Entertainment

‘To Wong Foo’ Is An Undeniable Gay Cult Classic And John Leguizamo’s Role As A Drag Queen Is Still One Of The Best Performances

“To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Juli Newmar” is one of the greatest gay cult classics of the 20th century. The movie follows three drag queens, played by John Leguizamo, Patrick Swayze, and Wesley Snipes as they make their way from New York to California for a drag queen pageant. The movie, released in 1995, gave the drag queen and LGBTQ+ community a diverse and exceptionally rare moment of representation during the 1990s. Now, since the movie is being release in Blu-Ray, John Leguizamo sat down and told Shout! Factory what he did to get into the character of Chi Chi Rodriguez.

John Leguizamo gave Latina drag queens rare and exceptional representation during the 1995 gay cult classic “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar.”

Credit: @mathewrodriguez / Twitter

For so many Latino fans of the movie, it is the first time they ever saw themselves represented in media. Chi Chi Rodriguez was a major moment for queer Latino representation in the 1990s when being gay was still taboo in mainstream media. Alongside co-stars Wesley Snipes and Patrick Swayze, Leguizamo was able to bring a Latina drag queen to a larger audience.

Now that the movie is being released on Blu-Ray, Leguizamo sat down with Shout! Factory and discussed what it took to be Chi Chi Rodriguez.

“I was just like, ‘Oh my God. Let me sink my teeth into this Chi Chi Rodriguez. I know how to bring her to life,” Leguizamo told Shout! Factory. “‘I know I can just ramp it up, man. Like, Chi Chi Rodriguez on steroids.’”

Leguizamo wanted to make sure that he truly captured what it meant to be a Latino drag queen.

“I’m a writer so I look at the three-act structure of a screenplay and I always want to have an arc to my character. If you’re the lead, you have a large arch, and that’s incredible,” Leguizamo explains. “But, you know, I was the third lead so my arc was a little smaller but it was good enough for me to go from being sort of rough around the edges to being this polished drag queen. That was my journey, you know, and it was all about accepting my ethnicity.”

Chi Chi Rodriguez’s story arc was hyper-focused on coming to terms with her identity.

“I had my face done really light all the time because I have family members who [have] issues with self-hate and race,” Leguizamo says. “So their face skin will be like five times lighter than the color of their neck. So, that always tripped me out so I wanted to put a little bit of that into it.”

Leguizamo brought his authentic experience to the role and it centered around makeup and colorism that is toxic within the Latino community.

“At the end of the movie, my neck and my face matched,” Leguizamo explains. “My face is much darker. So, that was the arc. Chi Chi becomes polished but accepting of herself, mature, romantically grows. She just becomes instead of a taker, she becomes a giver.”

You can watch Joh Leguizamo’s full interview below.

Check out “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar” and get your pride celebrations started off right.

READ: The 24 Slayingest Latina Queens From ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

The Definitive List of Latinos in the ‘Star Wars’ Universe

Entertainment

The Definitive List of Latinos in the ‘Star Wars’ Universe

Credit: felineastronaut/Twiiter; theguyinthechair18/Instagram; Star Wars/Twitter

Recently, news broke that beloved Mexican-American director Robert Rodriguez is set to executive producer Disney+’s new Star Wars series, The Book of Boba Fett. This news broke at the same event that Disney announced that Rosario Dawson will be getting her own Star Wars series on Disney+, a Mandalorian spinoff entitled Ahsoka.

Pair these events with Pedro Pascal headlining The Mandalorian, and it appears that Disney is making some real and concerted effort to hire Latino talent.

And the pattern didn’t just start this year. Since the franchise’s reboot in 2015, Disney has consistently hired Latinos to take part in Star Wars Universe in front of and behind the camera.

In light of this, we’ve compiled a definitive list of all of the Latinos that have been involved in the Star Wars Universe. Take a look below!

1. Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron

Credit: MayThe4rceBWYou/Twitter

Guatemalan-American actor Oscar Isaac was one of the first Latinos to set off Disney’s streak of hiring Latino talent for the Star Wars franchise. Isaac (nee Óscar Isaac Hernández Estrada) played Poe Dameron, a fighter pilot who rose in the ranks to become General of the Resistance. He appeared in all three movies of the Star Wars reboot trilogy: The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker.

2. Pedro Pascal as Mando

Credit: theguyinthechair18/Instagram

Chilean-American actor Pedro Pascal plays the titular character in The Mandalorian (his true name is a spoiler), a solitary bounty hunter who travels to the “outer reaches” of the galaxy in order to protect Baby Yoda.

3. Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano

Credit: Star Wars/Twitter

This season, Rosario Dawson played Ahsoka Tano in The Mandolorian–an alien of the Togruta race who is also a Jedi knight and army commander. It was also recently announced that the actress of Cuban and Puerto Rican descent would be headlining a spinoff series on Disney+ entitled Ahsoka.

