entertainment

Oscar Nunez From ‘The Office’ Is Using His Name To Help The World One Cause At A Time

NBC / The Office

There’s no question that Oscar Martinez, played by Oscar Nunez, is the only character in NBC’s hit show The Office that you’d actually want to be friends with. He played an accountant who wanted to be acknowledged as the intellect of the office but was instead reduced to a gay Mexican token by his boss Michael Scott. While his character was fictional, in a way, it gave insight to so many of us dealing in work environments with ignorant people.

The man behind the character actually has next to nothing in common with the persona he plays. Except for the first name. We think his story will give you life, támbien.

Oscar Nunez is Cuban, not Mexican.

CREDIT: @rjonfischer / Twitter

He was born in Colón, Cuba on November 18, 1958. That’s right. He’s a Scorpio, or can’t you tell?

His parents were classmates wi Fidel Castro.

CREDIT: @gringatears / Twitter

They all went to the University of Havana together. During the rise of Castro’s regime, their family fled to Venezuela first, and then to the United States.

First, they moved to Boston when he was 2 years old, and then landed in Union City, New Jersey.

CREDIT: @Maemck / Twitter

As a first generation Cuban-American, habla español y ingles. All those bits with Oscar yelling at the camera about what a pendejo Michael is was just pure off the cuff rage at a fictional character.

Nunez went to fashion school.

CREDIT: @samzmith / Twitter

He started out at the Fashion Institute of Technology and then went to Parsons School of Design for writing. It seems like he first wanted to make his break as a writer.

He’s a certified dental technician.

CREDIT: @beeslyxhalpert / Twitter

His father was a lawyer and his mother a dentist. After he graduated from Parsons, he went to the Magna Institute of Dental Technology to become a dental tech. This guy is mega educated.

He started up his comedy career in New York and joined The Groundlings.

CREDIT: @groundlings / Twitter

While there, he wrote and starred in a production called “Smooth Down There.” Now, he goes back as a famous comedy celebrity alum for special performances.

Nunez was a finalist in the ABC Latino Writers Project.

CREDIT: Netflix

I mean, makes sense right? He went to school for writing. I think I speak for all of us in saying that we want to see your written work, Oscar.

He won’t play roles that diminish Latinos.

CREDIT: Netflix

While he’s 100 percent condescended to in The Office and treated differently because of his Latinidad, his character has all the integrity around his culture. The whole time Oscar knows he’s better than Michael and the bigots around him and the audience knows it.

He worked in the industry for years before making it on The Office.

CREDIT: @ImYourChuck / Twitter

Some of his credits include Curb Your Enthusiasm, Reno 911!, 24 and Malcolm in the Middle. He went on to become the creator and producer of Halfway Home which explains his almost season-long break in The Office Season 3.

He’s not gay.

CREDIT: Netflix

When Oscar initially signed onto the show, he assumed his character’s sexuality would be straight. It wasn’t until later on in the show that the writers wrote in this plot twist, which helped account for his absence when Michael Scott sexually harasses him and he gets a company paid vacation.

He has a wife and kid.

CREDIT: @OscarNunezLA / Twitter

He married his longtime girlfriend Ursula Whittaker, who also happens to be an actress. The two had their first child, August Luce Nunez on October 4, 2012, and they all live together in Los Angeles.

You might remember him as the stripper in The Proposal.

CREDIT: @aislinn_heather / Twitter

That’s right. He gyrated on Sandra Bullock. In the 2009 film, he also played the caterer, soda jerk and clergyman who ended up marrying Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. He’s multitalented in life and on screen.

Nunez used his fame to call an end to cosmetic testing on animals.

CREDIT: “2015-03-09-1425928924-8740004-Oscar_NunezLeslie_Hassler_12.jpg” Digital Image. Huffington Post. 8 January 2018.

He teamed up with Cruelty Free International to call on the U.S. to keep up with the European Union to end cosmetic testing on animals.

He’s also used his celebrity platform to show what a bad chef he is.

CREDIT: @OscarNunezLA / Twitter

Here’s the plot twist: he signed onto Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition for a chance to win $25,000 for a charity of his choice. So, still selfless and pure.

He played Ricky Ricardo in I Love Lucy: A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to the Sitcom

CREDIT: @cendella / Twitter

The series is a radio play that tells the story of how the power couple had to navigate the cultural tensions and obstacles to allowing a Latino with an accent on television. Think of it as a podcast reenactment of the true story behind the infamous show, I Love Lucy.

He is State Farm’s latest rep.

