Entertainment

Jorge Diaz Is All About Owning Your Latino Identity

You might remember Jorge Diaz from “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” or as Paulie on “East Los High.” Now, Diaz lends his voice to Disney’s “Elena of Avalor” as Gabe and he couldn’t be more excited to me a part of the cast for a show featuring the first Latina Disney princess. mitú spoke with Diaz about being a Latino in media and being part of bringing the first Disney Latina princess to life.

Jorge Diaz has built a solid career telling stories of Latinos from a Latino point of view, but that was not his intention.

Jorge Diaz / Facebook
CREDIT: Jorge Diaz / Facebook

“I kind of consider myself a blue collar actor. I’m not just here to tell stories like, ‘Who wants to hire me? I’m here to tell your story.’ It just happened to be that case [of doing several Latino stories] which is, now looking back at it, it’s been pretty beautiful to be part of these projects that are pioneering new faces that you don’t see in the media too often,” Diaz told mitú. “To be part of ‘Elena of Avalor,’ I remember as soon as I read that, the first Latina Disney princess, I was like, ‘Woah. That sounds amazing. It’s about time. I hope I get to be a part of it.’ Now, here I am.”

“I just look for projects that ring true to my heart and if it’s a story I want to tell,” Diaz told mitú.


Diaz feels like “Elena of Avalor” is one of those projects. As a Latino in media, Diaz is proud of his name and of the work he has done to get more new faces on the screens.

For Diaz, “Elena of Avalor” is more than just a kid’s show, it’s validation for an entire group of people who have not been prominently featured in media.

I'm a toy! ? #elenaofavalor

A post shared by Jorge Diaz (@iamjorgediaz) on


“Suddenly, your experience becomes normal and accepted,” Diaz told mitú about the importance of young Latinxs watching the show. “If you see something like them eating pozole or them mention tamales and they’re doing posadas in the episode then it’s just like what we do. Suddenly the psychological effect it has on children is that their experience is completely normal and they are good enough and they are enough and who you are is beautiful.”

And a huge part of his pride comes from the dolls because of what they represent in the grand scheme of things.


Diaz remembers seeing the Doll Test video that went viral on Facebook. The video, if you haven’t seen it, shows young children at a table with a white doll and a black doll. They were asked which was bad and which was nice and many of the children chose the darker doll as the bad one. But now, with “Elena of Avalor” dolls, Diaz thinks things are changing.

“Now I see this doll when I go into the Disney store and I see it all around, and it’s not just for Latina children. It’s for a little boy. Like, this little 10 year old white boy was like, ‘That’s my favorite show, man,'” Diaz recalled to mitú. “Seeing this little brown doll up there that’s gorgeous, that’s a leader, that’s compassionate, that’s thoughtful and has a beautiful family and is courageous. That’s what it’s about. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s about and it’s a reminder to me and it’s a reminder to other artists that we have the ability to tell these stories and to have it have a beautiful effect on the next generation.”

This is something he credits several other actors and entertainers before him, especially Gina Rodriguez.

Happy birthday to this lil magical pumpkin unicorn being of Light @hereisgina ????

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“A woman I really respect and she happens to be one of my best friends is Gina Rodriguez,” Diaz told mitú. “She’s done so much just in the past two years and her career has taken off, but what she’s going to do is going to be so beautiful and she’s handled it with such grace. To be the lead of a series, it’s crazy hours. It’s insane hours and she handled it with such grace and she’s so warm to every single person on set, outside, on the street. She carries herself with so much love, so much grace, so much professionalism, so much class and it really inspired me.”

But Diaz doesn’t forget to remember and thank actors from the generation before him who really did break down walls.

Guys, so I'm a DISNEY Character. I know right!?! Although I may only be 1/4 a stud that this dude is, I've always had childhood dreams of voicing cartoons, and this is finally premiering TOMORROW! So grab all the kids in your fam and watch tomorrow night because (1) it's SO adorable & fun (2) there's amazing songs & music you'll be singing all week long (yes, you will be hearing me sing this season ? watch out, Michael Buble) (3) there's a SHLOAD of AWESOME people behind this & amazing humans guest starring all season long aaaand (4) because it's The FIRST LATINA PRINCESS EVER!!! And she's empowering & relatable & positive & a leader. What a great image for young girls everywhere, right??? So, Tomorrow on @disneychannel #ElenaOfAvalor #Disney #DisneyChannel ?

