entertainment

Latino Actors Who Overcame Jail Time To Find Success In Hollywood

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Life has its ups and downs. Some times, life is great and everything is really going your way. Other times, life gets tough, you make bad decisions and those decision can haunt you. These Latino actors didn’t want to have their rap sheet be the only thing people knew about them. They worked hard on getting sober, overcoming obstacles and eventually found starring roles in feature films and TV series. There is always room to honor those who have grown and changed to be the best they can be.

1. Danny Trejo

Around his 20s, actor and restaurateur Danny Trejo was in and out of jail. Trejo’s acting break came when he was a youth drug counselor for an actor on the set of a movie and Trejo was asked to be an extra in the film. From that role, Trejo continued to land additional roles in film and TV series. In 2016 he took his talents outside of just the entertainment industry and opened his first of three restaurants, Trejo’s Tacos. 

2. Michelle Rodriguez

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Often seen as tough Letty Ortiz in the “Fast and the Furious” franchise, Michelle Rodriguez conquered a troubled personal life to make it to a lead in a blockbuster film franchise. Rodriguez had been arrested for assault against her former roommate before charges were dropped, and she also been arrested for DUI. She completed her community service requirements in 2009 and has not had legal troubles since then.

3. Johnny Ortiz

By the time he was 18, Johnny Ortiz had been surrounded by an upbringing filled with drugs and gangs, and had already spent time in jail. He shared with Project Eñye that while he was in jail, he prayed for a second chance. That second chance came in the form of an acting role after meeting his future life coach at a career day. He has had roles in the feature film “McFarland, USA” and in the TV series “American Crime.” In the video, Ortiz shares an important nugget of wisdom we could all learn from, “You create if you want to be happy, if you want to be sad, if you want to be mad.” Good to know he is creating his own reality. 

4. Richard Cabral

“American Crime” actor Richard Cabral went from being a gang member looking at the possibility of a 35-year sentence to being up for an Emmy after his role on the ABC series. After turning his life around through the help of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, Cabral was able to focus on casting auditions and eventually landed his Emmy-nominated role.


READ: Meet The Priest And Program Who Helped Richard Cabral Go From Gang Member To Emmy Nominee

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No Matter How Famous He Gets, Bad Bunny Will Never Forget The Place And People That Made Him

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No Matter How Famous He Gets, Bad Bunny Will Never Forget The Place And People That Made Him

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Bad Bunny has had one of the biggest year any artist could ever dream of. From his ultra tiny sunglasses, bright print button downs and nail polish to his baritone luxe voice, he is the emerging Latin trap daddy we’ve all wanted.

He has garnered almost half a dozen Telemundo Latin American Music Awards nominations, and scored the top charting summer banger with Cardi B., “I Like It.” What you don’t know is how he spends his time when he’s not on tour.

Bad Bunny’s birth name is Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio.

CREDIT: @badbunnypr / Instagram

He told Billboard that when he was a young kid in school, people just started calling him canejo. He says he doesn’t know why but he ran with it.

In another interview, he told them, “Because rabbits are tender and pretty.” 🐰

He has two younger brothers, Bernie y Bysael.

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One of them, Bernie Martínez Ocasio, age 21, is coming along on Bad Bunny’s next tour to help out. They have an even younger brother, Bysael, age 16, who is looking at a professional baseball career.

Bad Bunny has only released singles.

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Enough singles to fill a 90-minute arena show, pero still. The story goes that while he was releasing his music on SoundCloud, DJ Luian got into “Diles” and signed him to his record label. That gave him the opportunity to work with more Latino artists.

However, he’s finally working on an album right now.

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It’s going to be called “La Nueva Religión.” The Fader reports that the few tracks they’ve heard so far sound like “’90s hip-house, but not in a corny or nostalgic way.”

He wants the album to reflect who he was, is and will be.

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He tells The Fader, “The reference tracks are really premature, but like, what I want for this record — the sounds, the vibe, the ambiance — are more of the things I like, more of me, more of what I am, and more of what I think is my generation, those born in the ’90s and the ’00s. From childhood, I’ve had a lot of goals of things that I want to do in music. When I release my record, there are going to be more songs to give people an understanding that my musical concept can be different — but also me.”