4. Diego Luna as Cassian Andor

Credit: felineastronaut/Twitter

Mexican actor Diego Luna played Rebel Alliance soldier Cassian Andor in 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Luna will also star in his own standalone series revolving around Cassian Andor on Disney+ called Andor.

5. Lupita Nyong’o as Maz Kanata

Credit: sw_holocron/Twitter

Mexican-born actress Lupita Nyong’o played alien pirate queen Maz Kanata via motion capture in all three of the Star Wars reboot trilogy: The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker.

6. Benicio Del Toro as DJ

Credit: ComicBookNOW/Twitter

Boricua actor Benicio Del Toro played the villainous hacker DJ in The Last Jedi.

7. Jimmy Smits as Senator Bail Organa

Credit: ComicBookNOW/Twitter

Brooklyn-born Boricua actor Jimmy Smits played Bail Organa in two of the Star Wars prequel movies, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith as well as reprising his role in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

8. Horatio Sanz as Mythrol

Credit: TheSWU/Twitter

Although you might not recognize him through such heavy character makeup, Chilean-America comedian Horatio Sanz played Mythrol, a wanted fugitive that was carbon-frozen by Pascal’s character in the first episode of The Mandolorian.

9. John Leguizamo as Gor Koresh

Credit: TheRoninNews/Twitter

Again, you’d be hard-pressed to recognize John Leguizamo amidst all the heavy alien makeup, but the Colombian-American actor played the character Gor Koresh in The Mandolorian–boastful forager of the Abyssin alien race.

10. Robert Rodriguez

Credit: Getty Images

As we reported above, Robert Rodriguez is a legendary Mexican-American director who helmed a popular episode of The Mandolorian entitled “The Tragedy”. He is now set to executive produce a new Disney+ Star Wars series called The Book of Boba Fett.

11. Adria Arjona

Credit: adriaarjona/Instagram

Puerto Rican actress Adria Arjona has not officially appeared in any Star Wars properties yet, but it was recently announced that she will be appearing in Diego Luna’s Star Wars spinoff series Andor as a yet-to-be-named character.

12. Pablo Hidalgo

Credit: pabloarteche/Twitter

Pablo Hidalgo is the definition of behind-the-scenes talent. The Chilean-Canadian LucasFilm creative executive is in charge of keeping narrative and creative cohesion between all of the stories within the Star Wars Universe. In essence, he is the definitive Star Wars expert.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

These Christmas Movies Will Make Your Season Festive And Bright

Entertainment

These Christmas Movies Will Make Your Season Festive And Bright

overturefilms / YouTube

Christmas is here and it is time to get super festive, y’all. One of the best ways to get into the holiday spirit is by watching the movies that will take you to that place. Here are some Latino Christmas movies that will get you feeling all Christmas-y.

“Christmas Bounty”

WWE brings you this love story that follows a woman and her secret. The school teacher (Francia Raisa) is hiding her past as a bounty hunter when she gets pulled back in. Raisa’s character goes back to her hometown and has to work with her ex-boyfriend to catch a bounty that got away.

“This Christmas”

“This Christmas” is a family holiday movie with serious issues. A family’s matriarch assembles her family for the first time in four years. The holiday gathering is filled with stress and drama as strains show within the family. It is a real look at what happens when some families with secrets come together and confrontations happen.

“Holiday In Handcuffs”

This one is so wild it is worth a watch. Melissa Joan Hart plays a woman who is desperate to show her family that she is finally in love. How? Well, she kidnaps a man played by Mario Lopez and takes him to her family’s house for Christmas. We are talking felony kidnapping but it’s all cool because, as you would expect at Christmas, they fall in love.

“Happiest Season”

Hulu’s original movie “Happiest Season” is a lesbian Christmas love song that will melt your heart. Kristen Stewart plays a woman suckered into going to her girlfriend’s parents’ home for Christmas. But the catch is that her girlfriend isn’t out. Aubrey Plaza plays a woman jilted by Stewart’s girlfriend and helps the young woman navigate her way through this family.

“A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas”

Pulse pounding and hilarious. “A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas” is exactly what you would expect from the franchise. Danny Trejo plays Harold’s father-in-law who wants a perfect Christmas, something Harold is determined to make happen. When Kumar gets involved, things go sideways fast and the two friends are left figuring out how to save the holiday.

“Nothing Like The Holidays”

A Puerto Rican family gathers for what might be their last Christmas together. The family tries to make the most of the time together and, as you would expect, lessons are learned and familial bonds are made stronger. There is something so powerful about gathering during the holidays.

READ: We Sit Down With José Feliciano To Discuss the 50th Anniversary of His Christmas Masterpiece, ‘Feliz Navidad’

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com