CREDIT: @joebush_joebush / Twitter

He’s the agent “that gets you,” which means he’ll play rock, paper, scissors with basketball star Chris Paul all night, and will serve the perfect lay up. Yes, please, you actually rep me, Oscar!

He participated in a Kickstarter campaign to bring back the show The Aquabats! Super Show!

CREDIT: @OscarNunezLA / Twitter

When you’re passionate about comedy, you dress up like this and participate in a punk rock musical comedy show on The Hub Network. It was canceled in 2014, and the cast has to start their own Kickstarter and telethon to raise money for its reboot.

It worked.

He rocked the boat as a judge on the 2010 Miss USA pageant, asking about Arizona’s immigration laws.

CREDIT: @OscarNunezLA / Twitter

Apparently, the crowd started booing before he finished asking the question about whether laws like SB1070, which allow state law enforcement to check the federal immigration status of individuals, should exist. Miss Oklahoma said she believes the state should have a right to create the laws, and the contestant got second place. Boo-yah.

The reason his parents fled Cuba was because of their Catholic faith.

CREDIT: @massnerder_ / Twitter

Nunez’s parents didn’t want to live in an atheist country and willingly fled for that reason. He grew up super Catholic and came to the U.S. for its freedom of religion.

If you want more Nunez rn, you can tune into People of Earth.

CREDIT: @OscarNunezLA / Twitter

He’s in ten episodes and plays Father Doug. Yup, he plays a priest. His parents would be proud.


READ: 13 Things That Inevitably Happen When You’re The Only Latino At The Office

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FX's 'Pose' Is Giving Trans People Of Color The Representation They Have Never Seen Before

entertainment

FX’s ‘Pose’ Is Giving Trans People Of Color The Representation They Have Never Seen Before

poseonfx / Instagram

You’ve heard the hype and it’s all real. Director Ryan Murphy’s history-making LGBTQ+ drama Pose is changing television as we know it. With the touch of Janet Mock, the first trans woman of color to be hired as a TV writer, and a cast as diverse culturally as they are in gender and sexuality, we’re seeing true representation and in style.

The show is set in 1987-88 and is entrenched in the Afro and Latinx ball culture world, with social criticisms of the rise of yuppy Trump and the consequent gentrification of a world that no longer exists today. This is written by queer people of color, for all of us to absorb, let it marinate, and transform television. Here’s what you don’t know.

Director Ryan Murphy calls Pose “without question the highlight of my career.”

CREDIT: @poseonfx / Instagram

He told the Hollywood Reporter that, as a gay man, all he’s ever wanted to do is give back to the LGBT community. First, he gave us the gift of this work of art.

Murphy is donating all the profits from the show to LGBTQ charities.

CREDIT: @poseonfx / Instagram

He told the Hollywood Reporter, “I’m no showrunner here. I’m an advocate for this community and my job is to take care of them and provide for them and to give them access into a mainstream world that they have been denied for so long. That’s what I wanted to do, and I immediately decided to donate all my profits back to the community.”

Nobody gets stabbed in the show on purpose.

CREDIT: @mrrpmurphy / Instagram

Trans violence is on the rise, with dozens of trans people murdered simply for being transgender last year alone. The number of trans people who are injured, attacked, or assaulted is high in the streets, higher in prisons, and much higher in suicide rates.

Murphy wants to give the community something uplifting and light, rather than dark.

CREDIT: @awards_watch / Twitter

While Murphy has created some light shows like Glee, he’s also written American Horror Story, and Running with Scissors. He told Hollywood Reporter that:

“People right at the end of these episodes are breathing a sigh of relief because no one was killed. No one was beaten. No one was slashed. What I’ve been trying do is show this community in the way that I see them: beauty and glamour and lights and music. That’s how we as gay people and trans people have gotten through our pain.”

The year the show is set is personal to Murphy.

CREDIT: @mrrpmurphy / Instagram

It’s set the year that he moved to New York, and the feeling of that entire year haunts him. He tells Hollywood Reporter, “I would drive myself to the emergency room in college every 10 days, even when I was celibate, and get a blood test and I would wait for two weeks and lose 15 pounds and throw up in the middle of the night in fear because I thought I was going to die. I thought that loving someone meant death, and I think a large group of young people don’t have that experience. That was my experience, so I was able to, with the HIV/AIDS story, really lean into my pain.”

With this show, he’s checked his privilege and taken a back seat to let trans voices come through.

CREDIT: @janetmock / Instagram

“That has been a shift in my career because usually, I’m the showrunner,” he told Hollywood Reporter. “I come in with the idea; I do all the casting; I have a vision of it all; and in this one I was interested in saying, ‘What do you think? What do you need to do?'”

