Entertainment

The Key Roles For ‘West Side Story’ Have Been Cast And Maria Is Being Played By A Latina

Broadway and “West Side Story” fans have been waiting for the announcement of who will be playing the key roles in Steven Spielberg’s remake of the classic. The wait is over and we now know who will be on the big screen as Maria, Anita, Bernardo, and Chino. Everyone can rest easy because all of the actors taking up these roles are, in fact, Latino giving the remake a little more authenticity than the original. Ansel Elgort will play Tony. Here’s what we know so far.

High school senior Rachel Zegler landed the lead role of Maria.

CREDIT: rachelzegler / Instagram

Zegler is a high school senior at Immaculate Conception High School in Lodi, New Jersey. The teenager was a viral sensation with her singing videos on social media.

According to Deadline, Spielberg was intentional in making sure the everyone cast in the movie was Latino or Latina to showcase the talent within the Latino community.

Zegler shared her excitement on Twitter because who wouldn’t be excited to be cast as Maria.

“I am so thrilled to be playing the iconic role of Maria alongside this amazing cast,” Zegler told Deadline. “West Side Story was the first musical I encountered with a Latina lead character. As a Colombian-American, I am humbled by the opportunity to play a role that means so much to the Hispanic community.”

Broadway veteran and powerhouse Ariana DeBose will play Anita.

CREDIT: arianadebose / Instagram

The Puerto Rican performer first made a name for herself on “So You Think You Can Dance” when she made it to the Top 20 in 2009. Since then, DeBose has been performing for theaters around the country and even performed in an off-Broadway production of “Hamilton.”

Oh, and Rita Moreno will be there to “pass the baton” to the new Maria.

Can you even believe it? Moreno is going to be in Spielberg’s “West Side Story” in the role of Valentina. Valentina will be a more expanded version of Doc who owns the store that Tony works in.

Tony Award winner David Alvarez has been cast as Bernardo, Maria’s cousin.

CREDIT: davidalvarezofficial / Instagram

The military veteran won his Tony for Best Actor in a Musical for his role in “Billy Elliott: The Musical”. He told Deadline that he sees the same struggle in Bernardo as he does in his family who fled Cuba for the U.S. and has dreamt of filling this role.

Jose Andrés Rivera is going to be playing Chino.

CREDIT: joseandresrivera / Instagram

The Puerto Rican dancer, singer, and actor is most known for his recent participation on the last national Hamilton tour.

There is no release date for the movie yet but it is expected to start filming this summer.


READ: One Rumor On Twitter Has The Internet Debating If Camila Cabello Can Act Well Enough To Be In ‘West Side Story’

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Eva Mendes Said She Hasn’t Acted In Years Because She Isn’t Settling For Roles She’s Not Proud Of

Entertainment

Eva Mendes Said She Hasn’t Acted In Years Because She Isn’t Settling For Roles She’s Not Proud Of

evamendes / Instagram

This year’s Golden Globes awards were a complete letdown for a variety of reasons. Aside from the typical #SoWhite nonsense and long speeches, people were astonished at the lack of Latinas on the red carpet. We counted four: Jennifer Lopez, Ana de Armas, Sofia Vergara, and Salma Hayek. Depressing right? We know there are more Latinas in Hollywood, but where are they? At least one of the most recognized Latina actresses is explaining why she hasn’t acted in years. 

A fan recently asked Eva Mendes on Instagram when she’ll be in a new movie. Mendes responded by saying she won’t settle for any project partly because of her daughters. 

Credit: evamendes / Instagram

On Jan. 7, Mendes responded to a fan on Instagram when she asked her,  “When the fans going to see u in some new movies?” Mendes told her kindly that she isn’t offered roles that are good enough for her. 

“Hi! When there’s something worthwhile to be a part of,” she wrote on Instagram. “As a mother now, there are many roles I won’t do. There are many subject matters that I don’t want to be involved with, so it limits my choices, and I’m fine with that. I have to set an example for my girls now. But no worry, I got some side hustles. Ha! Thanks for asking. All the best for 2020.”

Mendes’s most recent role was the 2014 film Lost River directed and written by her baby daddy, Ryan Gosling. Things certainly changed for Mendes when she met Gosling in 2011.

The two first met while filming the 2012 movie, “The Place Beyond the Pines.” There was no denying the chemistry between the two in “The Place Beyond the Pines.” It was an extraordinary film about a Luke (Gosling) who doubles as a bank robber and motorcyclist. He meets Romina (Mendes), the two fall in love, and have a baby. Domestic life isn’t for Luke, and he cannot escape his crime-ridden life. We won’t give any spoilers, but it truly felt like we were witnessing a real-life love story.

Mendes is now the mother of two girls and has gone on to launch her fashion collection with New York & Company and has been busy with that for several years now.

Credit: evamendes / Instagram

While Mendes continues to lead a pretty private life with Gosling and her daughters, her fashion collection has been successful. She has also said that her partner has been very encouraging and proud of her work as a designer. 

“Ryan is incredibly supportive, and he’s always in awe,” Mendes told People magazine last year. “He makes me realize that [making the collection] is actually a lot of work. I have so much fun doing it that I don’t really realize.”

She also added that her in-laws and her family are extremely helpful to her as she develops each collection. 

