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.

Julio Macias
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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Get Your Jajas From These Netflix Specials To Ease Your Holiday Blues

Entertainment

Get Your Jajas From These Netflix Specials To Ease Your Holiday Blues

Juan Ocampo / NHLI via Getty Images

Nothing makes life a little better than some hearty jajajas. Whether you are alone with your fur baby or in the living room with your quaranteam, it’s good to laugh. Netflix is ready with some hilarious stand-up specials from Latino comedians.

Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias: “One Show Fits All”

Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias is back to keep us all rolling with laughter in his Netflix stand-up special. The comedian who has kept us laughing for years does not disappoint in “One Show Fits All.” The set is filled with celebrity impressions and jokes about the family and some at his own expense. His show will give you the nostalgic feels you didn’t know you needed will leaving you in stitches.

Tom Segura: “Ball Hog”

Tom Segura came to play in his Netflix stand-up special “Ball Hog.” Get ready for an uncomfortable ride through jokes about moms, dads, follow dreams, and everything in between. If you’re a parent, you’ll get his brutally honest take on parenting and protecting yoour children from anything bad by all means necessary.

Franco Escamilla: “Bienvenido al mundo”

Franco Escamilla is bringing observational humor to everyone willing to listen. If the trailer is an indicator for how funny the set is, you are in for a treat. There is something so relatable about Escamilla’s view of the world that is littered with funny moments in the most mundane tasks, like learning someone’s name.

George Lopez: “We’ll Do It For Half”

Love him or hate him, George Lopez really understands the Latino community. He knows how our families work. Not only are we a loving and united group when it comes to the outside world, we are savage with each other. Lopez’s “We’ll Do It For Half” takes you through the most incredible and wild understandings of latino families. Like, your non-Latino friends won’t understand this stand-up as deeply as your own family.

Tiffany Haddish: “They Ready”

Tiffany Haddish promised several women comics that she would help them if she made it, and she did. “They Ready” brings together a group of hilarious women comedians and gives them a chance to be seen by the Netflix audience. One of the women welcomed to the stage is Aida Rodriguez and she slays the audience. Her stories of her wild life are so funny that you will be left breathless. These women are hilarious so bundle up and get ready to laugh till it hurts.

Liss Pereira: “Reteniendo líquidos”

Liss Pereira is a Colombian comedian everyone should know about. Her take on relationships cuts deep and will educate all of you clueless men out there. Her biggest bit of wisdom is about how men and women approach relationships different. Men like to think they are the ones who are making the decision and weighing the option. That’s cute. Everyone knows that it is the woman who decides if a relationship is worth pursuing and she is not getting into one if she does not see a real future with you.

“Lugar de Mulher”

“Lugar De Mulher” is a giving Brazilian women comedians a chance to let their humor be shared with the world. You might have to turn on the subtitles to understand the Portuguese but it will be worth it. These mulheres cover all aspects of being a women in the kind of comedy that only Latin American women can.

“Zona Rosa”

Gey. Gay. Gay. “Zona Rosa” gives four LGBTQ+ comedians in Mexico their time to shine in the limelight as they tackle what is means to be queer in Mexico. The first season had four episodes and fans are waiting for the second season to drop. The comedians discuss everything from sex to drugs to learning about their own sexuality later in life. It is a wild roller coaster so buckle in and enjoy the ride.

READ: Here Are Some Latino Comedians To Brighten Up Your Instagram Feed With Some Good Jajas

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We Finally Know What Jennifer Lopez Thinks About ‘Selena: the Series’ on Netflix

Entertainment

We Finally Know What Jennifer Lopez Thinks About ‘Selena: the Series’ on Netflix

Credit: selenanetflix/Instagram; Vinnie Zuffante/Getty Images

Netflix’s new show, “Selena: The Series” is set to premiere this Friday and everyone who was a fan of the incomparable Selena Quintanilla is beside themselves with excitement.

We don’t know a ton about the upcoming series yet, just the little information that Netflix has released about the general plot and cast. Per Netflix, the series will focus on Selena as she “comes of age and realizes her dreams”.

It will also focus on her family and, of course, her music. According to reports, we also know that the Quintanilla family is involved in the series. Relative unknown Christian Serratos will be playing La Reina herself.

But what we’ve all been dying to know since the new series was announced in 2018 is: What does JLo think?

Lopez famously played Selena to great critical acclaim in 1997. Well, folks, we finally have an answer! Lopez appeared on the series’ official Instagram account to give the upcoming series her full support.

In a video posted to the account, Lopez talks about the new series. “Guys, I don’t know if you’ve heard about this new Selena series on Netflix,” Lopez says, laughing a bit because yes we all know and we literally can’t wait. “Playing Selena was kind of a landmark moment in my career. And I was so excited when I saw the trailer and heard about it.”

She also added that she thinks the new show will introduce tons of new fans to Selena’s story and her music.

“It’s a great way for this generation to get to know Selena,” Lopez continued on the Instagram video. “I love Selena. She’s such a big part of my life and my career. And I can’t wait to see it!”

Jennifer Lopez famously starred in the original movie about the Queen of Tejano music in 1997. At the time of its release, the movie was a critical and commercial hit. It’s no wonder that, in the time of spin-offs and reboots, Netflix decided to cash in on the devotion of Quintanilla’s built-in audience.

Christian Serratos is definitely feeling the pressure when it comes to portraying Selena after Lopez’s pivotal 1997 performance.

Addressing the pressure of tackling her own version of Selena Quintanilla after Jennifer Lopez’s version has become so popular over the years, Serratos said she’s trying not to let the pressure get to her.

“Sometimes I do have to remind myself that I can’t please everybody because I’m human,” she said in an interview with The Big Ticket. “But the thing I tried to do first and foremost was to honestly portray her spirit because I think that’s what made her so lovely and so iconic.”

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