Entertainment

Some Non-Latino Celebrities Are So In Love With Our Culture And People That They’ve Started To Learn Spanish

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No wonder so many non-Latino celebs love our idioma. Our good old Spanish, español or castellano (as it is actually known in Spain) is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, only behind linguistic powerhouses like Hindi, Arabic, and Mandarin. Spanish is the product of overlapping processes of colonization, war and migratory flows. The roots of its words are as diverse as Arabic (after all, the Moorish conquest of the Iberian Peninsula lasted eight centuries) and Latin, as the Roman expansion in the area left deep, expanding roots. Spanish is spoken in almost every continent: yes, Africa (Morocco) and Asia (The Phillippines) included. In the United States, Spanish is an unstoppable cultural force that now permeates all aspects of social and cultural life on both coasts. 

Today, Spanish is as diverse as our people. Argentinian Spanish, for example, has adopted many words from Italian and is known as lunfardo (beer in Argentina is not cerveza but birra, the Italian word; work is not trabajo but laburo). In Mexican-American communities in the United States Spanglish is taking a hold. No wonder many celebrities have fallen in love with our language, or have met a media naranja that teaches them la lengua de Cervantes. Here is a list of celebs that se pueden defender solitos speaking español. Some of them learnt it from birth, while others have challenged themselves. One thing is for certain, querido lector, if you speak Spanish and English you should hold your head up high. Not many people are bilingual in this blue world, so it should be a source of pride and NUNCA PERO NUNCA a source of shame. Con la cabeza en altoporfavorcito. 

Viggo Mortensen, el gaucho

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The famous actor and poet has lived in Argentina, so he speaks an almost perfect Buenos Aires Spanish. We mean, could he even be cooler than this? He is a big big big fan of the Argentinian soccer team San Lorenzo, so he often travels to Argentina. 

Matt Damon, la media naranja

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This action hero found love in the most unexpected place. It is common for Hollywood celebrities to date each other (often marrying and divorcing in the space of a few months or years), but our Jason Bourne met an Argentinian bartender in Miami by the name of Luciana Barroso y fue tocado por Cupido. Matt has done everything he can to be fluent in Spanishpues pero claro, es un caballero. 

Natalie Portman, la cerebrito y mujer poderosa

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This woman is amazing. She is talented, smart, gorgeous and true to her beliefs. On top of all of that, she is truly multilingual. Apart from English and her native Hebrew, she speaks conversational French, German, Spanish and Japanese. Ay, no manches. Truly, she is one in a million. And now that we are speaking of Miss Portman, we gotta say this: Moby, no manches, te pasaste de lanza, viejo cochino mentiroso

Chris Hemsworth, el Thor australiano

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Our cinematic Thor is married to Elsa Pataky, an amazing Spanish actress. Even though the couple and their kids live in the beach paradise of Byron Bay, Australia, they speak as much Spanish at home as possible. He often talks about this publicly, like in this segment with Ellen DeGeneres. 

Alexis Bledel, la chica Gilmore 

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This young actress, who was made famous for her role in the super amazing female power role Gilmore Girls, was born in Houston, but her parents were an Argentinian and a Mexican-American, so she grew up in a Spanish-speaking household and didn’t actually learnt English until she tuvo que ir a la escuelita. OMG, so cute and amazing. 

Gwyneth Paltrow, la madre superpoderosa 

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The ganadora del Oscar turned health guru is super fluent in Spanish. It is so uncanny to see her roll her Rs perfectly. Wanna see? When she was 15 she went to Toledo and fell in love with the language. She has an excellent Spanish accent…. wow… Look at this. It is a bit uncanny to be honest, but in the best possible way. 

Matthew McConaughey, el gringo texano con alma de mexicano

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The Oscar winner, who most recently gave us nightmares in his career-defining role in the HBO show True Detective, is a true Texan, and as such knows that Spanish is here to stay. As he says here, his hometown has a population of 82% Mexicans, and is just 90 minutes North of the Mexican border. He often tells the story of his siblings having mostly Spanish-speaking friends. If only all gringos who grow up alongside the border were like this… El mundo seria un lugar mejor. 

David Beckham, el rey de los merengues

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Cue in Spanish accent (yes, from actual Spain): pues pero claro, macho, si este inglesito jugaba pa nosotros. Yes, David built a career and an international following playing for the Real Madrid, one of the elite soccer teams in the Iberian Peninsula and all of Europe. he of course picked up the language while having a jet setter life in Madrid with his wife Victoria and kids. His language skills must have come in handy when he was playing in the US soccer league for the Los Angeles Galaxy. 

