessible as possible while still shedding light on the foster care system and adoption process. Straight off the bat, foster care and comedy might not sound like a good mix, but in this film it works and the movie trailer above gives you a glimpse of that.

In this heartwarming comedy, Moner plays the role of Lizzy, the oldest of all three children who are adopted.

CREDIT: Paramount Pictures

Moner admits that the hardest part about her role was trusting herself to present her character in the most honest and authentic way possible. “The story itself is a very delicate thing,” she says.

As she prepared for her role, the Peruvian-American actress took the time to speak to several children who have either been adopted or are currently in the foster care system. After listening to several stories, Moner learned that it “all boils down to raising awareness and showing [people] the truth.” Especially during a time when there are children being separated from their families, this movie serves as a reminder on the importance of love, unity and family.

The movie is set to be released on Friday, Nov. 16.

Not only is the movie being released near the holiday season, it’s also premiering during what’s considered National Adoption Awareness Month – a month in which different organizations highlight the need for adoptive families.

To learn more about the foster care system and what steps you can take to become a foster parent and adopt a child, keep an eye out for the premiere of “Instant Family” this Friday. Also, make sure you’re ready to laugh and cry back to back.


READ: She Went From Nickelodeon To The Latest “Transformers” Movie

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The New Dora The Explorer Movie Is Fighting Dangerous Stereotypes And Her Fans Are So Excited

Entertainment

The New Dora The Explorer Movie Is Fighting Dangerous Stereotypes And Her Fans Are So Excited

@doramovie / Twitter

During a political climate that is feeding off portrayals of Latinos as drug lords, criminals and sexually violent sub-humans, it’s rare to find a casting opportunity like “Dora and The Lost City of Gold.” The movie itself isn’t unpacking modern Latinx issues of our time like “Orange is the New Black” touches on mass incarceration or “Vida” dissects Latinx and queer identity. 

By itself, it makes a huge statement. Latino families deserve to go to the movies and see themselves portrayed on screen–not as underlings in a white society or combatting the very real obstacles of racism. We deserve to see a brown Latinx cast living out an action-packed plot. We deserve to see Dora the Explorer grow up to be a courageous, adventurous, bright teenager and see those traits be what set her apart from the rest. And Dora’s all-Latino cast agrees.

The Los Angeles premiere of Dora gave us intel on what it was like for stars to be part of an all-Latino cast.

@isabelamoner / Twitter

In the film, Isabela Moner gets her break out role as Dora while Michael Peña and Eva Longoria play her parents. We also see huge names like Eugenio Derbez as Alejandro Gutierrez and even Danny Trejo as the voice of Boots the monkey.

“There was no forcing or checking the box of diversity,” Eva Longoria said on the red carpet.

@evalongoria / Instagram

“If you think about Dora being Latina, you automatically get to populate her world with Latinos,” Longoria told The Hollywood Reporter. “There was no forcing or checking the box of diversity if you represent Dora and her natural culture.” Creating stories where a Latino cast is just the most natural option is more of what we need.

Longoria was shocked to learn that Dora was a beloved international icon.

@NewBeginningsE / Twitter

“I thought she was an icon for the Hispanic community but she’s global,” Longoria told Variety. “She taught English all over the world and people were learning Spanish through her. The representation matters. The fact that it’s authentically an all-Latino cast matters and I’m so proud to be part of this project in that way.”

Eugenio Derbez was in it to change the Hollywood stereotype of Latino “criminals and drug lords.”

@ederbez / Instagram

Derbez basically plays the adult chaperone explorer, Alejandro Gutierrez, but it wasn’t just that role that attracted him. He sees Dora as a “Latina superhero” and thinks that seeing positive stories of the Latino community is what entertainment needs more of. “I always wanted to change the image of Latinos in Hollywood because they’re always portraying us as criminals and drug lords,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.

Michael Peña similarly joined the project in an effort to normalize the authentic Latin family story.

@doramovie / Twitter

Granted, there’s nothing normal about uncovering ancient indigenous cities and their secrets, but for a Latina superhero, this would be her mission. At the end of the day, Peña is proud to support a strong, young Latina stereotype to get out into the Hollywood universe.

Peña told Variety that Latinx representation is “a reason to do this kind of movie. Number one, it’s going to be a fun movie and people are going to like it, but number two, 24 years ago when I started acting, this would have never happened. There was no big-budget movie that I know of that any Latin person was even starring in. It’s cool that this is just kind of normal now in a way but for me, it’s especially satisfying.”

Isabela Moner felt like playing Dora was the most natural persona to take on.

@isabelamoner / Instagram

Peruvian-American Moner is just 16 years old and taking on the role of a lifetime. “Whenever people think that a woman needs to be strong, they think that she has no emotions, is super serious, but Dora loves pink, she wears orange shorts, she loves dancing to Gloria Estefan, she’s super girly,” Moner told The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s important to break up the stereotype that women have to act like men in order to be strong.” 

“Dora and the Lost City of Gold” is out in theaters on August 9!

