Entertainment

White People Playing Latino Actors on Broadway is a Thing of the Past

estefan
CREDIT: NBC News

Gloria and Emilio Estefan’s new play on Broadway, On Your Feet!, is bringing more Latino actors into the theater. This is a BIG deal — huge even — because for the better part of Broadway’s history, Latino actors were almost non existent.

“In the past, shows were written about Hispanics (West Side Story), but not by Hispanics,” as Raul Reyes writes for NBC News. “Nor was it unusual for a show with Latino characters not to hire any actual Latino actors.”

¿Qué, qué? That’s correct. And since ticket have generally been on the pricey side for these Latino plays sans Latinos, Latino audiences weren’t exactly rushing to grab a seat.

Luckily, with On Your Feet! and other plays featuring Latinos, like Hamilton, this is only the beginning for because we now see Broadway “can’t control itself any longer.”

Read more about Latinos on Broadway here.

READ: 13 Places that Prove NYC has a Latino Heartbeat

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This List Of 17 Celebrities That You Didn’t Know Were Latino Will Leave You Wondering How You Didn’t Know

Entertainment

This List Of 17 Celebrities That You Didn’t Know Were Latino Will Leave You Wondering How You Didn’t Know

brunomars / camerondiaz / Instagram

We’ve all done it. You meet someone new, take one good look at them and ask (almost rhetorically): “So, where are you from?” Often we expect faces to match exotic countries around the world, but frequently the response, complemented with a puzzled expression, is something like: “Oh, umm Michigan…”

But Latinos come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, We can be white and blonde gueros, we can be black, and every color in between. We are gay, Muslim, Asian, Jewish, Indigenous, and so much more.

Here are 32 Latino celebrities that you probably didn’t know are, in fact, Latino.

1. Nicole Richie

Credit: @TheAffinityMag / Twitter

You likely know Nicole Richie as Lionel Richie’s daughter and from “The Simple Life” with bestie Paris Hilton. Nicole was actually adopted by Lionel and her biological family has Mexican ancestry.

I mean people really didn’t know…

Credit: @marsisbored / Twitter

Like it was a serious shock apparently to many across social media.

2. Aubrey Plaza

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The Parks and Recreation star is boricua pa’que lo sepas, but in several interviews, she said that people never think she’s Puerto Rican. “I’m very fair-skinned, but I feel really connected to that side of my family.”

3. Alexis Bedel

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Yep, it’s true! The actress, best known for her role as Rory Gilmore on Gilmore Girls, was born to Argentinian parents (her mom grew up in Mexico) and raised in a Spanish-speaking household. She’s told Latina that she’s often assumed to be Irish.

4. Bruno Mars

Credit: brunomars / Instagram

Born Peter Hernandez to Puerto Rican and Filipino parents, Mars changed his name to avoid being stereotyped in the music industry, he told GQ.com. “People would say, ‘Your last name’s Hernandez, maybe you should do Latin music … Enrique Iglesias is so hot right now!'”

5. Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi

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Jersey Shore star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi made a name for herself as the (very tan) of New Jersey’s Italian-Americans. But she was actually born in Chile and adopted by an Italian-American family when she was just six months old.

6. Cameron Diaz

Credit: camerondiaz / Instagram

Cameron Diaz’s father is of Cuban descent, born and raised in Tampa, Florida’s Ybor City. The bubbly blonde actress told Vogue magazine she spent part of her summers as a child in Tampa with her over-protective grandmother, “playing cards, eating steak and rice and beans and drinking RC Cola and watching soap operas.”

7. Jessica Alba

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Actress Jessica Alba’s father is Mexican-American, and she says she takes pride in being Latina, despite rumors to the contrary.

8. Sara Paxton

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WIth roles on “Good Girls” and “Last House on the Left”, blonde-haired, blue-eyed Sara says people are often surprised to learn she’s half Mexican.

“People never believe me,”she told The Huffington Post. “I think it’s because they have this stereotype of what a Latina’s supposed to look like, and I don’t fit that typical look.”

