Entertainment

11 Years After His Death, Is It Possible To Really Recast Heath Ledger In This 90s Classic?

What’s not to love about the ’90s classic, 10 Things I Hate About You? It’s a renewed take on Shakespeare’s 16th-century comedy The Taming of the Shrew, with all of the best bits of a classic romance and drama all bundled into one. But, let’s face it, there’s one thing we’d change about this timeless tale: the casting. What the original lacks is a greater representation of POC or Latino influence. So we thought we’d have a go at rethinking 10 Things I Hate About You, Latino-style: read on to find out who’d make the cut for our dream cast. Warning – if you have yet to watch this classic, we will have spoilers below!

Katarina “Kat” Stratford (Originally Julia Stiles)

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How could anyone forget the iconic Kat Stratford? Julia Stiles brought her to life with her sassy remarks and cutting quips. But what really made us connect with Kat was the eventual revelation about her character – how shy and vulnerable she can really be, underneath the snark. It made her character’s forever-quotable “10 Things I Hate About You” poem at the end of the film even more heart-wrenching.

Our Latino Power Choice: Stephanie Beatriz

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Stephanie Beatriz has already had plenty of practice to make the perfect Latina Kat, through her role on comedy cop show Brooklyn 99, as Detective Rosa Diaz. Can we imagine her owning the part and making it her own? Why yes, yes we can.

Bianca Stratford (Originally Larisa Oleynik)

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Bianca Stratford was a bit of a surprise of a character. While she started out as the archetypal ditzy-but-beautiful popular girl-next-door type, she doesn’t stay that way. We see this through her blossoming relationship with Cameron, and her final rejection of Joey.

Our Latino Power Choice: Melissa Fumero

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Okay, let’s face it, 10 Things I Hate About You is also about the bond between sisters. Sure, it takes a bit of a backseat toward the end of the movie, but don’t you think it would be great to see Melissa Fumero and Stephanie Beatriz bring that dynamic to life, together? Especially since they already do a great job on Brooklyn 99. We stan.

Patrick Verona (Originally Heath Ledger)

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Heath Ledger originally stole our hearts as the quintessential bad boy in 10 Things I Hate About You. Okay, he was originally hired to woo Kat multiple times, and deceived her in the process, but did that stop us from loving him and his drop-dead-gorgeous smile? Nope, definitely not.

Our Latino Power Choice: Oscar Isaac

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If you’re wondering why this guy looks familiar, you probably recognize him from the latest films that were added to the Star Wars franchise: Oscar Isaac plays Commander Poe Dameron. You can’t tell us that after seeing this shot of him, he wouldn’t make the perfect Patrick Verona. One flash of his charming smile and our hearts would be all aflutter.

Cameron James (Originally Joseph Gordon-Levitt)

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Outsider and nerdy are probably two of the best words to describe Cameron James. Underneath that, though, we saw a sweet guy who’s determined to find a way to win the attention of the girl he loves. Okay, so that did involve some underhanded payments to Patrick to get the ball rolling, but did we say that teenage boys are that smart?

Our Latino Power Choice: Tyler Posey

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We already know Tyler Posey from his work on Teen Wolf, where he definitely knew how to play the sweet teenage boy. Should he do it again? We think so. Of course, he’s such a babe he may have his work cut out for him to try and convince us that he really is the nerdy type.

Michael Eckman (Originally David Krumholtz)

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While Michael’s a bit of a background character, we can’t help but get attached to him – especially since he basically introduces us to the main cast at the start of the film. Plus, his Shakespearean-themed romance with Mandella is hella sweet, too.

Our Latino Power Choice: Rico Rodriguez

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Sure, we know Rico Rodriguez as the little boy on Modern Family. But he is a little boy no longer – word on the street is that he’s in the process of branching out. And what a perfect way to do that, than to play a funny and romantic wingman?

Mandella (Originally Susan May Pratt)

Instagram: @sheismandella

We got to know Mandella as Kat’s kooky best friend, who loved nothing more than a good Shakespeare script to sink her teeth into. In fact, she was clearly strange enough to get by through the film with just her first name. Maybe a remake could see her not only gain a boyfriend in Michael, but also a surname?

