Entertainment

The Director Of ‘Mi Vida Loca’ Ended Up Adopting Her Daughter From One Of The Movie’s Real Gang Members After She Died

“Mi Vida Loca” is a cult classic. Latinos love this movie and it’s a part of our pop culture legacy, but when “Mi Vida Loca” first premiered in 1993 it wasn’t seen in the light that we see it today. A lot of critics panned it. One critic said that while filmmaker Allison Anders mixed “real gang members with up-and-coming Latin American actresses,” the ploy failed “to lend the film authenticity or vitality. The tone seems, to put it kindly, misguidedly romantic.” Another said, “While the characters are colorful and vibrant, the film is strangely flat.” However, this independent film represented much more than it was. For Latinos, it wasn’t just a low budget movie, it was ourselves on the big screen. 

It was Latinos representing Latinos. It was our story and no critic could ever take that away. 

Director Allison Anders was inspired to create “Mi Vida Loca” after meeting her daughter’s Latina friends.

The basis for Sad Girl and Mousey is based on real people that Anders saw in her neighborhood. Her daughter informed her mom all about the novela that was taking place right outside her door. In a 1994 interview with Bomb magazine, Anders said, “I had seen these two 14-year-old girls with babies on their hips, yelling at each other. So finally I said, ‘Devan [her daughter], what’s up with these girls?’ And Devan, who was nine years old at the time said, ‘Well, Christine and Marty were best friends since elementary school. Then Christine had a baby by Ernesto. But then Marty had a baby by Ernesto. And now they don’t get along.” And that is how the story of how Sad Girl and Mousey was born.

Anders said they filmed in Echo Park, which is where she lived too, right as the gentrification of the area was taking place. 

That meant she had to make sure everyone on the set was safe because real gang members lived there as well. Anders said the real gang members she met as inspiration for “Mi Vida Loca” were actually part of a gang that didn’t reside in Echo Park, but a neighborhood nearby. That tension of real actors and real gang members shooting a film in gang territory caused for some interesting days on the set. 

“I was very concerned however with keeping the real gang members in the cast and crew safe,” Anders said in an interview with Screen Slate. “So my producers and I involved the Echo Park members every step of the way to know which neighborhoods were safe for us to shoot in. We literally took them in the car location scouting to check out the safety. Sometimes the borders were block to block: “We can shoot down here—but not across the street.”

While some had issues that a white woman was directing a movie about Latina gang members, Anders said she got the dialogue approved by Latinas on the set.

Anders said that real gang members “approved every single draft of the script, and after a while could pitch it and give notes better than anyone I’ve met since, seriously.” She added that each person that was consulted on the film was paid and credited. “We even kept the money in the neighborhood literally – the art department rented set dressing from their homes – which also gave a sense of pride that a movie company was renting some banner they made for their bedroom to put on film. We rented the homes of the parents and grandparents of the Echo Park locas and locos. Make-up purchased the real stuff the actual girls wore from Woolworth’s on Sunset Blvd.”

Here’s one remarkable story about how Anders adopted the child of one of a Latina gang member that died before the release of the film. 

Anders said that Nica Rogers, a member of the Echo Park gang, died of an overdose at the age of 19. She was in a few scenes in the movie as well. Rogers had a son named Rueben who was left orphaned after the death of his mother, so Anders adopted him. He is now 28-years-old, married with his family and living in Texas. He is also working in the Hollywood industry. Anders also started a Nica Rogers scholarship that would benefit the youth in Echo Park. It’s so amazing to see this movie live on in not just on the screen but in people’s lives too. 

READ: Mousie And Sad Girl From “Mi Vida Loca” Are Ultimate #Friendshipgoals

J.Lo Has Been Nominated For A Golden Globe For Best Supporting Actress For ‘Hustlers’

Entertainment

J.Lo Has Been Nominated For A Golden Globe For Best Supporting Actress For ‘Hustlers’

jlo / hustlersmovie / Instagram

Jennifer Lopez has been an acting treasure since she portrayed Selena in 1997. Her role in “Hustlers” has received praise since the movie was released earlier this year with a lot of Oscar buzz. Now, it seems more and more likely that J.Lo will get a highly coveted Oscar nomination as other nominations are starting to roll in and she is so excited.

The first award nomination that came in was from the Critics’ Choice Awards.

Credit: @JLo / Twitter

The Critics’ Choice Awards is presented annually by the American-Canadian Broadcast Film Critics Association. J.Lo is competing in the category against Laura Dern in “Marriage Story,” Scarlett Johansson “Jojo Rabbit,” Florence Pugh “Little Women,” Margot Robbie in “Bombshell,” and Zhao Shuzhen “The Farewell.”

J.Lo really lit up when she was informed that she was nominated for the Golden Globes.