9. Hulk Hogan

Credit: Flickering Myth

Considered by some as the greatest professional wrestler ever, Hulk Hogan, born in Georgia. But did you know that he has Panamanian roots?

10. Kid Cudi

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Kid Cudi’s real name is Scott Ramon Seguro. His father is a proud Mexican-American.

11. Frankie Muniz

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Everyone knew of Frankie Muniz while growing up thanks to “Malcolm in the Middle” and “Agent Cody Banks.”

While Frankie is his stage name, his real name is Francisco, probably thanks to his Puerto Rican father.

12. Raquel Welch

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Raquel Welch’s apellido is Tejada. The soap opera star changed her name while trying to make it in Hollywood, but her father was born in La Paz, Bolivia.

13. Uma Thurman

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You probably know Uma Thurman from her role in “Pulp Fiction” but did you know she has Mexican roots? Her mother, a fashion model named Nena von Schlebrügge, was born in Mexico City before moving to New York to be a model.

14. Vanna White

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You know her as the legendary hostess of Wheel of Fortune, but White – whose very last name hints that she’s Caucasian— is actually part-Latina!

You see, “White” is not Vanna’s real apellido—it’s the name she took from her stepfather Herbert Stackley WhiteJr., a former real estate agent in North Myrtle Beach.  Not much is known about Vanna’s real father whose name is Miguel Angel Rosich, except that he was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico and abandoned the family when she was a child.

15. Mark Ballas

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Professional ballroom dancer Mark Ballas (Dancing With the Stars) is half-Greek, and half-Mexican. Ballas’ paternal grandmother was named Maria Luisa Marulanda Ballas — and while she is not Latina herself — Ballas’ mother, Shirley Ballas is an award-winning dancer who won the 1995 International Latin American Dance Championship, earning the nickname “The Queen of Latin.” 

16. James Roday

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The last name trips people up, James says, but the Psych star, who’s half Mexican, changed it from Rodriguez to Roday when he launched his career for two reasons: There was already another James Rodriguez registered in the Screen Actors Guild, and an agent at the network where he landed his first job worried that they would look like they were skirting around issues of diversity by casting a white Latino.

17. Fergie

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Fergie was everywhere in the early 2000s as part of the musical group The Black Eyed Peas. But, now you know that she has Mexican ancestry in her family line.

READ: We Ranked Instagram’s 17 Most Followed Latino Celebrities And Their Claims to Fame

He Is One Of Broadway’s Best Choreographers And His Story Of Being Undocumented To Chase His Dream Is Inspiring

Entertainment

He Is One Of Broadway’s Best Choreographers And His Story Of Being Undocumented To Chase His Dream Is Inspiring

sergiotrujillo1 / Instagram

Colombian dancer and choreographer Sergio Trujillo has lived a life, and it’s getting more colorful. The artist won his first Tony award last weekend and took his stage moment to thank his cast, his husband, and to come out as a formerly undocumented immigrant.

This isn’t just a story about an immigrant who has made spectacular contributions to American culture and art. Trujillo wants other dreamers to know that, despite the political climate, they should keep fighting for their dreams. Anything’s possible.

Trujillo first dedicated his award “to my Colombian family who had taught me to love music and dance since I was a little boy.”

@sergiotrujillo1 / Instagram

As Trujillo stepped up to the mic to make his acceptance speech, he literally jumped up and down on the stage. “I’m so lucky,” he began. “There are so many people I love in my life.” He specifically thanked his mother and siblings in Spanish and continued his speech in English.

“I arrived in New York City over 30 years ago as an illegal immigrant.”

@JuntaHispana / Twitter

“I didn’t just show up yesterday,” he announced. “I arrived in NYC over 30 years ago as an illegal immigrant.” Trujillo later told AP News that his announcement felt like he was coming out as a gay man all over again.

Only his husband, family, and close friends knew about his immigration story.

@sergiotrujillo1 / Instagram

He opened up about the internalized shame he still carries from living in the U.S. without papers. “One keeps it so deep inside, it’s like a secret that one must maintain. So when I talk about it I still feel guilty, like I’m doing something wrong,” he told AP.