Our Latino Power Choice: Aubrey Plaza

Instagram: @aubreyplaza_47

Aubrey Plaza has got kooky down pat, both in her roles and in real life. Her time as April Ludgate with the crew on Parks and Recreation showed that she’s more than capable of handling both an emotional love story for her character and embrace her inner weirdness. She wouldn’t have to play Mandella, she would be Mandella.

Joey Donner (Originally Andrew Keegan)

Instagram / @dudesloveromcoms

You know those guys who you’re definitely stuck on, and they just won’t slide their way back out of your DMs? Joey Donner was the original lame guys, amigos. And sure, there’s more to his story than that, but you’d probably be better off watching the movie to find out the juicy details. Or, just take our word for it.

Our Latino Power Choice: William Levy

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Despite Joey’s scumminess, we’d still need a babe to play his part. And who better to play it than William Levy? After all, his first taste of fame, before his career as an actor, was through modeling. If we have to sit through hours of his pouting and general gorgeousness onscreen as Joey, then we’ll take one of the team. Honestly.

Walter Stratford (Originally Larry Miller)

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Walter Stratford was basically every dad you’ve ever known who doesn’t know how to cope with his daughters growing up. On the one hand, it was super frustrating. And on the other hand, it was pretty sweet. He just didn’t know how to love them as adults – yet. 10 Things I Hate About You was his journey, too: toward accepting his daughters’ maturity.

Our Latino Power Choice: Benjamin Bratt

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Benjamin Bratt would make a great onscreen dad! For one, he’s definitely aging into a bit of a silver fox. And two, his time as Sandra Bullock’s love interest on Miss Congeniality shows that he can definitely play the part where he’s nonplussed at the idea of having to handle a woman at her most independent and badass.

So what do you think – do you have a favorite Latino actor that you think should have made the cut? Let us know on Twitter by clicking the logo at the top of the page.

Hulu’s New ‘Into The Dark’ Anthology Installment ‘Culture Shock’ Deals With the Horrors of the Migrant Crisis at the Southern Border

Entertainment

Hulu’s New ‘Into The Dark’ Anthology Installment ‘Culture Shock’ Deals With the Horrors of the Migrant Crisis at the Southern Border

In the most recent installment of Blumhouse’s “Into the Dark” Hulu TV movie anthology series, “Culture Shock”, a story about a Mexican woman who finds herself trapped in a warped American utopia after attempting to cross the border, Blumhouse explores the horrors of the migrant crisis, adding a dose of supernatural to the already chilling situation many migrants are face when striving for a better life. 

“Culture Shock” follows Marisol, played by Mexican actress Martha Higareda, a poor young pregnant woman living in Mexico who dreams of a better life for her and her unborn child.

Hulu

“Culture Shock” immediately establishes the harrowing conditions that many immigrants face in their home countries before deciding to emigrate. Indeed, one of “Culture Shock”‘s first scenes shows Marisol being raped by Oscar, a man we had previously been led to believe was her loving boyfriend. Shortly after, we also discover that Oscar stole money she had given him to secure her passage across the border to the U.S. This leaves Martha stranded and alone in her home country of Mexico, and also now carrying the child of the man who assaulted her, which adds even more urgency to her situation.

Marisol bravely decides to attempt the crossing one more time to secure a future for her and her baby, paying a “coyote” hundreds of dollars to help smuggle her into the U.S. The journey isn’t an easy one–at nearly every stop on the way to America, Marisol is strong-armed into giving every new handler additional money–money that she wasn’t told about before. If nothing, “Culture Shock” gives a realistic, if infuriating,  portrayal of all of the injustice desperate migrants are subjected to while trying to cross the border. And the danger is steeper than ever for Marisol, a single woman who is also pregnant. The threat of sexual violence on Marisol’s body is constant, and what’s more disturbing is how habituated to sexual and other forms of violence she seems to be. It’s just another subtle nod towards her complicated and traumatic history.