Ben Affleck, el Batman con alma latina

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Ben and his younger brother Casey (puaj, we can’t stop to throw up a little when mentioning his name, given the #metoo allegations against him), lived in Mexico for a while. When Ben was 13-years-old he filmed a children’s show South of the Border, and he picked up the language. Here, you can see him conduct a WHOLE INTERVIEW in Spanish. He has worked with Mexican talent like cinematographer Chivo Lubezki and has filmed in Mexico, Puerto Rico and other Latin American countries. His favorite Spanish word? SACAPUNTAS!

Tom Hiddleston, el ex de la Taylor

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The famous British actor, who plays Loki in the Marvel Universe film series, learnt Spanish in his university years and truly makes an effort to conduct interviews in our mother tongue when dealing with Spanish-speaking networks, as you can witness hereGracias, hermano Loki. Inclusivity and diversity are strengthen with everyday acts like this! 

Jeb Bush, el hermano que no fue presidente

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Jeb Bush was the chosen one, George Sr’s son and part of the political elite. But as luck would have it, it was his brother George W., and not him, who would walk into the Oval Office as the most powerful man on Earth. Jeb speaks fluent Spanish, and he is married to Colomba Bush, a Mexican-American. As Florida’s governor and later as a presidential hopeful Bush often spoke Spanish during events. 

Will Smith, el genio que concede deseos

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The man in black and newfound Aladdin genie is fluent in Spanish. By the way, Will was extra famous in Latin America since his early years, when he starred in the show known in the region as El príncipe del rap.

READ: Leslie Jones Sang ‘Como La Flor’ In An Interview And We Approve

Here’s The Story Of One Undocumented Family Torn Apart During The Devastating Attack On 9/11

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Here’s The Story Of One Undocumented Family Torn Apart During The Devastating Attack On 9/11

Robert Giroux / Robert Giroux

Luis Alfonso Chimbo and Ana Soria had come a long way since they met as children in Cuenca, Ecuador. They were married, living in Brooklyn with their son, and 34-year-old Chimbo was working for the Windows of the World restaurant–the very top floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Chimbo had been promoted to a management position in the receiving department that takes inventory and stocks supplies. They were living the American dream as undocumented immigrants in New York City. In August, Ana Soria suffered a miscarriage. He took nearly a month off to be with her and care for the family. 

He was due to return to work on September 11, 2001. 

The morning of 9/11, Chimbo got up at 5 a.m. and left for work.

Credit: “Luis Alfonso Chimbo at the Windows on the World restaurant in New York, circa 2000.” Digital Image. Time Magazine. 10 September 2019.

The night before, he set his clothes out for his first day back and prepared a bag. He was always prepared. Chimbo would usually kiss Soria as he got out of bed. That morning, he didn’t. Soria went to their window and said, “Goodbye, my love” as he drove away.

Hours later, while working at the restaurant, Chimbo was trapped on the top floor of the North Tower after a plane was flown into the tower.

The Windows of the World staff included immigrants from over 24 countries.

Credit: @JuedischeOnline / Twitter

The 9/11 attack killed 170 people in Windows alone. Chimbo was one of 73 employees who perished. Arguably, those employees were some of the least-paid victims of the attack, which presented a moral challenge for Special Master Kenneth Feinberg, who had to allocate the $7 billion in the Victims Compensation Fund. Five thousand five hundred and sixty people applied as injured or dependents of the deceased. Feinberg’s initial formula was based on “economic loss”–meaning families of stockbrokers would receive more money than Chimbo’s family. The formula also rested on the presumption that lower-income workers would remain in their earning class for the rest of their lives–the antithesis of “The American Dream.”

Stories like Chimbo’s made a “tremendous impact” on Feinberg’s new formula. 

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In fact, the owner of Windows of the World and the executive chef Michael Lomonaco testified to Feinberg on behalf of lower-paid employees with a high potential for further promotions. In the case of Chimbo, they gave Feinberg evidence that he started out as a stock boy and grew to become a manager in the receiving department. “The structure of the restaurant reflected the American Dream, which I don’t use as a cliché but as an actual possibility,” Debra Steinberg told Tom Roston, the author of “The Most Spectacular Restaurant in the World.” 