“Ryan’s mom, Ryan’s sister, my mom, my sisters, my grandma are all my fashion guinea pigs,” Mendes told the magazine. “Nobody is going to be more honest than family, and our family is very honest. It’s something I really appreciate because when designing something, you need real feedback.”

Yet, still, with her success as a fashion designer, we cannot help miss Mendes as an actor. Remember her in “Training Day”?

Her role as Sara opposite Denzel Washington was so intense and incredibly raw. We can see why she would hesitate to be in certain kinds of characters, especially if the part calls for nudity or vulgar language. The role of Sara is also one that we have seen often, which is the stereotypical Latina as a single mother, living in the projects. That has been played out. That movie, however, was how we first learned of Mendes. 

She stretched her comedy chops in “The Other Guys” in 2010 alongside Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell. 

That movie was hilarious, and she was amusing as the wife of Will Ferrell. Then again, that role was of a sexy (but smart) Latina who could whip of a home-cooked meal and be stunning all at the same time. Mendes can play the ultimate woman because she is a lot of ways. However, we understand she wants to break away from that notion that all Latinas are curvy, sexy, and feisty. 

Her Instagram is always active, so it makes us feel like Mendes hasn’t gone anywhere.

Credit: evamendes / Instagram

But we still miss you on the big screen, Eva. Come back!!

READ: Here Are 9 Latinos Who Have Become Triple Threats In The Entertainment Industry

Diego Luna And Gael Garcia Bernal Signed A Major Deal With Amazon Studios

Entertainment

Diego Luna And Gael Garcia Bernal Signed A Major Deal With Amazon Studios

lacorrientedelgolfo / Instagra

Celebrity BFFs share a special place in the collective consciousness of fans and admirers alike. Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal are no exception. While the pair once shared the “child actor” title, the two broke free of that category in their breakthrough roles in “Y Tu Mamá También.” Ever since then, the Diego Luna-and-Gael Garcia Bernal radar has remained on alert. We are happy to alert that this cute duo is working together once again.

Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal signed a deal Amazon Studios to create and produce content that will premiere on Amazon Prime Video.

Credit: @analydiamonaco / Twitter

The incredible deal means their Mexico-based production company La Corriente del Golfo, will initiate projects in Latin America. 

“We are incredibly excited to expand Amazon Studios’ relationship with the multitalented team of Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna,” said Vernon Sanders, Co-Head of Television, Amazon Studios, according to Deadline. “Their talent, creativity, and global perspective will undoubtedly result in even more compelling content for our Amazon Prime Video customers.”

The guys are equally excited about their new venture with the high-profile company.

Credit: @reeltalker / Twitter

“We are delighted and grateful at La Corriente del Golfo for our first-look deal with Amazon Studios,” Garcia Bernal said, according to Deadline. “This provides an opportunity for us and for talent in Latin America to create ambitious and interesting projects.”

Luna added: “This is an important moment for everyone at La Corriente del Golfo. We are very excited to work hand in hand with Amazon, as this will allow us to reach new audiences and to tell stories that represent us and reflect our realities.”

This is not the first time Garcia Bernal and Luna have worked together producing projects. In 2005, they launched Canana Films but left it in 2018. 

Credit: @CANANApresenta / Twitter

The Mexican production company produced at least 20 projects both for film and TV, including their 2008 film “Rudo y Cursi” and “César Chávez” starring Michael Peña in 2014. In 2019, they released Netlfix’s “Luis Miguel La Serie” and their last film “Miss Bala” starring Gina Rodriguez. 

In 2018, Luna and Garcia Bernal said they would stop producing under Canana Films to work on other projects. At the time of the announcement, we could not help but wonder if there was a rift between the two. Why would they stop working together? Did they break up! Now we know it was to start a new venture — together!

“Canana arose out of the strength that fraternity gives us when we express ourselves freely,” Garcia Bernal said in 2018, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “That will continue to be the slogan for every project we embark on. As in every cycle that ends, now another begins.”

Soon after they split with Canana Films, the guys announced they would launch their own production company called La Corriente del Golfo, which translates to Gulfstream in English. Here’s how Garcia Bernal explained the name of his new company, “La Corriente del Golfo is an ocean current that originates in the Gulf of Mexico and travels all the way to the North Atlantic, allowing for a temperate climate – and, without which, there’d be Arctic tundra,” Garcia Bernal said according to Variety, adding: “We take up the symbol of this global current to emphasize that liberty – in all its meanings –should flow as freely as an ocean current.” He is so poetic!

We love seeing working together in this kind of capacity, which will undoubtedly give more opportunity to Latinx actors. But these two have garnered success separately in their right. 

Credit: @el_universal_mx / Twitter

Ever since their critical acclaim in 2001 with “Y Tu Mamá También,” these talented actors have been working nonstop in both film and TV. Most recently, Garcia Bernal was nominated for Best Actor Golden Globe in 2017 for his role in Amazon’s “Mozart in the Jungle,” and in 2016, he won.

Luna has also had a lot of success with roles in the 2016 film “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” and Netflix’s “Narcos: Mexico.” The new second season of “Narcos: Mexico” will soon be on Netflix, and we cannot wait. 

With so much growth between these two (sorry, pun intended), we cannot help but look back at how far these two have come. Let’s take a look.

Cheers to these Mexican cuties, and congrats on the new deal! We’re excited to see their latest projects. 

READ: Everyone On The Internet Is Going Crazy About Diego Luna And Gael García Bernal