The New Face Of Dora The Explorer On Learning English And Being Obsessed With Her Dog
If you haven’t met Isabela Moner yet, first, where have you been? Second, the 18-year-old Peruvian-American actress is about to blow up Hollywood. Moner is playing the role of a grown-up Dora the Explorer we all grew up with in upcoming film “Dora and the Lost City of Gold.” Spoiler alert: Dora grows out of the Spanish teacher phase and becomes a very adventurous teenager.
Isabela Moner, on the other hand, could have used an English-teaching Dora the Explorer as a child. Today, she’s bringing her culture and bilingual mind to Hollywood and it shows.
Isabela Moner was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio.
Her mother was born in Lima, Peru and her father was born in Louisiana. Her mom immigrated to Indiana in the 80’s as an exchange student, where she eventually met Moner’s father. At home, Moner’s family spoke exclusive Spanish and Spanglish, and she struggled with English when she started going to school.
In fact, her teachers wanted to hold her back a grade because her English grammar wasn’t up to par.
Moner was bullied for her shoddy English so much that she focused on speaking English and slowly lost some of her Spanish fluency. In an essay for PopSugar, she confesses, “I don’t think they meant it to bother me, but hearing me translate Spanish into English and jumbling phrases into things like “house brown” or “car big” would usually provoke much laughter.”
Then, she skipped two grades and got into college at age 15.
Moner went on to major in psychology…before she even started learning how to drive. Morale of the story: fitting in is lame.
Moner feels more Peruvian than she feels American.
All her teachers and peers thought it was strange that Moner struggled with assimilating to American culture even though she was born here. When Moner visits Peru, she feels at home, and she thanks Latinos for welcoming her “even though [she] wasn’t born on Latin American soil.”
Moner has spoken out against gun violence, asking fans to help get a bus for student activists to “March for Our Lives.”
“PLEASE READ,” her Instagram post reads. “We’re young, but we’re not dumb. The students in Parkland, Florida have made way more of an impact and change than the Legislative branch has. And now my good friend, Sara and her friends are doing something about it in my hometown of Ohio!”
Moner is a Renaissance Woman–a singer, Broadway star and movie star.
Moner was the first Peruvian girl to star in a Broadway show, Evita. She also became the first Latina to have a leading role in a Transformers film. She also contributed to the soundtrack for Instant Family, a film that she starred in with Mark Wahlberg and Joselin Reyes.
She is *obsessed* with her dog, Pluto.
No, really. Pluto shares the frame with her at every single at-home fashion shoot. Sometimes, he gets his own photo shoots depicting “the morning routine of a wise man.” The wise man is Pluto.
Oh, and she brought Pluto to the #DoraMovie set on Bring Your Dog to Work Day.
The #DoraMovie Twitter account shared this hilarious on-set video of Moner sharing a carrot with Pluto the best way she knew how.
Moner has used her powers of Dora for good, asking her fanbase for prayers for this fan.
In a heart-breaking Instagram post, she pens, “This morning I discovered Balil is severely ill. When I first met you I had no idea of your circumstance.
When I heard the news I was so angry. I was dwelling on the fact that you might never get to drive, go to a school dance, or graduate. You remind me of my little brother. You told me you loved super heroes and that you wanted to have strength like Superman and super speed like The Flash. Your mother has such a good spirit about her. She doesn’t deserve this yet she carries no resentment.
We have very little to complain about. We may have rough days but at least we have them. What makes me so sad is his disposition. The thought of losing a soul like his. We need more people like him.
I’m not as appreciative as I should be. My faith is shaky. I’m angry. And I really don’t have words. Bilal, I sincerely wish I could take away all your pain.
I continue to praise, no matter how hard this is for me to understand. I need everyone to pray for him and his mother. Even if you’ve never stepped foot in a church. Any good energy sent his way will make the world of a difference. Thank you.”
“Dora and the Lost City of Gold” comes out August 9th.
Be sure to support Moner, her movie parents, Eva Longoria and Eugenio Derbez and even Danny Trejo as the voice of Boots the Monkey. If you haven’t seen the trailer yet, que estas esperando?
Plus, Isabela Moner knows que es mejor sola que mal acompañada.
Be like Isabela Moner and get your very own “Mejor Sola” sueter only at mitú. Next time your mami wants you to put on a sweater, you’ll have one to answer to all your tía’s preguntas mismas. 😉