Entertainment

Julio Macias Was Born In Mexico City, But He Assimilated When He Moved To The U.S. And Lost Touch With His Roots — Until He Landed A Part In ‘On My Block’

Part of the appeal of “On My Block” is the resounding connections with its fans is its ability to paint stereotypical characters in a completely new light. The show is giving Latinos a chance to be represented in media without the negative stereotypes we see in media all the time. Either the characters are given qualities we don’t see or the stereotypical roles are given a different depth that just speaks to us.

One example of that is the tough head of the neighborhood gang—Spooky (played by actor Julio Macias), who happens to be the older brother of Cesar Diaz, one of the show’s protagonists.

Spooky showed on season one he had a much more multifaceted backstory than audiences first thought. In an exclusive interview with mitú, Julio Macias talks about how Spooky wants the best for his brother and how playing him allowed him to connect more to being a Latino in this generation.

Thanks to Spooky, Julio Macias feels more connected to his Latino roots.

Courtesy of PV Public Relations

“I think the core four all knew Oscar before we were Spooky, before when he was a kid,” Julio Macias says. “They all knew Oscar as well, so I think that’s the reason they don’t mess with him in that sense. They know he is coming from a broken past, but he wants an optimistic future not for him, but for his brother.”

That’s some deep stuff right there.

It was that touching beach scene in which Spooky reveals all the ways he took care of Cesar when they were kids that first attracted Macias to even play the role of a gang member.

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“What attracted me to the role was the beach scene. It was the first thing that I read that I auditioned for the role,” he says.

He added Spooky’s lines in that scene convinced him to give that role a second chance.

“I had that pre-judgment of that character even before I played him,” Julio Macias admits.

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Macias added: “What attracted me was that scene is really heartfelt, and he is coming from a place of love and is protecting his brother in the way he can.”

Macias credits the talented cast and crew for the ability to bring range to Spooky’s character.

“I’m very happy [creators] Lauren, Jeremy and Eddie allowed me to be vulnerable. It was written in a certain way, but we played with it and working with Diego [Tinoco] was fantastic,” Julio Macias says. “It’s not me—it’s a village, it’s the writers, the directors. It morphed into let’s explore this character on a deeper level, and you wouldn’t get to see that in that character [usually.]”

Macias, who was born in Mexico City and moved to the U.S. with his family as a kid, says that he tried to assimilate into the culture as much as he could so he wouldn’t be seen as ‘other.’

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“I constantly tried to talk like them [his peers at school], and tried to fit in by blending in,” he says.

Playing Spooky allowed him to come into his own as a an actor—and a Latino.

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“So far in my career, this is by far the best character,” Macias says. “It’s a blessing—it really is—not only for opening my roots and my culture, and my place in this conversation. And the conversation will continue and push in the right direction.

“And besides from that, that Netflix and Lauren [Iungerich] allowed me to create a character that was so removed from myself,” Julio Macias adds.

Macias feels #blessed playing Spooky allowed him to be anything but boxed in.

“As a Latino, you try to blend in and incorporate yourself even as an actor. I just wanted to be an actor, not like ‘that Mexican actor or Latino actor,’” he says.

“Once I started playing this character, I[asked] ‘Why didn’t I lean into it before?’ This role opened up my understanding of who I am and my culture and my place in all of this,” Macias explained.

Now that season 3 has a definite greenlight, Macias says he wants to “throw a wrench” in what audiences expect of Spooky.

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“One thing I would like to do because this would be fun as an actor—we’ve seen Spooky bark and see why people are scared of him, but we still need to understand what happened for him to make [these] choices. I would like to complicate the character, to explore that,” He says.

Looks like we will all have to wait and see what’s in store for him and the rest of the cast when the show returns for its third season!

On My Block seasons one and two are currently streaming on Netflix.  

READ: Exclusive: ‘On My Block’ Co-Creator Eddie Gonzalez Discusses How His Childhood Came To Life On The Show

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Gabriel Fernandez’s Mother, Pearl Fernandez, Is Trying to Have Her Murder Conviction Thrown Out

Things That Matter

Gabriel Fernandez’s Mother, Pearl Fernandez, Is Trying to Have Her Murder Conviction Thrown Out

Photos: State of California, Gabriel’s Justice/Facebook

Gabriel Fernandez’s mother, Pearl Fernandez, is trying to have her murder conviction thrown out. The 37-year-old woman has been in jail since 2018 for the murder and torture of her eight-year old son.