@mallofamerica / Twitter

Don’t miss out on watching America’s favorite little Spanish teacher grow up and out of that funny phase and into her strong, confident, chingona self. She’s going to make a lot of niñas feel strong, poderosa and worthy of being the star of their own life movie.

READ: The New Face Of Dora The Explorer On Learning English And Being Obsessed With Her Dog

The New Face Of Dora The Explorer On Learning English And Being Obsessed With Her Dog

Entertainment

The New Face Of Dora The Explorer On Learning English And Being Obsessed With Her Dog

If you haven’t met Isabela Moner yet, first, where have you been? Second, the 18-year-old Peruvian-American actress is about to blow up Hollywood. Moner is playing the role of a grown-up Dora the Explorer we all grew up with in upcoming film “Dora and the Lost City of Gold.” Spoiler alert: Dora grows out of the Spanish teacher phase and becomes a very adventurous teenager.

Isabela Moner, on the other hand, could have used an English-teaching Dora the Explorer as a child. Today, she’s bringing her culture and bilingual mind to Hollywood and it shows.

Isabela Moner was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio.

@isabelamoner / Instagram

Her mother was born in Lima, Peru and her father was born in Louisiana. Her mom immigrated to Indiana in the 80’s as an exchange student, where she eventually met Moner’s father. At home, Moner’s family spoke exclusive Spanish and Spanglish, and she struggled with English when she started going to school.

In fact, her teachers wanted to hold her back a grade because her English grammar wasn’t up to par.

@isabelamoner / Instagram

Moner was bullied for her shoddy English so much that she focused on speaking English and slowly lost some of her Spanish fluency. In an essay for PopSugar, she confesses, “I don’t think they meant it to bother me, but hearing me translate Spanish into English and jumbling phrases into things like “house brown” or “car big” would usually provoke much laughter.”

Then, she skipped two grades and got into college at age 15.

@isabelamoner / Instagram

Moner went on to major in psychology…before she even started learning how to drive. Morale of the story: fitting in is lame.

Moner feels more Peruvian than she feels American.

@isabelamoner / Instagram

All her teachers and peers thought it was strange that Moner struggled with assimilating to American culture even though she was born here. When Moner visits Peru, she feels at home, and she thanks Latinos for welcoming her “even though [she] wasn’t born on Latin American soil.”

Moner has spoken out against gun violence, asking fans to help get a bus for student activists to “March for Our Lives.”

@isabelamoner / Instagram

“PLEASE READ,” her Instagram post reads. “We’re young, but we’re not dumb. The students in Parkland, Florida have made way more of an impact and change than the Legislative branch has. And now my good friend, Sara and her friends are doing something about it in my hometown of Ohio!”

Moner is a Renaissance Woman–a singer, Broadway star and movie star.

@isabelamoner / Instagram

Moner was the first Peruvian girl to star in a Broadway show, Evita. She also became the first Latina to have a leading role in a Transformers film. She also contributed to the soundtrack for Instant Family, a film that she starred in with Mark Wahlberg and Joselin Reyes.

She is *obsessed* with her dog, Pluto.

@isabelamoner / Instagram

No, really. Pluto shares the frame with her at every single at-home fashion shoot. Sometimes, he gets his own photo shoots depicting “the morning routine of a wise man.” The wise man is Pluto.

Oh, and she brought Pluto to the #DoraMovie set on Bring Your Dog to Work Day.

@DoraMovie / Twitter

The #DoraMovie Twitter account shared this hilarious on-set video of Moner sharing a carrot with Pluto the best way she knew how.

Moner has used her powers of Dora for good, asking her fanbase for prayers for this fan.

@isabelamoner / Instagram

In a heart-breaking Instagram post, she pens, “This morning I discovered Balil is severely ill. When I first met you I had no idea of your circumstance.

When I heard the news I was so angry. I was dwelling on the fact that you might never get to drive, go to a school dance, or graduate. You remind me of my little brother. You told me you loved super heroes and that you wanted to have strength like Superman and super speed like The Flash. Your mother has such a good spirit about her. She doesn’t deserve this yet she carries no resentment.

We have very little to complain about. We may have rough days but at least we have them. What makes me so sad is his disposition. The thought of losing a soul like his. We need more people like him.

I’m not as appreciative as I should be. My faith is shaky. I’m angry. And I really don’t have words. Bilal, I sincerely wish I could take away all your pain.

I continue to praise, no matter how hard this is for me to understand. I need everyone to pray for him and his mother. Even if you’ve never stepped foot in a church. Any good energy sent his way will make the world of a difference. Thank you.”

“Dora and the Lost City of Gold” comes out August 9th.

@isabelamoner / Instagram

Be sure to support Moner, her movie parents, Eva Longoria and Eugenio Derbez and even Danny Trejo as the voice of Boots the Monkey. If  you haven’t seen the trailer yet, que estas esperando?

Plus, Isabela Moner knows que es mejor sola que mal acompañada.

@isabelamoner / Instagram

Be like Isabela Moner and get your very own “Mejor Sola” sueter only at mitú. Next time your mami wants you to put on a sweater, you’ll have one to answer to all your tía’s preguntas mismas. 😉