Actor Luis Gerardo Mendez Is Quick Becoming The Latino Heartthrob People Didn’t Know They Needed
It has been more than a decade since Mexican actors Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna established themselves as power players in the Hollywood game. Other Mexican actors like Kuno Becker have also broken into the United States mainstream, but they are few and far apart. The new kid on the block is actor Luis Gerardo Mendez, an actor that has done it all in a few years: he has made indie films, a highly successful Netflix show, one of the most successful Mexican movies of all time and now films with Jennifer Aniston, Adam Sandler and the new Charlie’s Angels team of kickass queens.
He was born in the state of Aguascalientes, Mexico.
Contrary to what some might believe, not every Mexican actor comes from the capital Mexico City! Luis Gerardo was born in the city of Aguascalientes on March 8, 1982.
Remember how Jude Law seemed to be on every single movie released in the early 2000s? Well, that is what the very prolific Luis Gerardo is for the Mexican film industry today.
From the beginning of his career, he has been willing to work with anyone who wants to tell a story. He has collaborated with first-time directors such as Ivan Morales, whose film Sincronia is available on YouTube (it is a delightful film about love and loss). He has taken on peculiar projects such as Camino a Marte, where he plays an alien trapped in a human body. He doesn’t shy away from challenges, ever.
BTW, you just can’t miss his Netflix film Time Share (Tiempo compartido).
Time Share (2018) is a dark comedy that explores the sect-like practices of the tourism industry and how it lures clients to get lifelong commitments to spend holidays in particular all-inclusive resorts. Filmed in Acapulco, it starts as a comedy of errors and soon becomes a much darker film: a true indictment of capitalism and its deathly methods for controlling people through impossible dreams and promises of achieving a higher social status.
Fame and fortune no se la ha subido a la cabeza and he remains humble and con los pies bien puestos sobre la Tierra.
We love his Instagram account, where you can follow his daily life (how cool is this shot from a nightclub toilet in grungy Berlin?), from his trips to life behind the sets of his movies and TV shows.
He is a true supporter of Mexican cinema.
Luis Gerardo had one of the leading roles in the super successful film Nosotros los Nobles (The Noble Family), which tells the story of an upper-class family that suddenly sees its fortune evaporate. Luis Gerardo often collaborates with new and emerging directors and often takes an active role in the production. He believes in and loves the industry which saw him become one of the most recognizable of Latino filmmaking.
We will always remember his character in Club de Cuervos, Salvador Iglesias Jr, Chava pa los cuates.
Some actors are always linked to certain characters, and that is the case of Luis Gerardo, who played the extravagant and frankly kinda dumb Chava Iglesias in the Netflix show Club de Cuervos, which explored the world of Mexican professional soccer. Mendez revealed himself as a comedic genius, navigating the thin line that separates slapstick and high-quality comedy. He gave an apparently shallow character multiple layers of both dramatic and comedic depth.
We mean, no one has worn a vest better.
Chava Iglesias was so ridiculously full of himself that it was uncomfortably fun to watch! He left us plenty of memorable moments, such as successfully hiring the best soccer player in the world out of pure necedad!
He is an animal lover.
The actor collaborates with PETA Latino, particularly in a campaign to treat domestic pets as they deserve: with care and respect. He particularly cares about dogs that are left alone in rooftops all day, a common practice in Mexico.
He has his own collectible figurine!
Once you have a Funko POP! toy made a tu imagen y semejanza you know you have made it!
You can’t miss Bayoneta either (it’s on Netflix).
The outstanding boxing drama Bayoneta is also available on Netflix. It tells the sad story of a has-been fighter from Tijuana that makes a living in Finland by training young boxers. He gives a deep, challenging performance that was physically tough.
His movie Murder Mystery has been one of the most watched Netflix originals.
Yes, of course, it is mainly because of his costars Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler, but Mendez’ film was watched by more than 30 million people in the first three days after its release. That is much more than what many theatrical releases get. Streaming services are truly revolutionizing how movies are produced, distributed and watched, and are giving actors like Mendez a platform in which they can explore different genres. Netflix is very fond of Luis Gerardo, and we are sure we will see more of him in the years to come.
Next up, a crazy scientist in the girl-power action film Charlie’s Angels.
He will play a minor role, but he will give comedic relief to the highly anticipated remake directed by Elizabeth Banks. We just can’t wait to see him in this!
His next project deals with US-Mexico relationships: Half Brother sounds truly amazing.
In an exclusive interview for Mitú, the film’s producer and writer, Eduardo Cisneros (one of the leading Latino voices in the industry), said about the actor: “When Jason Shuman and I started fleshing out this story, I immediately thought of Luis Gerardo, because there aren’t many people out there with all the qualities the role required. First of all, he’s a gifted actor, capable of giving a layered dramatic performance, but at the same time, he’s immensely adroit at comedy. We needed a redoubtable leading performer, the kind people come to expect from a Focus movie, but also someone who had a great appeal within the Mexican and Latinx moviegoers. We approached him at the early stages of the project, and little did we know he had a personal, almost autobiographical, connection to the story. So it was almost kismet. He came on board not only as a star but as an executive producer, so we are lucky to have his input and artistry in this movie”.
Cisneros explains what this movie is all about: “Luis Gerardo Méndez stars as Renato, a successful Mexican private aviation entrepreneur based in San Miguel De Allende, who is shocked to discover he has an American half-brother he never knew about, the free-spirited Asher, played by Connor Del Rio. The two very different half-brothers are forced on a road journey together masterminded by their ailing father, tracing the path their father took as an undocumented immigrant from Mexico to the US. The central idea of the movie is the need for learning how to see things from your neighbor’s perspective, which is kind of an allegory for what we’re going today in our global society.”