“It’s crazy. I’m living the American dream here in Mexico and it’s kind of funny. I just work on the weekends and have the rest of my day free,” Bo Johnson told Reuters.
It’s rare to hear stories about U.S. citizens moving to Mexico for work, but that’s exactly what happened to Bo Johnson. Ever since the release of the latest “Star Wars” movie, friends and strangers have commented on his resemblance to John Boyega, the actor who played Finn. Using this to his advantage, Bo was able to find work as an impersonator in Las Vegas, wearing Finn’s iconic stormtrooper uniform. Before committing to a full time job as an impersonator, Johnson decided to visit Mexico City for a year so he could take in the culture and work on his Spanish. On the suggestion of a friend, Bo brought his stormtrooper outfit with him, a decision that has paid off well for the 28-year-old out of Chicago.
Bo Johnson was originally nervous that his gimmick wouldn’t pay off in Mexico City, but on his first day, he managed to rake in nearly 3,000 pesos — roughly $150 U.S. “I just work on the weekends and have the rest of my day free,” he told Reuters. Not one to take it easy, Bo has spent over 20,000 pesos (more than $1,000 U.S.) to upgrade his stormtrooper costume, which looks almost as legit as the ones from the movie. That, combined with his natural resemblance to Finn, keeps him busy with fans. As fellow street performer, Miguel Vasquez explains, “The most curious thing is that he looks like the Star Wars character, Finn. He’s just like his clone.”
If you happen to visit Mexico City, be sure to get a picture with Johnson, who can be found posing on Madero Street.
Every so often the locations filmed in some of our favorite movies become famous in their own right. Think about the dinosaurs from Peewee’s Big Adventure, the Circus Liquor store from Clueless, or the San Francisco mansion from Full House, close your eyes and you can probably picture them crystal clear.
For the Netflix film Roma, one of its biggest stars has been the house in which many of the film’s scenes were shot. In fact, it’s become a bit of a tourist destination in its own right. And now, as it comes on the market, people are flocking to the property for a chance to see it up close.
The house from Roma is on sale and people are flocking to see it.
Besides being a chronicle of a family during a turbulent moment in history and conveying a complex look at class and gender, Alfonso Cuarón’s award-winning Roma is also that rare film where its primary location feels like a character unto itself. In this case, it’s the Mexico City house where the film’s characters live; over the course of watching, you might feel like you live there yourself.
Now, the house in question is on the market — and cinema buffs and architecture fans alike might be intrigued.
The now famous house doesn’t really standout among the neighboring homes – except for a commemorative plaque.
Although the house is located in one of the city’s most popular neighborhoods – Roma – it’s located in a quiet corner of the colonia and doesn’t really stand out from any of the other houses. Although upon further inspection, you’ll see a plaque that commemorates the most celebrated Mexican film in decades, Roma.
In the 2018 film, Tepeji 22 stood in for Alfonso Cuarón’s boyhood home, and its facade and patio featured in some of the most memorable scenes.
Cuarón spent the first years of his life in the house across the street, Tepeji 21, but preferred the light in the house opposite to shoot his film and the family agreed. The production designer, Eugenio Caballero, changed the window grilles and retiled the patio, which serves as the set piece for the film’s first scene introducing the film’s protagonist, Cleo, the family’s maid, as she washes dog waste from the floor with soapy water.
The home was painstakingly recreated a set to match Cuarón’s memories.
In a Netflix documentary about the making of the film, Cuáron describes how he tried to find as much of the original furniture as he could, contacting relatives across Mexico to ask them to borrow pieces. And it worked, since so many people who saw the film spoke about its authenticity and beauty.
The home’s owners have put it up for sale but aren’t publicly disclosing the price.
When Roma was nominated for 10 Oscars – and won three, including one for Best Director – the Monreal family (who own the property) welcomed tourists who tracked the movie’s locations through Roma and the rest of the city.
“It hurts,” Monreal told The Guardian, of the decision to sell the house, preferring to keep the reasons for the sale private. “It has given us great satisfaction, we love it. You can’t measure everything that we have lived through here, everything this house has given us: shelter, closeness, a united family.”
