Entertainment

31 Years After Being Released, Here’s Where The Cast Of ‘Stand And Deliver’ Are Today

Thirty one years ago, “Stand and Deliver” was released to the masses and nobody could have predicted the explosive success of the movie. Cuban born Ramón Menéndez was passionate about finding real high school students in el barrio to play the parts. After a disastrous attempt at getting high school students to become instant stellar actors, someone suggested using existing Latino actors who had only been given the opportunity to play one-dimensional violent gang members on screen.

This film gave Latin America some decent racial mirroring for one of the first times, and gave Latinos in Hollywood an opportunity to have range. Also, it gave us a go-to favorite movie you just expected to watch when you had a math sub.

The resemblance between real life Jaime Escalante and Edward James Olmos was uncanny.

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Latin Heat. 2 October 2018.

The real story goes that Jaime Escalante became a math teacher at James A. Garfield High School in East Los Angeles. In real life, he started teaching AP Calculus to a group of 14 students, of which only five students stayed the course through the end of the year. Only two students passed the AP exam.

Edward James Olmos as Jaime Escalante

CREDIT: “Edward James Olmos in Stand and Deliver (1988)” Digital Image. IMDB. 2 October 2018.

Unlike in the movie, Escalante realized he needed to give students years of preparation before taking the AP class. He offered intensive seven-week summer sessions every year to the same students until the infamous class we all know and love.

Edward James Olmos Now

CREDIT: @edwardjolmos / Twitter

The actor is now 71 years old, and that’s what his face looked like after Mexico beat Germany this year. He was the first Mexican-American to earn an Oscar nomination. He’s known for his roles as Lt. Marty Castillo in “Miami Vice,” Selena’s father in “Selena,” Detective Gaff in “Blade Runner” and the voice of Chicharrón in “Coco.”

Rosana DeSoto as Fabiola Escalante

CREDIT: “Stand and Deliver” Digital Image. Listal. 2 October 2018.

DeSoto played Jaime’s supportive wife, Fabiola, in the film. Fun fact: the boy who played Jaime Jr., their son, was the actual son of real life Jaime Escalante.

Rosana DeSoto Now

CREDIT: ai.pictures / YouTube

Born in San Jose, California, DeSoto is the daughter of Mexican immigrants and spent most of her childhood handpicking fruit. She was one of nine siblings and went on to graduate from San Jose State University in Spanish Literature and Drama.

We last saw her as Sonia in “Once Upon a Wedding” in 2005.

Lou Diamond Phillips as Angel Guzman

CREDIT: @stfoodcinema / Twitter

Angel was the toughest cookie to crack. He was a member of the Maravilla gang, and while he definitely showed up as a tough guy that got him kicked out of the class, he’s thirst for learning took over. He begged Escalante to stay in the class and proved that he had a natural talent for math.

Lou Diamond Phillips Now

CREDIT: @LouDPhillips / Twitter

Lou Diamond Phillips is actually not Latino. He was born in the Phillipines and is a mix of Scottish, Irish and Filipino. He was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance in “Stand and Deliver.” Before that role, he made it big in “La Bamba,” but just the year before he was an uncredited terrorist in “Time Bomb.”

Vanessa Marquez as Ana Delgado

CREDIT: @xochster / Twitter

In a LA Times article, we learned that Ana Delgado “was the only teenage character in the film based on a real person.” Her name was changed, but the shy girl who was almost forced to drop out to work in her father’s restaurant. Escalante really did show up at her house and talk with her father, and she was able to stay in school.

Vanessa Marquez Now, deceased

CREDIT: @SPHStiger / Twitter

Vanessa Marquez was tragically killed by a Pasadena police officer on August 30, 2018. She went on to lead a successful career in film and TV and was a key player in the “ER” family. Unfortunately, she suffered from mental illness and was having a seizure when police showed up to her Pasadena home to conduct a welfare check. Ninety minutes into a conversation with authorities, she pulled out what we later learned was a BB gun and pointed it at police, who then opened fire.

She was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Ingrid Oliu as Guadalupe “Lupe” Escobar

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. TV Tropes. 2 October 2018.

Lupe started out literally protesting Escalante’s educational tactics (i.e. giving quizzes), but eventually became the mother hen and urged her classmates to take the class seriously.

Angel also called her gordita and the queen laid it out, “Don’t call me gordita, pendejo.”

Ingrid Oliu Now

CREDIT: @CaveWoman1963 / Twitter

We know Oliu from “Stand and Deliver” but we also adore her as Estela, America Ferrera’s sister, in “Real Women Have Curves.” We last heard from her when she voiced the role of Officer Renee Montoya in “Batman.” Whatchu up to girl?

Patrick Baca as Javier Perales

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. TV Tropes. 2 October 2018.

Javier was the stereotypical nerd of the class, but he was in no way shy. He was a total know-it-all and the class got hella annoyed with him. His ego was taken down a notch when he got a low grade from Escalante and was given no special treatment for his previous smarts.