After being caught at the U.S. border, Marisol wakes up in a pastel-colored paradise that embodies the American dream in every aspect: the residents are beaming, the food is delicious and abundant, and the pervading sense of peace and harmony of the so-called town of “Cape Joy” easily lulls Marisol into an immediate sense of security. It’s here that the director, Latina auteur Gigi Saul Guerrero, begins to flex her artistic muscles. The cinematography is disorienting, with off-center and odd-angled close-ups, quick cutaways that mimic Marisol’s constant confusion, and a visual stark contrast between Marisol’s old, dreary life in Mexico and her new, vibrant life in Cape Joy, USA.  

But something isn’t right in Cape Joy.

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Not only does Marisol have no recent memories of what happened to her after being caught by US Border Patrol, but the fellow immigrants she crossed over with have no idea who she is. And while Marisol mysteriously gave birth to her baby while she was presumably unconscious, she’s never allowed to hold her. When Marisol expresses concern to her host mother, Betty (Barbara Crampton) about her missing old belongings, Betty tells her: “Don’t worry about what you’ve lost. Think instead of all that you’ve gained.” It’s lines like this, which are obviously meant to convey more than just the literal meaning of the words, that the movie leans hard into.

Throughout “Into the Dark”, there is an underlying current of not-so-subtle political messaging that makes it obvious that this movie isn’t your typical straight-forward horror film. It’s as much a vehicle for social commentary and critique on the migrant crisis and America’s inhumane treatment of migrants at the border as it is about delivering stomach-churning gore and jump scares. The movie, directed by,  confirms the existential fear many migrants have of looked at as sub-human when they try to cross the border. Sometimes, the social commentary comes off as a little too on-the-nose, with Big-Bads saying things such as: “Nobody gives a fuck about these people,” and “We’re not paid to give [them] the American Dream. We’re paid to keep them out of it”. 

When the mystery behind the oddness of Cape Joy is finally revealed, the element of sci-fi and horror that’s added to Marisol’s story can almost feel like a relief, purely due to its obvious fictional tropes. The more terrifying parts of the movie–the abusive boyfriends, the violent men, the human traffickers, and the Mexican cartel–are arguably more frightening than the supernatural parts.

And lest, while watching, you trick yourself into thinking the movie isn’t really a horror movie, prepare yourself for a few jarring scenes.

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The climax of the movie is an extremely gruesome and violently gory climax that establishes the anthology installment as exactly what it markets itself as: a horror movie. But as we’ve seen in headlines that flood the TV, the newspapers, and our phones, sometimes, reality can be more horrifying than fiction. 

Selena Gomez Is Fighting To Make Sure That Everyone Can Speak Openly And Honestly About Getting Help For Their Mental Health

Entertainment

Selena Gomez Is Fighting To Make Sure That Everyone Can Speak Openly And Honestly About Getting Help For Their Mental Health

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Selena Marie Gomez (born in Texas in 1992) has been in the public eye for as long as she can remember. She has been a role model for young girls as a singer and an actress and now is involved in more risqué films such as Spring Breakers, a delirious film by indie filmmaker Harmony Korine. Besides having a strong onscreen persona, Gomez has been in relationships with the likes of Justin Bieber, which of course turned the paparazzi attention and cameras to her. Suddenly, when she was barely a teenager her every move was being followed. Her life was sort of predestined to be great when she was named after the great late Selena Quintanilla. However, she has had to deal with divorce (her parents separated when she was five-years-old) and with weak health, as she was diagnosed with lupus, an auto-immune disease, which ultimately forced her to get a kidney transplant. She found strength in her mom. Gomez has said that her mother “was really strong around me. Having me at 16 had to have been a big responsibility. She gave up everything for me, had three jobs, supported me, sacrificed her life for me.” That must provide so much strength for a woman of barely 26 but who has gone through more in her lifetime than many 50-year-olds.

This must not be easy for anyone, even more so for a Latino woman. Gomez knows that she has a microphone and that she can get to other girls and women. “The older I get, the prouder I am to be a woman in the industry. When I was younger and running around all the time on tour, I don’t think I took the time to notice how being a woman in my position is really a gift. I want to make sure I utilize all that power,” the young Latina star told Into the GlossShe has used this position of privilege to raise awareness on mental health issues, including suicide prevention, both as a celebrity and as a producer. She is also a supporter of associations such as Make A Wish (which grants children diagnosed with life-threatening conditions), the Alliance for Children’s Rights and the Ryan Seacrest Foundation. 