Janet Mock is the first black trans woman to direct an episode of television.

CREDIT: @janetmock / Instagram

Murphy had to beg her to leave the writer’s chair and give a stab at directing, something she’s never wanted to do. In a way, it was easier because the cast was more comfortable at that point, and trusted the woman who created all their characters.

She shot the most difficult scenes first.

CREDIT: @poseonfx / Instagram

Did we not mention that this is a *musical* show? The cast is constantly learning new choreography and routines and then having to perform flawlessly in costume on camera.

They had to remove Pose billboards from scenes post-production.

CREDIT: @poseonfx / Instagram

It’s hard (and expensive) to control traffic during production, and since the show is set in the ’80s, every time a modern car or taxi drove by, they had to reshoot or ensure it was editable. It was even worse when buses would drive by with Pose billboards on them. 😂

The show is heavily adapted from Paris is Burning and Saturday Church.

CREDIT: @caryllrunes / Twitter

The 1990 documentary film chronicles the actual lives of trans people and drag queens centered in the ball culture of NYC. It’s since been selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry as culturally significant enough to treasure as history. Saturday Church follows a group of ball performers and even stars MJ Rodriguez who plays Blanca in Pose.

Murphy actually hired the surviving actors from Paris to be judges in every episode.

CREDIT: @poseonfx / Instagram

Murphy explained to the Hollywood Reporter,

“The first thing that I did is met with three of the survivors of Paris Is Burning, who are judges in every episode of Pose. They’re always there. I just wanted to meet them and let them know that I wanted to not take their story but make them a part of the show and pay them for their time and their energies, and they were very moved by that.”

The museum heist is a true story.

CREDIT: @NylonMag / Twitter

The pilot episode showcases how a house stole preserved costumes from British royalty and got away with it because the museums wanted to keep their brand away from LGBTQ+ news. This storyline made it into the script from the survivors of Paris is Burning.

The show hired the existing mother of renowned ball house, La Beija as a consultant.

CREDIT: @poseonfx / Instagram

A rising dancer at La Beija tells The Guardian, “People like to take. There are a lot of culture vultures and my thing is, if you’re going to take from our community and be inspired, include us. Include the people you’re taking from. I was happy with Pose because I have a lot of friends that actually did the show and I felt like they took their time to really get to know the community and include the community.”

A megastar of the show has been MJ Rodriguez.

CREDIT: @PoseOnFX / Twitter

The casting director spent six months searching for someone to play her role. She plays Blanca, who leaves her house after discovering she’s tested positive for HIV and begins a new one, the House of Evangelista.

Rodriguez has made history before as a trans actress.

CREDIT: @poseonfx / Instagram

She appeared in Marvel’s Luke Cage, making her the first transgender character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Wepa!

Trump’s presence is felt on the show but intentionally written out.

CREDIT: @poseonfx / Instagram

When asked why Murphy wrote Trump out in favor of a coked out Trump Organization executive, he told The New Yorker, “Nobody wants to see that f***head.” Amen.

The crew had a drinking game for every time Rodriguez said “mutha.”

CREDIT: @poseonfx / Instagram

In the same vein, Janet Mock responded to the LGBTQ+ community beginning to call her mother. She tells The Daily Beast, “Number one, and on the record, I am too young to be anyone’s mother. So children, please stop. I love you dearly, though. Also, do not call me Auntie. Because that, too, does not work. Let’s stick with Big Sis. Big Sis is very respectful.” Noted, Sis.

The first season has the largest cast of transgender actors ever.

CREDIT: @poseonfx / Instagram

No cis actors play any of the over 50 transgender characters. FX has officially employed the most transgender people on a scripted TV series in history.

The show has been renewed for Season 2.

CREDIT: @JhonEdw73756588 / Twitter

We know that we can expect that it will jump a year ahead, and end in March 1990, the month that Madonna’s “Vogue” debuted, which brought ball culture a bit more mainstream. We don’t know how MJ Rodriguez’ character will grow with an HIV diagnosis, but we hope we get to see that Boricua for many more seasons to come.

You can watch Pose on Amazon Prime, iTunes and FXNOW.

CREDIT: @poseonfx / Instagram

Consider your $4.99 purchase of Season 1 a donation to the LGBTQ+ charity of Ryan Murphy’s choice. You won’t be sorry.


READ: Proof That Carmen Carrera Is The Trans Latina Warrior We All Need In This Crazy World

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