Steinberg represented Soria along with thirty-seven other Windows of the World workers. “When you drill down into the stories of the immigrants who worked at Windows on the World, most of them said that it was the dream job. They walked with pride in their step. It was an astonishing place.” Feinberg told Roston that he used “discretion to bring up the lower end worker and reduce the stockbrokers and hedge fund managers,” granting higher payments to lower-paid victims of the attack.

A dozen of the Windows workers were undocumented.

Credit: @jonthompsonDC / Twitter

Feinberg looked to the congressional statute that allocated the funds and said it became clear. Documentation or nationality was not a factor into who becomes a legal victim and who does not in the eyes of the United States. The fund was for all victims of the attacks. 

As an undocumented person, Soria was terrified to ask for help in the days after the attack.

Credit: @Sept11Memorial / Twitter

“I was scared,” she says in Roston’s book. “[And] I was thinking that maybe I did not deserve it because this was not my country.” Finally, it was her son that prompted her to recall that at least he is deserving of medical care. Amidst the terror, her son needed asthma medication, so Soria went to Manhattan. Still, she doesn’t remember much about that day but remembers the help of fellow Americans to ensure her family got what they needed.

Would undocumented immigrants be met with the same courtesy today?

In the decades that have since passed, Soria has become a chef.

Credit: Luis Eduardo Chimbo

She was taking culinary lessons at the time of the series of tragic life events –the miscarriage, the terrorist attack, the loss of her husband. Six years after 9/11, she returned to culinary school. Fifteen years after 9/11 tore her family apart, she received a green card. Her son has become a photographer and captured the above image of his mother.

She goes to the North reflecting pool every year on 9/11. Last year, she went on his birthday and left a flower and a birthday card which read: “To the love of my life, happy birthday to you. Surprise, you didn’t know I was coming.” 

READ: Three Years After Cancer Diagnoses, Luis Alvarez, A 9/11 First Responder, Dies At 53

Yalitza Aparicio’s Appearance Alongside Hollywood Veterans In Rodarte’s Spring 2020 Lookbook Proves She’s Still Rising

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Yalitza Aparicio’s Appearance Alongside Hollywood Veterans In Rodarte’s Spring 2020 Lookbook Proves She’s Still Rising

Back in February of this year, “Roma” actress Yalitza Aparicio dominated fashion headlines after her appearance on the red carpet of the Oscars. The actress made her first appearance at the 91st Academy Awards as a Best Actress nominee for her breakout role as Cleo a maid of Mixteco heritage working for a family in Mexico City during the early 1970s. Aparicio had already had a big night, not only had she nailed a coveted nominee slot, she’d done so for her first role ever in a movie. And while awe over her talent was much talked about, it was the mint-green and silver metallic tulle gown she wore by Rodarte that caught so much attention.

The fashion brand has long been an established designer on red carpets but there’s no denying the actress has helped raise interest in its designers. The red carpet match of the designers and the actress proved not only to be a success at the Oscars, but it also proved worthy of a lasting partnership.

For the fashion brand’s latest lookbook, Aparicio was selected as a model.

The rising star wowed in the brand’s dreamy fashion shoot.

Aparicio appeared in the Spring lookbook in a polka-dot belted black and white dress and a pair of sheer gloves studded with pearls which also speckle her hair. She modeled the dress in a magazine that featured Hollywood veterans such as Gabrielle Union and Kirsten Dunst.

Aparicio appeared in simple colors and extravagant gowns.

For her other appearance, the actress could be seen wearing a black and white plaid dress that featured a ruffle color and puff sleeves.

Of course, it didn’t take long for reactions to Aparcio’s appearance to set fire online.

Fans of the actress were quick to call her a “reina” and other celebrities including “Mad Men” actor January Jones, who also appeared in the shoot, commented “Love. ❤️”

Aparicio’s feature is another reminder, that the indigenous actress has her heels dug into Hollywood and the fashion industry and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Back in January of this year, Vogue México honored the actress with a feature and photoshoot that served as an ode to her culture and home state of Oaxaca. Not only was she featured on the magazine’s cover, but she was also thrown a party at the Patio del Huaje en el Jardín Etnobotanico in Oaxaca.

While the finicky nature of Hollywood and its attention to actresses of color has a strong pattern, Yalitza’s star does not seem to be dwindling. In fact, her appearance in the lookbook nearly seven months after her appearance at the Oscars, and without any announcements of new roles, proves she must have a lot coming up for herself.