If “Never Been Kissed” Had An All Latinx Cast
Who doesn’t have a soft-spot in their hearts for the quintessential Drew Barrymore ’90s rom-com “Never Been Kissed”? For those of you who don’t know, “Never Been Kissed” (which turned 20-years-old on Tuesday) is the story of Josie Geller, a young, mid-level reporter who is tasked to go undercover as a highschool student to infiltrate the school’s clique of popular kids and report on all of the scandalous things they’re getting up to. While she’s on assignment, she ends up falling head-over-heels with her English teacher (a dreamy Michael Vartan).
Sure, the storyline seems borderline inappropriate in our post-#MeToo era, but die-hard fans of the movie still celebrate it for its tender and affectionate portrayal of a nerdy, virginal bookworm who takes the phrase “unlucky in love” to another level. And although we love “Never Been Kissed”, there are unfortunately very few Latinos in the cast (although it does mark the film debut of a young Jessica Alba). So in celebration of “Never Been Kissed”‘s anniversary–and in order to bring attention to the issue of Latinx representation in the media–we’ve re-casted the original roster so it includes an all-Latinx talent pool.
1. Tessa Thompson as Josie Geller
If ever there was an actress–let alone a Latina actress–to fill Drew Barrymore’s shoes, it would undoubtedly would be powerhouse performer and “Sorry To Bother You” star Tessa Thompson.
2. Tessa Thompson has that relatable, cutesy quality that makes us want to do everything in our power to protect her.
Not to mention, Thompson could convincingly play a teenager in her own right–let alone an adult–playing-an-adult-playing-a-teenager.
3. Jay Hernandez as Sam Coulson
If any of you have seen Jay Hernandez in “Bad Moms”, then you know that this man can sell both sexy and responsible.
4. Jay Hernandez has a charisma that mixes intelligence with sex appeal
More than anything, it’s important that Sam/Mr. Coulson comes off as genuinely smart and respectful, otherwise this role could easily veer into “creepy” territory.
5. Wilmer Valderrama as Rob Geller
Sure, we love Wilmer Valderrama now, but we also remember the days when he was one of Hollywood’s most notorious playboys.
6. Valderrama would be great as Josie’s lovable slacker brother who dreams of his high-school glory days.
Not to mention, we’d love to see Valderrama play Rodriguez’s brother.
7. Anjelah Johnson as Anita
Both hilarious actresses have the comedic timing to pull of the role of the sex-obsessed co-worker and best friend to Josie Geller.
8. Laz Alonso as George
Cuban-American actor Laz Alonso would be great as Josie’s right-hand man to her under-cover operation, George. Not to mention, he has the same levels of swag–not an easy feat!
9. John Leguizamo as Gus
Like John C. Reilly, John Leguizamo is a kooky character actor that has the ability to play both serious and comedic roles.
10. Emiliano Diez as Rigfort
Originally played by the legendary director Garry Marshall, the role of newspaper owner and Josie’s boss would be a great fit for “George Lopez” actor, Emiliano Diez.
11. Diego Bonita as Guy Perkins
Who better to play a teen heartthrob and the unfortunate reminder of Josie’s unfortunate past than pretty-boy Diego Bonita? We already know he rocks at starring in teen-centric storylines (hello, “Pretty Little Liars”).
12. Michael Trevino as Jason
We love Mexican-American actor Michael Trevino, but if we learned anything from “The Vampire Diaries”, it’s that he’s very capable of pulling of an air-headed dumb jock, just like James Franco did so perfectly 20 years ago.
13. Victor Rasuk as Tommy
What good is a group of popular guys without a third meat-head to round out the gang?
14. Cierra Ramirez as Aldys
Although Cierra Ramirez is all grown up now compared to her early days on “The Fosters”, we still think of her as the brilliant computer whiz, Mariana. Since we know she can convincingly play a cute nerdy girl, we think she’d be perfect to play the role of Josie’s first friend as an undercover teen: Aldys.
15. Lauren Velez as Cynthia
Lauren Velez is exactly the type of actress to fill in Octavia Spencer’s usually un-fillable shoes as the no-nonsense coworker, Cynthia.
16. Naya Rivera as Kirsten
Initially played by legendary Latina actress Jessica Alba, Naya Rivera would be a great updated choice to play the leader of the mean girls, Queen-B Kirsten. Not only is she beautiful, she’s also just the right amount of scary!
17. Sofia Carson as Kristen
The less powerful and laughably interchangeble other-half of the Kirsten/Kristen duo. Sofia Carson isn’t as menacing as Naya Rivera, but we’re sure she’d have a great time playing a ditz after playing such strong characters throughout her career.
18. Camila Mendes as Gibby
Gibby is the “Gretchen Weiners” of this “Never Been Kissed” popular-girl group. Who else but Camilla Mendes to fill the role of the requisite brunette best-friend?
19. Isabela Moner as Rob’s Girlfriend
Isabela Moner gives off the perfect vibe of both sexy and cute to be Rob’s high school girlfriend (who also happens to be a gymnast).
20. Tony Revolori as Merkin
As Josie’s nerdy coworker, we could totally see “Spiderman: Homecoming”‘s Tony Revolori pull of this role. He has both the talent and the physicality to make this his own.