A post shared by Jorge Diaz (@iamjorgediaz) on


“I am friends with so many of those actors that are like 10-15 years older than me, and they’re just like, ‘You know, this isn’t my real name, by the way. I had to change my name because I was tired of playing gang members, I was tired of playing a prostitute, I was tired of playing a maid.’ I was like, ‘Wow. I didn’t know that,’” Diaz told mitú. “My name is Jorge Eduardo Diaz. That’s as Latino as they come and I can’t change that. Part of me, when I was younger, I was thinking about that because I was like, ‘Should I change my name? Should I just make it George D. or something like that.’ That came across my mind but then I was like, ‘No, man.’ I’m just going to do this and I’m going to do it as Jorge Eduardo Diaz.”

And he has some advice for any other Latinxs considering a career in entertainment.


“The advice I have for anyone trying to pursue acting, you really have to fall in love with the art of it. If you’re trying to be famous, if you’re kind of attracted to celebrity life or what you see on TV, it’s all fake glamor,” Diaz told mitú. “Just train and put yourself out there. Know that your time will come ultimately. I’ve been doing this for years before I got to a point where I was working consistently. Right now is such a beautiful time in the industry. There are going to be more and more doors opening and there are more artists coming up and they are opening more doors and I feel like it’s going to continue to change.”


READ: ‘Elena Of Avalor’s’ Big Secret Will Finally Be Revealed In This Flick

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Elena Of Avalor Is Going To Be The Queen And We Love To See The Glow Up

Culture

Elena Of Avalor Is Going To Be The Queen And We Love To See The Glow Up

Matt Stroshane / Getty Images

“Elena of Avalor” is coming to an end. The show offered people the first Latina Disney princess and that kind of representation is so vital and so important. Three seasons later, the show is coming to an end and the final show is going to change everything.

“Elena of Avalor” changed representation in Disney and it was a long time coming.

Elena gave Disney fans their first Latina Disney princess. For years, Disney was facing pressure to start to include more characters of color. “The Princess and The Frog” was Disney’s first answer to that call and “Elena of Avalor” came after. Finally seeing someone who represented Latinos was a reality.

The final season is going to be the longest so that Elena could get the finale she deserves.

“It has been a tremendous honor for me to bring Disney’s first Latina princess to the screen,” Gerber told The Hollywood Reporter. “Everyone involved with Elena of Avalor, from the creative team to the unbelievable cast and crew, felt the responsibility to get this right. We created the character of Elena with the hope that she would be a role model, not just for young Latina girls watching, but for all children to be able to see what a true leader looks like.”

This show was so impactful, far beyond just the children that watched it.

“From the beginning, Elena’s story arc has been that she would one day become queen,” Gerber told The Hollywood Reporter. “With the series finale, the creative team has been able to bring Elena’s story to the thrilling conclusion that we always envisioned. I can’t wait for viewers to see the final chapter in Elena’s epic adventure.”

Elena’s legacy within the Latino community is going to last forever, that’s for sure.

From all of the “Elena of Avalor” fans, thank you. This show gave us a chance to see our cultures reflected and celebrated with the Disney magic behind it. What a special moment in entertainment this is.

READ: ‘Elena Of Avalor’s’ Big Secret Will Finally Be Revealed In This Flick

‘Hamilton’: Disney Plus Drops Trailer For Musical Film — Watch Now!

Entertainment

‘Hamilton’: Disney Plus Drops Trailer For Musical Film — Watch Now!

Nicholas Hunt / Getty

Good news!

…Wait for it…

Those days of saving upwards of $849 for Hamilton tickets on Broadway are long behind you. The Broadway hit is coming straight to your screens courtesy of Disney +.

That’s right!

On Sunday, the streaming platform dropped the first official trailer for the Broadway rap-story about Alexander Hamilton and other historical figures. 

According to Variety, the production was filmed at New York City’s Richard Rodgers Theatre in 2016. From the trailer, it looks as if production perfectly captures the world of Broadway and the musical’s original stage production. You might remember that in 2016, the musical was nominated for 16 awards and eventually took home 11 awards, including Best Musical. That same year it received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

The theatrical production features Lin-Manuel Miranda as Hamilton, Daveed Diggs as Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson, Renée Elise Goldsberry as Angelica Schuyler, Jonathan Groff as King George, and Christopher Jackson as George Washington.

The film was originally slated for a theatrical release in October of 2021.

The release was fortunately moved up to July 3 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In a recent interview with Variety, Miranda said “What I’m most excited about [is] you all have that friend that is like, ‘I saw it with the original cast.’ We’re stealing that brag from everyone because you’re all going to see it with the original cast.”

Speaking about sharing Hamilton with audiences via the big screen, Miranda told Entertainment Tonight at the 2020 Oscars that he was “very proud of 2016 us, because we had the foresight to film the show with the original company before the principals started leaving, so we’ve got the snapshot,” Miranda shared. “I’m just really excited that we get to share it because we know how hard it is [to see it].”

Hamilton will be available to stream July, 3 on Disney+.