Despite the rumors that are swirling across social media, the Monreal family has not publicly shared the asking price for the house. A listing for a four-bedroom house on the same street, which is only two blocks long and not much changed since the 1970s, cited an asking price of about US$760,000.
Credit: felineastronaut/Twiiter; theguyinthechair18/Instagram; Star Wars/Twitter
Recently, news broke that beloved Mexican-American director Robert Rodriguez is set to executive producer Disney+’s new Star Wars series, The Book of Boba Fett. This news broke at the same event that Disney announced that Rosario Dawson will be getting her own Star Wars series on Disney+, a Mandalorian spinoff entitled Ahsoka.
Pair these events with Pedro Pascal headlining The Mandalorian, and it appears that Disney is making some real and concerted effort to hire Latino talent.
And the pattern didn’t just start this year. Since the franchise’s reboot in 2015, Disney has consistently hired Latinos to take part in Star Wars Universe in front of and behind the camera.
In light of this, we’ve compiled a definitive list of all of the Latinos that have been involved in the Star Wars Universe. Take a look below!
1. Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron
Guatemalan-American actor Oscar Isaac was one of the first Latinos to set off Disney’s streak of hiring Latino talent for the Star Wars franchise. Isaac (nee Óscar Isaac Hernández Estrada) played Poe Dameron, a fighter pilot who rose in the ranks to become General of the Resistance. He appeared in all three movies of the Star Wars reboot trilogy: The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker.
2. Pedro Pascal as Mando
Chilean-American actor Pedro Pascal plays the titular character in The Mandalorian (his true name is a spoiler), a solitary bounty hunter who travels to the “outer reaches” of the galaxy in order to protect Baby Yoda.
3. Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano
This season, Rosario Dawson played Ahsoka Tano in The Mandolorian–an alien of the Togruta race who is also a Jedi knight and army commander. It was also recently announced that the actress of Cuban and Puerto Rican descent would be headlining a spinoff series on Disney+ entitled Ahsoka.
4. Diego Luna as Cassian Andor
Mexican actor Diego Luna played Rebel Alliance soldier Cassian Andor in 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Luna will also star in his own standalone series revolving around Cassian Andor on Disney+ called Andor.
5. Lupita Nyong’o as Maz Kanata
Mexican-born actress Lupita Nyong’o played alien pirate queen Maz Kanata via motion capture in all three of the Star Wars reboot trilogy: The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker.
6. Benicio Del Toro as DJ
Boricua actor Benicio Del Toro played the villainous hacker DJ in The Last Jedi.
7. Jimmy Smits as Senator Bail Organa
Brooklyn-born Boricua actor Jimmy Smits played Bail Organa in two of the Star Wars prequel movies, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith as well as reprising his role in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
8. Horatio Sanz as Mythrol
Although you might not recognize him through such heavy character makeup, Chilean-America comedian Horatio Sanz played Mythrol, a wanted fugitive that was carbon-frozen by Pascal’s character in the first episode of The Mandolorian.
9. John Leguizamo as Gor Koresh
Again, you’d be hard-pressed to recognize John Leguizamo amidst all the heavy alien makeup, but the Colombian-American actor played the character Gor Koresh in The Mandolorian–boastful forager of the Abyssin alien race.
10. Robert Rodriguez
As we reported above, Robert Rodriguez is a legendary Mexican-American director who helmed a popular episode of The Mandolorian entitled “The Tragedy”. He is now set to executive produce a new Disney+ Star Wars series called The Book of Boba Fett.
11. Adria Arjona
Puerto Rican actress Adria Arjona has not officially appeared in any Star Wars properties yet, but it was recently announced that she will be appearing in Diego Luna’s Star Wars spinoff series Andor as a yet-to-be-named character.
12. Pablo Hidalgo
Pablo Hidalgo is the definition of behind-the-scenes talent. The Chilean-Canadian LucasFilm creative executive is in charge of keeping narrative and creative cohesion between all of the stories within the Star Wars Universe. In essence, he is the definitive Star Wars expert.