‘Y Soy Rebelde’: We Recast The Popular Show With Today’s Latino Stars
In 2004 Mexican telenovela powerhouse Televisa released a remake of the successful Argentinian show “Rebelde Way.” The plot was simple but compelling: a group of privileged Mexico City kids attend a boarding school for the rich and beautiful. Of course, intrigues, mishaps, musical numbers and plenty of melodramatic moments. Of course, it also offered some insights into the deep class division that permeates Mexican society, with some students being less better-off
“Rebelde” also launched the careers of stars like Anahí and Dulce María, who have continued on the spotlight of Latino celebrity culture. Come on, sing along:
“y soy rebelde
Cuando te quiero hasta rabiar
y soy rebelde
Cuando no pienso igual que ayer
y soy rebelde
Cuando me juego hasta la piel”
However, what would a version of the “Rebelde” cast look like today with millennial Latino talent?
1. 2004 “Rebelde” had: Anahí as Mía Colucci
Anahí Giovanna Puente Portilla de Velasco has continued her career after her appearance in this telenovela. She is currently married to the governor of the Mexican State of Chiapas, who has been often mentioned as a possible presidential candidate in future elections. She constantly appears in glossy magazines in her native Mexico.
We would cast: Bella Thorne
We just can’t get enough of this singer and actress, and she would add some spice to Miss Colucci, the epitome of the posh girl. Her father (who died tragically in 2007) was Cuban, so she has that Latino sass running in her veins. She has that old wisdom in a young woman’s body vibe going on.
2. 2004 “Rebelde” had: Christopher Von Uckermann as Diego Bustamante
The now vegan activist has continued his acting career and is now of the Netflix roster of Latino actors, where you will be able to see him in the horror show “Diablero.”
We would cast: Blake Jenner
His mother is Cuban and he broke into the mainstream after playing Ryder Lynn in Glee, a role he got after an audition in “The Glee Project.” He was raised in Miami and would bring plenty of sabor to the show. He has the looks and the voice, doesn’t he?
3. 2004 “Rebelde” had: Dulce María as Roberta Pardo Rey
She became a fiery icon of young rebellion in Latin America and Spanish-speaking communities in the United States. A legacy that is hard to follow as she became a sort of Avril Lavigne for Latina girls.
We would cast: Audri Nix
We believe the boricua rapper Audri Nix would be a great Roberta: she is fiery, she is talented and ready to rock and wreck havoc!
4. 2004 “Rebelde” had: Ninel Conde as Alma Rey
Alma Rey was a famous music diva who could afford to send her daughter to the exclusive boarding school. She was unlike the uptight parents, which made for some pretty cool telenovela moments.
We would cast: Sofia Vergara, obviamente
OK, this Colombian goddess is not strictly a millennial, but she embodies the curvaceous body, humor and intelligence of Ninel Conde’s character. And she does look a bit like Audri Nix, who would be her onscreen daughter in our imagined remake.
5. 2004 “Rebelde” had: Christian Chavez as Giovanni Mendéz López
He was one of the first actors in the heteronormative Televisa universe to come out as gay. He has since been a proud representative of sexual diversity in Mexico, a country that is still reluctant to fully come to the realization that LGBTQ people must have the same rights as everyone else.
We would cast: Justin Suarez
He charmed us as the younger brother of the lead character in Ugly Betty, mostly because of the fabulous way in which he embraced his sexual identity. We can’t thing of a prouder representative of queer Latinos.
6. 2004 “Rebelde” had: Alfonso Herrera as Miguel Arango Cervera
He is a Mexico City native and attended the world famous Edron Academy in London, where many Mexican stars have learnt the trade, among them Gael Garcia Bernal. After Rebelde he continued his telenovela career to much success.
We would cast: Omar Avila.
This Cuban-American actor has appeared in high profile productions like The Punisher. He has also appeared in several telenovelas and even in an episode of House M.D.
7.2004 “Rebelde” had: Maite Perroni as Guadalupe “Lupita” Fernández
She was the epitome of the good Mexican girl. She was bullied sometimes but found her inner Mean-Girls-Lindsay-Lohan to fight off her mean classmates.
We would cast: Becky G!
The American singer of Mexican heritage has the looks and the talent to fulfill the role of the cute Lupita. It would be great to see her in a more tame persona where she can let us see her more vulnerable side.
8. 2004 “Rebelde” had: Angelique Boyer as Victoria Paz
Angelique Boyer is one of the most successful Rebelde alumni. She has continued a successful telenovela career… and been involved in a scandal or two.
We would cast: Soni Nicole Bringas
This American actress of Argentinian heritage was AMAZING in Netflix’s Fuller House and we just can’t get enough of her. She would be a classy addition with an air of the old world.
9. 2004 “Rebelde” had: Estefania Villareal as Celina Ferrer
Viewers in the Spanish-speaking world fell in love with Estefania. She embodied body positivity in a day in which the idea of beauty involved super skinny models and thin bodies that even led some countries to legislate against the glorification of unhealthy habits. Estefania was proud in her body and let everyone know.
We would cast: Jesenia
She is a kickass Latina comedian that could very easily enter the Rebelde world and give a touch of wittiness to the sometimes lame dialogues.
10. 2004 “Rebelde” had: Zoraida Gomez as José Luján Landeros
One of her greatest assets is a musical talent that is perhaps unrivaled by anyone else in the Rebelde cast.
We would cast: Jessy Bulbo
Jessy Bulbo is an amazing singer who has become a cult figure in hipsterland. Her androgynous looks would give a very contemporary feel to our show.
11. 2004 “Rebelde” had: Eddy Vilard as Teodoro Ruiz Palacios
Every high school needs a nerdy and charming kid, and Teodoro fulfilled this Harry-Potteresque role in the Rebelde universe. Eddy Vilard was charming without being a pushover.
We would cast: Rico Rodriguez
We can’t play casting directors without considering the incredibly talented Rodriguez, a Texan young man who we have seen grow in Modern Family, where he plays the super smart Manny Delgado. Plus, it would be great to see him share the screen with Sofia Vergara in a different show.