Trujillo felt called to use his platform to send a message of hope to the millions of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.

@sergiotrujillo1 / Instagram

“I stand here as proof,” he said to an audience giving him a standing ovation. “For all those dreamers, I want you to hear this. The American dream is still alive. You just have to keep on fighting because change will come.”

Trujillo quickly code-switched and concluded with a rallying call in Spanish.

@sergiotrujillo1 / Instagram

“For all those who are listening, I want you to know that if I, Sergio Trujillo, born in Cali, Colombia, can win this moment, so can you. You can do it.”

Trujillo’s family moved from Cali, Colombia to Canada when he was 12 years old.

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They lived there illegally for a few years until they were granted amnesty. He then crossed the Canadian border with his Colombian passport and stayed illegally for ten more years until he was granted citizenship.

He studied biochemistry at the University of Toronto until he quit to try his luck on Broadway.

@stepsonbroadway / Instagram

He lived at friends’ houses, took dance classes and auditioned. Once he started being hired to perform in Broadway shows, he was able to get temporary visas.

Trujillo’s hard work has certainly paid off.

@sergiotrujillo1 / Instagram

While he hasn’t publicly spoken about this very long chapter of his life–one which necessitated his success–he told AP that “now, more than ever, is the perfect time to talk about that.” Trujillo doesn’t anticipate dancing at the White House anytime soon.

In 2014, four Broadway shows, all choreographed by him, were playing at the same time.

@Venmedios / Twitter

Trujillo first started out as a dancer on Broadway and worked up to become a choreographer. He’s also won a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreographer for Memphis in 2015.

His first Tony is for Best Choreography for Ain’t Too Proud.

@KosherComputing / Instagram

The Broadway musical is based on the lives of The Temptations. As the Chicago White Sox owner is seeking to commemorate the organized burning of disco and soul music created by Black and Latinx artists, this commemoration of The Temptations is more important than ever.

His first Tony nomination was for his work on On Your Feet!–the Broadway depiction of the lives of the Estefans.

@gloriaestefan / Instagram

In an Instagram post, the infamous Gloria Estefan congratulated Trujillo, “CONGRATULATIONS to the wonderful @sergiotrujillo1 who was nominated previously for our musical, @onyourfeetbway and last night won the 2019 Tony Award for Best Choreography for @AintTooProud. #TonyAwards This is SO well deserved and it’s about time, baby!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️”

His name has also graced the Broadway production of Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.

@sergiotrujillo1 / Instagram

His work on that production earned him a 2018 Chita Rivera Awards for Dance and Choreography. The entire cast was all-female.

Trujillo has been with his husband, Jack Noseworthy, for 30 years.

@sergiotrujillo1 / Instagram

The two met in 1990 and married in 2011. Just last year, they welcomed a beautiful baby boy into their family.

We stan this family photo.

@sergiotrujillo1 / Instagram

“My world all in one beautiful picture!!!!,” Trujillo’s caption reads. We assume that the woman is his beautiful mother. We’re mami’s boys and girls all our lives.

Apparently, if Trujillo was trapped on a desert island forever, he’d want to be with Jeremy Pope.

@jeremypope / Instagram

He played Eddie Kendricks in Ain’t Too Proud, so the two have worked together. Don’t worry. We have footage of Trujillo’s husband’s reaction.

Noseworthy’s face when hearing Turjillo’s answer:

TodayTix / YouTube

Trujillo digs the hole deeper when he says that Pope is just so talented that he’d be able to do anything. He’s also a good cook.

Honey, you in trouble.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has named him one of the Top 100 Colombians in the world.

@theatre_direct / Twitter

His work cannot be denied, and, truthfully, neither can his love for marido, Jack. Happy Pride.

Congrats on your Tony and a much-appreciated coming out, Trujillo!

@sergiotrujillo1 / Instagram

This time, for coming out as a once undocumented immigrant. Your story is an inspiration.

READ: This Colombian Model Was Told To Bleach Her Birthmark — But She Put Her Foot Down

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