So who was el conejito? Bad Bunny was born and raised in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico.

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He’s super close with his crew back home, and, now, when he’s home from tour, he rents out the fanciest Airbnb he can find and they just kick back. He says that he tries to spend as much time as possible with them, to not be changed by the fame.

He knew he wanted to be a singer since he was five years old, and sung in the choir.

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His father was a truck driver and his mother a retired schoolteacher. Bad Bunny says that his mother is a very religious Catholic woman and they spent a lot of time at church.

He likes clowning around and making people laugh.

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After he quit the choir at 13 when he felt he was “too old for this,” he started experimenting with freestyling to make his friends laugh.

He was recording his own tracks in private so that no one would know.

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He tells The Fader, “[When] I started freestyling, everyone liked it and it was very funny, but in private I did it for real. Then people started to motivate me saying, ‘Why don’t you put out music, put it online, put it here, put it on Facebook, whatever whatever’ and I went, ‘No no no.’ But little by little, something was working in my mind and I said, ‘It’s true, I need to put something out.’”

Bad Bunny was bagging groceries when he became SoundCloud famous for “Diles.”

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At the same time, he was in college at the University of Puerto Rico, taking classes in audiovisual communication. He was also immersing himself in Héctor Lavoe, Vico C, Marc Anthony and Daddy Yankee, leading him to have a diverse range you can just feel from track to track.

Today, he is el padre de Latin trap.

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Latin trap is owning the top charts, from Cardi B. spitting in the Latin remix of “Bodak Yellow” as the self-proclaimed “de el trap soy la mamá” to Bad Bunny to their collabs: we have a whole new, much needed genre for our Latinx souls.

READ: Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About The One And Only Daddy Yankee

His family home is still running on three generators after Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

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Immediately after the hurricane passed, he flew home to personally deploy water, food and generators to his hometown. He’s also openly questioned Trump’s presidency, producing and wearing a T-Shirt that says, “Tu eres Tweetero o presidente?”

He dedicated “Estamos Bien” to Puerto Rico victims on the Jimmy Fallon Show.

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Bad Bunny had his first television debut and used the time to rap a rallying call for Puerto Ricans everywhere. In the backdrop, we saw footage from his home town, and from his own mouth: Over 3,000 Puerto Ricans have died because of Hurricane Maria and President Trump is still in denial.

Bad Bunny is also, no question, redefining masculinity.

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Homophobes have come after him for how he presents and he responded in a high-key ultra machísmo fashion, telling them that he would punish them by impregnating their wives and making them raise his children.

Bad Bunny won’t work with stylists. He’s got it.

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Bad Bunny has elevated all of us. Before he started coming around, fashion was fashion. Bad Bunny brings the gender bending fashun our generation is beyond ready for.

READ: 21 Things You Didn’t know about J Balvin

He’s also known for accessorizing his nails like I’ve never done.

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Talk about bringing a ’90s childhood feel to the world That chain link “S” on his thumb is already giving me feelings. We can’t wait for him to drop his new album.

His style is heavily influenced by the skater community.

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His friend, DJ Orma told The Fader, “Here in Vega Baja, almost nobody used to wear shorts above the knee, because people thought they were ‘gay’ or something. But in the skater community, that’s normal. He likes that skate swag.”

His favorite brands are Gucci and Adidas.

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A combo as eclectic and classic as the man himself. Oh, another fun fact: he’s obsessed with wrestling. You might have noticed the wrestler in the “Chambea” music video.

Only Bad Bunny would do that.

The man is one of the most humble artist out here.

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When asked about how he feels about snagging the hit summer jam with Cardi B. and J Balvin, he shyly told The Fader, “I think if I keep working in the way that I am, from the heart and from passion and with love, well, the fruits of that will keep coming.” All in Spanish, claro.

His latest release is a collaboration with Will Smith and Marc Anthony.

CREDIT: @badbunnypr / Instagram

Literally, Bad Bunny’s dream came true. He worked with his very own icon, Marc Anthony, the Puerto Rican King of all Kings. If you haven’t heard it yet, escúchalo.


READ: Test Your Bad Bunny Fandom By Taking This Quiz On The ‘Esta Rico’ Lyrics

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