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)

Instagram / @ms.evairena

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

Instagram / @arieltunnell

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)

Instagram / @80sradical

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

Instagram / @thecutestsargentnypd

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)

Instagram / @bewitchedcinema

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

Instagram / @technoircafe

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)

Instagram / @multi.luuv

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

Instagram / @mulitfandom_officiaall

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)

Instagram / @dyron_rises

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

Instagram / @spicewithsamlifestyle

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

Instagram / @willilevycubans

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)

Instagram / @thoseareamazing

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

Instagram / @instavoges

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.

Disney Is Debuting Their First Jewish Princess And Surprise! She’s Also Latina

Entertainment

Disney Is Debuting Their First Jewish Princess And Surprise! She’s Also Latina

We all know by now that is no “one way” to be Latinx. Latinos come in a variety of forms, from Black to white, tall to short, descended from Indigenous, African, and European populations. And while Roman Catholicism may be the dominant religion in most of Latinidad, it goes without saying that Latino culture is not a monolith. Latinos practice a variety of religions, from Islam to Buddhism to, yes, Judaism. 

And while most people don’t necessarily think of Judaism when they think of Latin America, there is, in fact, a small but proud population of Jewish Latinos who keep their culture alive through tradition and a strong sense of community. But being a part of such a small community within an already-marginalized community can feel isolating at times. Especially when there are no public role models to see yourself reflected in.

That’s why Tuesday’s news that Disney is debuting a Jewish-Latinx princess sent shock-waves through the internet. 

Walt Disney Television Animation News announced via Twitter that an upcoming Elena of Avalon episode in December would be featuring a “visiting princess” from a “Latino Jewish kingdom”.The as-yet-unnamed princess will be voiced by Jamie-Lynn Sigler, the actress famous for her portrayal of Meadow Soprano on HBO’s seminal masterpiece, “The Sopranos”. 

The Tweet also revealed that the princess would also make an appearance in Elana’s “royal coronation special” next year. Although we do not know any further details of Sigler’s character or her storyline, “Elena of Avalor” writer Rachel Ruderman gave a small preview of what’s to come. “A little over a year ago, I had the honor of writing an Elena of Avalor episode featuring Disney’s first Jewish princess,” Ruderman said via Twitter. She continued: “Jamie Lynn Sigler knocks the role out of the park (wait ’till you hear her song!) Can’t wait to share this one”.

In a move of conscious-casting on Disney’s part, Jamie Lynn Sigler herself happens to be both Latina and Jewish–a giant step for a media giant that can sometimes miss the mark with casting.

Raised by a Jewish father and a Cuban mother, Sigler grew up in New York City as part of a multicultural family.In the past, Sigler has talked about being raised Jewish–attending Hebrew school, having a Bat Mitzvah, and even going on a Birth Right trip to Israel in 2008. 

This episode can serve as an educational experience for many people (including those of Latinx descent) who are unaware that Jewish Latinos even exist. In fact, what some people might not even know, is that the term “Sephardic” (a term used to describe Jewish people of European descent) literally means “of Spain or Portuguese descent” in old Hebrew. In other words, it’s not a stretch to imagine a character of both Latin and Jewish roots on our TV screens. In fact, it’s completely historically plausible!

Naturally, both the Latinx and Jewish Twitter population is super excited at this groundbreaking news.

As we mentioned before, the acknowledgment of Jewish Latinos in popular culture is such a rarity. When the media shines a spotlight on such a marginalized group of people, the advent is worth celebrating. And even though changes are slow in the making, any progress on the representation front is a step in the right direction.

Jamie Lynn Sigler herself expressed her excitement at the news, calling to attention the novelty of her position:

Yes, it’s exciting that the Jewish Latinx population has finally gotten some princess representation, but it’s still a little bit frustrating that we had to wait until 2019 for a Jewish princess. We have a long way to go.

This Latina Jew was incredibly excited at the prospect of having the chance to see her own unique lifestyle reflected onscreen:

The self-styled “Jewyorican” is one of many New York-based Puerto-Rican Jews who identify fully with both cultures. It’s not as rare as people think.

Some Latinx Jews took to Twitter to give some suggestions on how Disney could go about bringing the new character to life:

This Hispanic Linguistics Professor suggested incorporating the ancient Judeo-Spanish language of Ladino into the show. 