Patrick Baca Now

CREDIT: @PatrickBaca / Twitter

Baca won the Michael Landon award for his performance in “Stand and Deliver,” and has since been nominated for his roles in short films ever since. He’s been busy and we expect to see him in four films that have yet to be released including “Road to Redemption,” “Offer and Compromise,” “Santa’s Boots” and “Hunting Season.”

 Will Gotay as Francisco “Pancho” Garcia

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. TV Tropes. 2 October 2018.

Pancho is here for the money. He’s a young mechanic, eager to get to work and start making money, and easily discouraged by complicated math problems. Over time, Escalante convinces him that his education is the key to a successful career and he digs into the problems, solving them over time.

Will Gotay Now

CREDIT: @gotaywill / Instagram

Today, Gotay is an Executive Chef. He did go on to perform in “Dolly Dearest” and “Liberty & Bash,” but is living his best life in the kitchen.

Lydia Nicole as Rafaela Fuentes

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. TV Tropes. 2 October 2018.

Rafaela is a recent immigrant to the U.S. and is pretty quiet for the majority of the film. She doesn’t quite fit in with the overly feminized girls that grew up in East LA, and is more of an androgynous, quiet beauty with brains.

Lydia Nicole Now

@iamlydianicole / TwitterNicole grew up in the Spanish Harlem neighborhood of New York. Her radio work brought her to California where she worked in entertainment. Today, she’s best known for hosting the “Common Sense Mamita” web series, where you can find her gathering some “Stand and Deliver” cast members today for reminiscing.

Fun Fact: Senator Rand Paul has plagiarized from the “Stand and Deliver” Wikipedia page.

CREDIT: @drrandpaul / Instagram

Yup, he just straight up read the Wikipedia page of the movie on a speech on immigration in June 2013. Thank you, Rachel Maddow, for giving us this fact.

South Park spoofs Escalante in a 2008 episode, titled “Eek, a Penis!”

CREDIT: Hulu

It was a bit of a twofer. The movie tells the true story of how the students were mistreated with suspicion from the AP Board after they all passed and were forced to retake the exam to maintain their scores.

In this bit, it was also spoofing the NFL controversy around Patriots coach Bill Belichick being caught cheating.

Either way, long live “Stand and Deliver,” and may math teachers request many subs in it’s 30th year anniversary.

CREDIT: @coffee_and_street_art / Instagram

In December 2011, the United States Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the National Film Registry for it’s “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” values offered by Latino filmmakers.

Thank you Escalante for your own perseverance in changing the story of those high school students, and inspiring all of us.


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Cinematographer Galo Olivares Talks About How He Created A World For The New ‘Gretel And Hansel’

Entertainment

Cinematographer Galo Olivares Talks About How He Created A World For The New ‘Gretel And Hansel’

Erwin Jaquez / AMC

“Gretel and Hansel” is now in theater telling a new version of a timeless Grimm’s fairy tale. We all grew up knowing the story of “Hansel and Gretel” and the lesson of being careful where you go and who you befriend in the world. Mexican cinematographer Galo Olivares helped director Osgood Perkins create a universe as creepy and tantalizing as one would expect from the classic tale.

Galo Olivares is the man behind the haunting and unsettling imagery of “Gretel and Hansel.”

For Olivares, the first thing he had to do was to make sure he found the right place to create the perfect ambiance for the film.

“The first thing that I did after I got out the plane was start scouting, and we realized Dublin, Ireland was the perfect canvas for this story,” Olivares says. “All the team did a great job. We had a great production designer and a marvelous costume designer. Sophia Lillis and Alice Krige were just wonderful so it was pretty easy to come together with all the pieces for this film.”

Olivares grew up with the creepy tales of La Llorona and the story was one that inspires his work on this film.

“I grew up hearing the legend of La Llorona. My grandmother’s house was somehow close to a cemetery and I remember we could see it from the top floor,” Olivares recalls. “We have several legends here in Mexico where we actually celebrate death. We have the day of the dead, which is a beautiful celebration that reminds us that death is part of life. So, I have always been inspired by this universe and I loved being able to bring a small part to this film.”

The biggest thing Olivares wanted to do was give the story a modern upgrade while keeping the spirit of the story intact.

“I remember one of the first things we talked about with Osgood was what he didn’t want this movie to be. Suddenly, we started to talk about Star Wars and how this tale could be timeless,” Olivares says. “That’s why there are many modern details but you cannot tell when is this happening, whether it’s the past or future or another dimension maybe. I always thought of the witch’s house as a kind of mothership.”

You can watch “Gretel and Hansel” now in theaters.

Congratulations on the movie, Galo Olivares.