Selena Gomez fights for friendships above anything else: girl power.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

Gomez values friendship and spreads the word. She has such loyal friends that one even donated a kidney when Gomez needed a transplant. She says: “People are put into your life for seasons, for different reasons, and to teach you lessons”: Selena, we couldn’t agree more.

She gets politically enraged when it matters.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

Gomez knows that a lot of mental health issues concerning young women are related to the policing of their sexuality and reproductive rights. She gets political when she feels the need to, particularly with issues concerning the mental health and general wellbeing of young women like herself. 

She asks her fans to be strong, but to also look for help when needed.

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Her advice: “I’ve learned there’s power deep down inside yourself, and you can find it when you don’t give up on yourself and when you ask for help.” This is so real it hurts: even someone like her, who in the eyes of her fans might seem to have it all, needs to be humble and honest in reaching out to others when the world seems bleak. There is always someone who cares if you are OK. 

She stands up for migrants.

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Gomez doesn’t get political often, but when she does she always stands up for the minority communities. She has been a vocal advocate for migrant rights and the rights of women. She even wore a 1973 necklace as one of very few Latina celebs speaking up for abortion rights.

She even takes a stand from DACA recipients and Dreamers.

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She has used her social media accounts, which have followers in the millions, to call her fans to action. She is clearly showing the world that she does care and she is paying attention. 

She delivers a message of self-acceptance, which led her to produce 13 Reasons Why.

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Gomez’s mother, Amanda, had her when she was just 16, and then raised her by herself. She was also the one that gave Gomez the book on which the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why is based. The show was controversial because it spoke about mental health issues and suicide, topics that are fundamental to discuss with young vulnerable populations but that remain a taboo. However, Gomez’s message is optimistic. She has said: “I promise you that each and every one of you is made to be who you are and that’s what’s so attractive and beautiful.” Preach! 

13 Reasons Why put mental health issues at the forefront of public media debate.

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“I get it all day, every day, that I’m not sexy enough, or I’m not cool enough, or if I did this I would be accepted… I promise you that each and every one of you is made to be who you are and that’s what’s so attractive and beautiful. Please don’t forget that, even when it gets hard,” she said in an interview for the Huffington PostAnd this is exactly the message that she conveys in her project. Taking on Jay Asher’s literary world, she and the series creative team were able to show mental health and suicide from all possible angles. 

She takes fame with a grain of salt.

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She has been famous for a big portion of her life, but she knows that todo es pasajero, and that at the end who you are does not depend merely on adulation: “You are not defined by an Instagram photo, by a ‘Like,’ by a comment. That does not define you.”

Body positivity is her mantra.

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“I feel very empowered and confident and comfortable with where I am. And I think it took me a long time to get there because, you know, the past year was so interesting because I’ve never been body-shamed before… I did gain weight, but I don’t care,” she said at On Air with Ryan SeacrestThis is a great, positive message for someone who is followed by millions of young women throughout the world, particularly in a day and age when standards of beauty are twisted and self-love is hard to achieve. 

She is an active advocate of girl power.

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Perhaps following the example of her mother, who basically raised her alone while holding down as many jobs as necessary to make ends meet, Gomez says: “I don’t want to become little or hurt or a victim. I want to be strong for girls…I just want them to know that there is an option of standing up for yourself.” Additionally, she was named a United Nations Ambassador in 2009, and in this role, she has worked particularly in empowering vulnerable children by helping provide clean water, education, and medical services. 

You learn from your mistakes.

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Perhaps most importantly, she knows that many see her as a role model and that this brings a huge deal of responsibility. “I’m human, I’m not perfect. I make mistakes all the time, but I guess my job is to keep those mistakes to myself, which I’m already fine doing and just try to be the best I can be for those kids,” she told E! Online.

READ: “13 Reasons Why” Does Much More Than Glorify Suicide, Selena Gomez Explained

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