Pearl Fernandez is petitioning the court for resentencing, hoping to have her first-degree murder and/or second-degree murder charges thrown out.

Fernandez is hoping to have her sentence vacated based off of new changes to the California state penal code. “I think that she feels that somehow maybe, you know, the special circumstance will be dismissed or maybe she’ll have a chance that the D.A. will agree with the petition,” Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami said to CBSLA.

In June 2018, a judge sentenced Pearl Fernandez to life without parole. The judge charged Pearl Fernandez with the 2013 torture and killing of her eight-year-old son, Gabriel Fernandez.

On May 22, 2013, Gabriel Fernandez died after suffering a fatal beating from his mother. Pearl Fernandez was allegedly angry that he didn’t clean up his toys.

The details of Pearl and her boyfriend’s lengthy torture campaign against Gabriel Fernandez are both gruesome and numerous. Over the course of his eight-month stay with Isauro Aguirre, the couple broke his bones, burned him with cigarettes, pepper-sprayed him, and forced him to eat his own vomit as well as animal feces. And that is just a short-list of what they did.

The case came to national attention after the release of the 2020 Netflix documentary, “The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez“. The documentary shone a spotlight on the insidious nature of child abuse. It also highlighted the systematic failures of the social services system that fails to protect children.

Elected officials have expressed their disgust at Pearl Fernandez for trying to escape justice by taking advantage of updated laws.

“The policies and directives from my office and these new laws created by the Legislature are emboldening murderers of children to apply to be re-sentenced,” said Deputy DA Hatami to City News Service. “This is completely unfair to the surviving families and their loved ones.”

He continued: “Families now have to relive all the horror that was perpetrated upon a small and helpless child. Based upon all the evidence presented at the grand jury, which was made public, and the jury trial, Pearl Fernandez was a major participant in the torture and murder of little Gabriel.”

It seems obvious by the fact that Pearl Fernandez is trying to get out of jail after torturing her son to death, that she isn’t remorseful about her actions.

Any other mother who killed her son would probably want to spend the rest of her life in jail instead of trying to find a way to get out of it.

If you believe someone you know is experiencing–or committing–child abuse, there are resources to help. Call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. Staying vigilant could help save a child like Gabriel Fernandez.

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Regé-Jean Page Is Leaving ‘Bridgerton’ and We’re Devastated

Entertainment

Regé-Jean Page Is Leaving ‘Bridgerton’ and We’re Devastated

Courtesy Netflix

There is some very bad news for “Bridgerton” fans. On Friday, Netflix announced that Regé-Jean Page is not returning for the second season of the smash-hit Shondaland series. Regé-Jean Page played the dashing Duke Simon Basset in the first season.

Netflix told the world that Regé-Jean Page would not be returning to “Bridgerton” via a statement written in the voice of Lady Whistledown.

“While all eyes turn to Lord Anthony Bridgerton’s quest to find a Viscountess, we bid adieu to Regé-Jean Page, who so triumphantly played the Duke of Hastings. We’ll miss Simon’s presence onscreen, but he will always be a part of the Bridgerton family,” Lady Whistledown wrote.

They also added: “Daphne will remain a devoted wife and sister, helping her brother navigate the upcoming social season and what it has to offer – more intrigue and romance than my readers may be able to bear.”

Apparently, it was Regé-Jean Page’s decision not to return to the multicultural costume drama.

Although the role of duke Simon Basset shot Page to stardom, he feels that it’s now time for him to move onto bigger and better things. In an interview with Variety, Page said that Bridgerton producers always told him that his role would be a “one-season arc” with a “beginning, middle, end”.

“[I thought] ‘That’s interesting,’ because then it felt like a limited series,” said Page. “I get to come in, I get to contribute my bit and then the Bridgerton family rolls on.”

According to Bridgerton producers, the next season will largely revolve around Anthony Bridgerton (played by Jonathan Bailey) as he tries to nab the love of his life.

Unfortunately, that storyline doesn’t seem quite as appealing to Bridgerton fans who loved to stare at Regé-Jean Page’s face for hours on end.

“Well, not sure what the point of watching this now,” said one disgruntled Twitter user. “We all know that Simon was the reason why most of us were watching this :/”

Fans of the book series, however, were much quicker to jump to Regé-Jean Page’s defense.

“Guys, each season is about one brother/sister, first season was about Daphne, second season will be about Anthony!” wrote another fan. “Simon won’t be the main character as he was. Accept Anthony and Kate [the new love interest]”. They added later: “The name [of the show] is ‘Bridgerton’ not Duke of Hastings.”

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