READ: Here Are 20 Latino Legends From Our Childhood That Still Terrify Us As Adults Because That’s Latino Parenting

David Schwimmer, The Actor Who Played Ross In Friends, Defended The Show After Backlash Over Insensitivity And Lack Of Diversity

Entertainment

David Schwimmer, The Actor Who Played Ross In Friends, Defended The Show After Backlash Over Insensitivity And Lack Of Diversity

Warner Bros. Television Distribution

“Friends” is loved by everyone. You’d be lying if you said you’ve never spent an entire day on the sofa, binge-watching the 90s comedy. But it’s safe to say that some of the jokes, punchlines, and themes of the show wouldn’t have been very well received in 2020 —aka some of the show’s storylines have been regarded as more than a little problematic. Here are some examples. 

“Friends” originally aired in the 90s —but with Netflix reviving the craze for the show a few years ago, millennial viewers noticed a few insensitive punchlines.

The show was on air since 1994 and up until 2004. But since “Friends “started streaming on Netflix just a few years ago, modern day fans have found issues with the way the show depicts and handles some issues —like its lack of diversity for instance, or its depiction of women and LGBT people. 

Pretty much everything about “Fat Monica,” for example.

The whole ‘Fat Monica’ storyline fed into the media’s perpetuated image of overweight individuals as punchlines and nothing more. She only became a “worthy” character after she lost the weight, or at least that’s how the show made it seem.

Exhibit B. The treatment of Chandler’s trans dad.

Chandler’s homophobia and jokes about his transgender parent were awful. While the addition of a proud gay character in a show during the 90s was a huge step forward in television, they totally misrepresented the community. The show conflated transgender people and drag queens. In trying to expose and dismantle some prejudices, they also perpetuated others.

The objectification of women by the male characters

There’s a Thanksgiving episode where Ross and Joey are trying to leave so they can go and meet Joey’s good looking roommate and her dancing friends. And just like this one, there are many other episodes in which “the boys” spend the whole show trying to think up ways to trick women into sleeping with them —in this particular episode, Joey literally calls the women “objects” —and I’m triggered.

Joey’s sexism usually went unchecked—and he was downright creepy a lot of times.

Most of Joey’s scenes revolved around women —and a lot of them are problematic. Sure, he had his good and sweet moments, but it’s super problematic that he can’t remember who he’s slept with, or how he makes his roommates make breakfast for his conquest and then dump them for him. His roommate’s search was also awful: “Female, non-smoker, non-ugly.” —Seriously?

The constant examples of fragile masculinity.

The male characters frequently had to make a HUGE issue out of their fragile masculinity. Here’s an example for you: In the episode where Chandler moves in with Monica, she has him making cedar sachets with old pantyhose. Chandler asks to leave to go do “guy stuff.” He then finds Joey learning to knit and Ross applying face powder to try and minimize the contrast of his overly bleached teeth. He leaves in disgust. Later, after pointing out all the feminine touches Joey’s new female roommate has applied to the old apartment, Chandler points out that Joey is turning into a woman. “Why would you say that? That’s just mean,” asks Joey. “Now I’ve upset you? What did I say?” replies Chandler. “It’s not what you said. It’s the way you said it… Oh, my God! I’m a woman!” exclaims Joey in disgust —*ALL THE EYEROLLS*

Ross has been one of the most criticized characters.

The character of Ross has seen a lot of criticism, for his dismissal of the importance of consent, his possessiveness over women, the casual anti-gay comments and more. 

Even the show creators have admitted to feeling uncomfortable with some scenes. 

The creators spoke about their regrets at Tribeca Film Festival’s “Friends” 25th anniversary. When asked by the audience if there were storylines that they regret, Kauffman had a couple of examples ready: “the one when Phoebe starts dating her sister Ursula’s stalker, played by David Arquette (“we did a lot of rewriting on that to make it work”).” “It’s much harder for me to enjoy the good moments when there are moments in it where I’m going, ‘Oh my God, we let that happen? We did that,'” she explained.

Meanwhile, co-creator, David Crane, admitted he doesn’t remember a lot of specific scenes and jokes after working on 10 seasons 15-25 years ago, said that when he does stumble upon an episode, he’ll occasionally wonder, “Wow, really? We went with that?” “There are some that are better than others,” he said.

In a recent interview with the Guardian, “Friends” star David Schwimmer who played Ross, said he”doesn’t care” about the backlash, because he believes it comes from the show being taken out of the context of its time.

When asked about the backlash that the show went through after its Netflix renaissance, the actor said; “I don’t care.” A few articles and several Twitter threads suggested that the show’s jokes hadn’t aged well, like Chandler worrying about seeming gay, or jokes about Monica’s weight. “The truth is also that show was groundbreaking in its time for the way in which it handled so casually sex, protected sex, gay marriage, and relationships. The pilot of the show was my character’s wife left him for a woman and there was a gay wedding, of my ex and her wife, that I attended.”

“Friends” is a product of the pre-“woke” era when it comes to race, too. 

“Maybe there should be an all-black Friends or an all-Asian Friends,” Schwimmer says. “But I was well aware of the lack of diversity and I campaigned for years to have Ross date women of color. One of the first girlfriends I had on the show was an Asian American woman, and later I dated African American women. That was a very conscious push on my part.