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.

“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.

“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.

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.’

“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.

“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.

“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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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Says People Always Assumed He Was a Girl Growing Up Because He Had ‘Soft Features’

Entertainment

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Says People Always Assumed He Was a Girl Growing Up Because He Had ‘Soft Features’

FREDERIC J. BROWN / Getty

Dwayne Johnson, agreeably one of the most “masculine” presenting people in the world, recently revealed that people weren’t always so quick to assume he was so. In an interview on “Sunday Today with Willie Geist,” that took place earlier this week the American actor and former professional wrestler revealed that when he was a child, people often assumed he was a girl. 

Speaking about his experience with presumed gender identity, The Rock revealed that people often thought he was girl because of his “soft features.”

“I would say between the ages of 7 and 11, people thought that I was a little girl because I had really soft features and I had really soft Afro hair,” he explained in his interview with Willie Geist.

The actor even went so far as to share a time in his life as a fifth-grader who was riding on a school bus.

“I sit down next to a kid, and within 60 seconds, he goes, ‘Can I ask you something?'” The Rock recalled. “I said, ‘Yeah.’ He goes, ‘Are you a boy or a girl?'”

Drawing on this time in his life, Johnson revealed that likely this also chalks up to his frequent moves as a child.

During his childhood, Johnson’s father Rocky Johnson was a professional wrestler who often moved his family around. According to John, he attended thirteen different schools by the time he was in high school.

“I have had a Forrest Gump-ian childhood growing up,” Johnson explained in his interview. “Wrestling in the ’80s and in the ’70s was way different than it is today. A lot of the times, including my father, the wrestlers would live paycheck to paycheck.”

The former wrestler reflection on earlier days coincides with the recent premiere of the hit NBC sitcom “Young Rock” a new series based on his life.

Fans of Johnson will be glad to know that he also stars in the series.

He is also portrayed by three different actors Adrian Groulx, Bradley Constant and Uli Latukefu.

“Growing up, and you know we specifically went with these timelines in my life that were very defining times at 10 years old, 15 and 18 … there’s a lot of things in between those years that took place … but it was complicated and the relationship that I had with my dad was incredibly complicated — that was fueled by tough love,” he explained during NBC’s TCA press tour in an interview about the series.

He went onto share that his father “was kicked out of his house at 13 and he was homeless, so that then shaped the man who then raised me… And in that complication came an extraordinary life that was full of travel. I lived in 13 different states by the time I was 13 years old, also lived in New Zealand.”

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Yes, Beyoncé Really Did Run Into Selena Quintanilla At A Mall Back In The Day

Entertainment

Yes, Beyoncé Really Did Run Into Selena Quintanilla At A Mall Back In The Day

Netflix

Part 2 of Netflix’s “Selena: The Series,” is currently streaming, which means fans of the late Tejano singer are getting a chance to learn more about her origin stories. In the second part of the series, fans can expect to see more of the icon’s tragically brief but beautifully successful life. The new episodes chronicle Selena Quintanilla’s rise as a superstar and will no doubt make fans of the singer feel a deep sense of love for her.

Particularly when it comes to one episode in particular!

Part 2’s episode 6, called “Lo Más Bello,” sees the lives of two superstars collide.

The endearing episode sees Selena, played by Christian Serratos, on a shopping trip to an outdoor mall with her mother and sister. It’s then that the young singer catches the eye of a young girl who is also with her mother and sister.

Perhaps it’s real seeing real, but in either case in this episode, the young girl stops to gaze at Selena. She’s star-struck. In the episode, the young girl’s mother asks who she’s looking at and the girl replies, “Selena, a famous singer. Be quiet!”

Knowing that her daughter is a singer herself, the mother encourages her to introduce herself. Of course, the young girl is too shy to say hello but she does wave.

When Selena walks away, the young girl’s mother reveals a fun twist when she says “Beyoncé Knowles, you better learn not to be afraid of people if you ever want to be famous too.”

Like we said…

Real recognizing real.

Selena
“Selena: The Series” / Netflix

While it might seem like the producers took creative liberty, it turns out they actually didn’t. And it makes sense. Fans of Selena and Beyoncé know that the two singers are Texan-icons.

In a recent interview for MTV Trés, Beyoncé revealed that she actually did see Selena, in the Galleria Mall in Houston. “I didn’t say much to Selena because I wasn’t a celebrity,” Beyoncé said in an interview for MTV Trés back in the day. “I just saw her and said hello and kept it moving. Definitely growing up in Texas I heard her on the radio, and I think listening to her album, even though I didn’t know exactly what she was saying, it helped me in the studio with my pronunciation.”

Fans of the Texan starlets might also remember how Beyonce, in a 2007 interview with People en Español, spoke about her love of Selena.

At the time, Beyoncée was celebrating her re-release of six Spanish-language tracks. “I listened to Selena all the time” she recalled at the time of the interview. “She’s close to me because of where I’m from.”

Both “Selena: The Series” Parts 1 and 2 are streaming right now on Netflix! Check them out!

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