According to Deadline Hollywood, Eva Longoria and her company UnbeliEVAble Entertainment are taking charge of “My Daughter’s Quinceañera” as producers. The movie, originally written and pitched by Lauren Iungerich, focuses on a single father who’s giving his daughter the quinceañera of her dreams. This will be Longoria’s first project with the NBC/Universal family since her sitcom “Telenovela” was canceled after just one season. But, despite the lackluster performance of the sitcom, Universal has faith that Longoria can make the movie relevant to “a broad range of diverse audiences.”
Alright now, Eva. Let’s make sure this Latino story shines.
“There’s simply no better place I could think of than Universal Pictures, whose diverse portfolio of releases is inspirational,” Longoria told Deadline Hollywood. “Lauren’s pitch was so brilliant and funny, and to bring this experience to life is like reliving my 15th birthday.”
Longoria and Peña, who are starring in this summer’s live-action Dora the Explorer film as Dora’s mother and father respectively, Dora and the Lost City of Gold, sat down with Vanity Fair to teach us (and test their own knowledge) Mexican slang. Whether you’re Mexican or not, you’ve probably heard a few of these classic phrases floating around. For example, “no manches,” which Peña explains has a lot of different definitions depending on the context, but generally translates to “get out of here” or “shut up” when responding to something that’s surprising or you just can’t believe. But these two can definitely explain it better than I can.
The definition and use of terms such as chicano, pedo, chamba, naco, among a ton of others are also broken down by the Dora and the Lost City of Gold actors in this hilarious video.
Now, be honest, how many of these do you use on a daily basis? Or how many did you have no idea what they actually meant?
The 44-year-old Corpus Christi native and the 43-year-old Chicago-born Narcos: Mexico actor aren’t the first to be recruited by Vanity Fair to teach us Mexican slang. In 2017, while on a press run for her film How to Be a Latin Lover, Salma Hayek sat in the tutorial hot seat to challenge others in the art of Mexican slang. The 52-year-old actress, who was born in Mexico, listed a few of the same phrases as shared by Longoria and Peña, but also explained the meaning behind several expressions such as “no mames,” “hombres malos,” “eso que ni que,” “tienes feria,” and “me vale madres.”
I think it’s safe to say that Salma Hayek taught us a lot of important ones here, amirite?
With Peña and Longoria’s new film, it’s probably important to become acquainted with a few of these phrases—Dora is, after all, an iconic Latina character. And the latest live-action movie features a number of Mexican and Mexican-American actors (Peña, Longoria, Eugenio Derbez, Danny Trejo, Adriana Barraza Isela Vega), so who knows if some of these terms will make their way to this big screen debut.
Based on Nickelodeon’s highly popular educational pre-school series, Dora the Explorer, Dora and the Lost City of Gold follows a teenaged Dora (played by Isabela Moner) as she heads off to high school—which just might be her biggest and most challenging adventure yet. The quirky fun film sends Dora off on a mission to track down her parents, who are in need of saving, and enlists the help of her friends, including her primo Diego (played by Jeff Wahlberg) and monkey Boots. Along the way, she comes across familiar faces, like Swiper the Fox (voiced by Benicio del Toro)—who remembers the catchphrase, swiper no swiping?—while also trying to solve the mystery behind a lost Incan civilization.
The character of Dora the Explorer has played such an important role for Latino and non-Latino children alike.
Ok, so perhaps not teaching them Mexican slang like our friends Eva Longoria, Michael Peña and Salma Hayek, but most definitely teaching them Spanish. That was the case for one of those behind this new live-action take on Dora.
“My daughter knows Spanish because of Dora,” Dora and the City of Gold director James Bobin told the Los Angeles Times. “When she was little, I remember saying to her once, ‘What’s your favorite animal?’ And she said, ‘Ardilla.’ And I went, ‘A deer?’ and got a picture from a book of a deer. And she goes, ‘No, no, no, no, ardilla’ and pointed out the window [because] ardilla in Spanish is squirrel.”