“Hi, guys! I’m just waking up and I just heard that I got nominated for ‘Best Supporting Actress’ for a Golden Globe. Oh my God,” J.Lo said in a video shared on social media to her fans. “It’s been 20 years since I was nominated for ‘Selena.’ I just want to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for this incredible honor. I am humbled and so excited to be recognized for this role as Ramona in ‘Hustlers.’ Thank you so much and I’ll see you at the Globes.”

Of course, the always attentive and supportive AROD was there to shoot his own behind the scenes video of her recording her video.

AROD has been a supporting partner in J.Lo’s career since the two got together. He is there at her concerts backstage to pick her up and give her praise. He has accompanied her to award shows and showered her with love and appreciation for the work she does as an entertainer, mother, partner, and human being. Tbh, AROD is simply the best partner anyone could ask for.

Fans are so excited to see their favorite person getting such incredible honors for her work in “Hustlers.”

“Hustlers,” for those who haven’t seen it, follows a group of women who use drugs and finesse to get money from clients at a popular strip club. The women take things a bit too far and everything starts to unravel and Ramona, the ringleader, tries her best to keep all of the women in check before things get too real.

Fans are showering the singer and actress with love and praise for her nominations.

Credit: @jlo_truelover / Twitter

There’s been a lot of Oscar buzz since the movie was released and the buzz is only getting stronger. J.Lo gave a powerful and compelling performance as a stripper breaking the law to make sure she and her friends are all taken care of financially. It is a story of a group of strippers playing Robin Hood with some of Wall Street’s biggest earners and how it all falls apart.

If the trend continues, it won’t be long until we see J.Lo winning some awards this season.

Credit: @mya9553280 / Twitter

Congratulations, J.Lo. Good luck during award season!

Watch the trailer for “Hustlers” below!

Don’t miss out on watching what is proving to be a powerful film about financial inequality and the lengths people will go to make their lives better.

READ: Critics Think Jennifer Lopez Gave An Oscar-Worthy Performance In ‘Hustlers’

These 10 Latino Films Needs To Be On Your Binge List For After Thanksgiving Dinner

Entertainment

These 10 Latino Films Needs To Be On Your Binge List For After Thanksgiving Dinner

Bellas de Noche

Get ready for lots of food, lots of family, and lots of home time because it’s Thanksgiving weekend. Whether you’re hosting a feast, traveling to see family and friends or just enjoying some time off from work, one of the biggest holidays of the year deserves good TV and movies to go along with the turkey and stuffing. Think of a Thanksgiving binge-watch as a side you can’t overcook.

1. Coco

this movie focuses on the need to honor one’s family and tugs at your heartstrings. Perfect to snuggle up on the couch and watch with a hot cup of chocolate abuelita and recalentado.

2. Bellas de Noche

Or ‘Queens of the night’ in English, follows the story of five of the most famous showgirls in Mexico during the 1970s and 1980s (a time were nightclubs, cabarets and theaters dominated nightlife) as they reminisce on their past glory and fame.

3. Latin History for Morons.

John Leguizamo dives into the deep and heartbreaking history of Latinos in the Americas and traces 3,000 years of Latin History with his signature style of humor.

4. Cristela Alonzo: Lower Classy

Comedienne Cristela Alonzo tackles Latino stereotypes, social norms and her mother’s tough-love parenting style. In her comedy special, Cristela reminds everyone why she is a boss babe, and one of the top Latinx comedians to watch.

5. Pachamama

his one is for the whole familia. The writers of the film Pachamama weaved a beautiful and timeless journey-to-hero story about a boy who goes on an adventure to achieve something greater than he is and showing that we could all believe in a little more magic.

6. Neruda

he movie introduces audiences to a flawed, opinionated Pablo Neruda (Luis Gnecco), the poet and senator who was forced into hiding in 1948 after the Chilean government swung from left to right. But it also includes a made-up figure, the ambitious investigator Óscar Peluchonneau (Bernal), to play the serious and rigid foil to Neruda’s flamboyant and creative personality.

7. Residente

This one’s perfect for the Calle 13 fans out there. Follow Residente, as he trots the globe learning more about the places he comes from and how his ancestors brought him to where he is today.

After having taken a DNA test, the 24-time Grammy Award-winning and Nobel Peace Summit Award recipient seeks to learn more about himself through the lens of others.

9. Aquarius

In this not-so-subtle jab at Brazil’s real estate boom, Clara (Sonia Braga), a longtime resident of a housing complex in Recife, Brazil, refuses to leave when developers come to take away her home. The businessmen may resort to cruel methods to try and push her out, but Clara is steadfast. As she begins to reminisce about her memory-filled years there, her fight to stay becomes a mission.

10. Our Last Tango

Once a renowned couple in the Buenos Aires tango scene, the dancers María Nieves Rego and Juan Carlos Copes split professionally after their marriage shattered. But after years apart, they reunite to reflect on their 50-year relationship for this Argentine documentary, which blends talking head interviews with stylish modern-dance and tango interpretations of Rego’s childhood and the couple’s relationship.