This multi-cultural woman celebrated the inclusion of multiple cultures in one character:

Families like hers are the way of the future–at least according to statistics. Although many media outlets still see American families in black and white, the rest of us living our lives know that our identities are increasingly a hodgepodge of cultures. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Samantha Barbash Said Jennifer Lopez Should Not Have Played Her In ‘Hustlers,’ It Would Have Been Better With Cardi B

Entertainment

Samantha Barbash Said Jennifer Lopez Should Not Have Played Her In ‘Hustlers,’ It Would Have Been Better With Cardi B

Jennifer Lopez cannot believe the incredibly positive reviews she’s getting over her lead role in the film “Hustlers.” She was so moved that she cried on national TV. Last week while being interviewed by Hoda Kotb, Lopez expressed her emotional reaction over the surprising reviews for her role, which some critics say could get her an Acadamy Award nomination. Here’s just a snippet of what film critics are saying about the film that made a big debut this weekend. “Hustlers asks what a movie like Goodfellas looks like with women at the center of the story,” one film critic said. “If nothing else, we get to see Jennifer Lopez command the screen as easily as Ramona does the stage, offering up a seductive awards-worthy performance that makes us remember why she became a movie star in the first place,” another said

There is at least one person who isn’t raving about Lopez’s role, and that’s the one who inspired the film. 

Samantha Barbash, the woman who inspired “Hustlers,” said she would have liked to have seen Cardi B in the lead role instead of Jennifer Lopez. 

Credit: Instagram/@iam_missfoxita

The 45-year-old said in an interview with Hollywood Life that rapper Cardi B should have portrayed her instead of the veteran actress, even though this is Cardi’s first film. “I said it from day one, even to the producer. Cardi doesn’t have the acting skills that Jennifer does, but Cardi could relate more to who I was because even though she wasn’t in the same club, we were in the same industry,” she told the lifestyle website. “If Cardi took some acting lessons and shadowed me, I’m sure that she would have played a better role for my character.”

Barbash goes on to say that she is flattered that Lopez wanted to play her in a movie but stresses that the film got several things wrong about her. 

Credit: Instagram/@iam_missfoxita

For starters, Barbash wasn’t a stripper at all. The film, based on a 2015 New York magazine article, shows Lopez as a stripper who ends up drugging wealthy bankers and robs them of their money. However, Barbash said she was never a stripper. Barbash actually worked at a strip club in New York City as a hostess. Yes, the other stuff about the drugs and taking their money is correct, but seeing Lopez play her a stripper didn’t sit well with her. Barbash also said that Lopez never reached out to her in order to learn about her mannerisms, which is what actors do when they’re portraying real-life characters. Even when the real-life character is deceased, actors still study old footage to learn more about the role they are playing. You may recall the extensive research Lopez said she did to portray Selena Quintanilla. She even slept in her bed to get into deep character.  

Earlier this year, Barbash said she would release her own memoir about the ordeal (which she did) that got her 5 years probation and said she planned to sue the filmmakers. 

Credit: Instagram/@iam_missfoxita

“This is a living nightmare,” Barbash said in April in the New York Post after videos leaked of Lopez on a stripper pole. “So now I’m going to have to do a lawsuit. I’m getting a gag order.” Bruno Gioffre, also said back then, that Barbash was “considering all legal avenues with the possibility injunctive relief, including a lawsuit.” The movie was made despite her legal threats. Today, Barbash is an entrepreneur and owns her own spa business. 

We can see why she would have preferred to see Cardi B in the title role. 

Credit: Instagram/@iamcardib

The Bronx rapper did admit to drugging men and robbing them, just like the characters did in the movie “Hustlers.” In 2017, Barbash was charged for conspiracy, assault, and grand larceny in exchange for five years probation

In March, Card admitted on social media that during her stint as a stripper in New York she too did what the “Hustlers” did in the movie. “I had to go strip, I had to go, ‘Oh yeah, you want to f*ck me? Yeah, yeah, yeah, let’s go to this hotel,’ and I drugged n*****s up and I robbed them. That’s what I used to do.” 

Soon after that post, Cardi said she it was wrong of her to do that and has since tried to make a better life for herself. 

READ: Critics Think Jennifer Lopez Gave An Oscar-Worthy Performance In ‘Hustlers’