And like its cartoon counterpart, Dora and the City of Gold hopes to appeal to all audiences. “The beautiful thing of the story is that thematically, it’s pretty universal,” Eva Longora said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “I think everybody’s going to understand it and relate to it. You don’t have to be Latino, but it is a celebration of our culture within the movie. Our language is in it, people who [reflect] our community are in it, it’s organically Latino. It wasn’t like ‘Insert Latino here.’ ”
Dora and the Lost City of Gold is in theaters everywhere August 9.
When it comes to grooming a daughter’s hair, Black fathers haven’t been shy about expressing the difficulties that come along with the morning ritual. And Afro-Latino fathers are no exception. In Latinx communities with large Afro-Latino populations, having “good hair” is a label we all have to contend with. Young girls have a lot of pressure put on them to look put-together so, by extension, our families look put together.
We all have memories of our mothers making sure our baby-bangs were smoothed down and our outfits were washed and pressed to perfection.
Being well-groomed is so important to Afro-Latinos who face societal pressure to look perfect in order to combat bias.
So, when fathers occasionally have to groom their children when their mother is unavailable, the pressure, needless to say, is on. We’ve all seen the genre of viral videos where fathers struggle to part, brush, braid and secure their daughters’ hair–obviously not previously aware of all the labor that goes into daily hair upkeep. Even celebrities have gotten in on the trend with men like Alexis Ohanian, husband to Serena Williams, joining “Natural Hair” groups on Facebook to learn more about their children’s rizos.
Writer/director Matthew Cherry wanted to explore the topic of Black fathers doing their daughters hair, so he decided to make an animated short about it.
According to Cherry, the short, titled “Hair Love” is about a Black father (who has locs himself) who does his daughter’s hair for the first time. “You know how guys are, a lot of times we’re hard-headed and we think we can figure everything out by ourselves without asking for help,” said Cherry during an interview. “[The father in the short] thinks it’s going to be an easy task but he soon finds out her hair has a mind of its own”.
The father isn’t the only one who learns a lesson in self-confidence in the course of the film, though. In the end, the young girl also “comes into a level of self-confidence in the process” of her father learning how to do her hair. So, in other words, the entire film is an ode to self-love, family, and the priceless experience of bonding.
To finance “Hair Love”, Cherry created a Kickstarter campaign with the initial goal of raising $75,000. The campaign quickly caught the internet’s attention and became a viral phenomenon thanks to celebrity champions like Issa Rae and Jordan Peele. The $75,000 goal was quickly surpassed. All in all, the campaign raked in a total of $280,000–smashing Kickstarter’s short-film financing records.
Cherry recruited Black animators like “Proud Family”‘s Bruce W. Smith and “WALL-E”‘s Everett Downing Jr. to help him make his dreams a reality.
As for Cherry, he’s candid about the reason he decided to explore the topic of Black hair and Black fathers: because mainstream media’s representation has left much to be desired. According to Cherry, not only did he want to shine a light on the labor of love that doing Black hair requires, but he wanted to highlight the relationships between Black fathers and their daughters.
“For me, I just think it was really important to shine a light on Black fathers doing domestic things with their kids because mainstream media would lead you to believe that Black fathers aren’t a part of their kids’ lives”, Cherry said. “And there have been a lot of recent surveys that actually show otherwise–that show that Black fathers are just as involved in their kids’ lives as any other racial group”.
Now, “Hair Love” will be played ahead of “The Angry Birds Movie 2” in theaters nationwide
The nationwide release will provide a massive platform for an under-told story. Not to mention, it will provide Black children with their own images reflected back to them–something many of them haven’t seen before. Not to mention, the security of a theatrical release has made “Hair Love” officially eligible for an Academy Award nomination.
As for Cherry, he’s over-the-moon about the opportunity for his project to be seen by millions of people. “To see this project go from a Kickstarter campaign to the big screen is truly a dream come true,” he said in a press statement. “I couldn’t be more excited for “Hair Love” to be playing with “The Angry Birds Movie 2” in front of a wide audience and for the world to see our touching story about a Black father trying to figure out how to do his daughter’s hair for the very first time.”
We’ll admit: we didn’t have plans to see “Angry Birds 2” in theaters before we knew about this. But now, you might just see us on opening night, standing in line for the movie right next to our fathers! Catch “Hair Love” before “The Angry Birds Movie 2” in theaters on August 14th.
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