entertainment

When White Actors Stop Getting All The Good Latino Roles, Maybe We’ll Stop Complaining

ARGO / Warner Bros. Pictures

Did you know that in 2013, less than 5 percent of movie roles went to Latino actors?

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(There’s so few Latinos in movies that we had to use a Ryan Gosling GIF.)

According to a study by USC’s Annenberg School for Communication, Latinos held only 4.9 percent of the roles in the top 100 movies of 2013. That’s despite the fact that Latinos make up nearly 18 percent of the population in the U.S. Oh, and BTW, Latinos are more likely to spend their money at the movies: they made up 25 percent of moviegoers in 2013. So what gives?

Remember Matt Damon’s comments about diversity? During an episode of HBO’s Project Greenlight, Damon and a group of producers were discussing a project when producer Effie Brown voiced her reservations about the lack of diversity behind the camera.

Damon replied:

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Brown’s reaction said it all.

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Damon later apologized (kinda) and said he was glad to start a conversation about diversity:

“I believe deeply that there need to be more diverse filmmakers making movies … I am sorry that they offended some people, but, at the very least, I am happy that they started a conversation about diversity in Hollywood. That is an ongoing conversation that we all should be having.”

So, Matt Damon, if diversity is achieved through casting, why did your pal Ben Affleck cast himself as Tony Mendez in Argo?

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Credit: Warner Bros.

In 2012, Affleck played CIA agent Tony Mendez, the central character in Argo. Affleck caught plenty of flak for casting himself, and not a Latino actor, in the role. When asked about the decision to play Mendez, Affleck said:

“You know, I obviously went to Tony and sought his approval…was the first thing. And Tony does not have, I don’t know what you would say, a Latin/Spanish accent, of any kind really, and… you know you wouldn’t necessarily select him out of a line of ten people and go ‘This guy’s Latino.’ So I didn’t feel as though I was violating some thing, where, here’s this guy who’s clearly ethnic in some way and it’s sort of being whitewashed by Ben Affleck the actor. I felt very comfortable that if Tony was cool with it, I was cool with it.”

Ben Affleck isn’t the first white actor to play a Latino in a movie. He probably won’t be the last.

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Credit: Disney

Let’s go back in time… this has been happening for DECADES.

1939: Paul Muni in Juarez

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Credit: Warner Bros.

Muni played Mexican president Benito Juarez in a film that also starred Bette Davis as Carlota of Mexico.

1952: Marlon Brando in Viva Zapata!

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Yeah, that’s Brando playing Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata.

1961: Natalie Wood in West Side Story

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Credit: United Artists

Although Puerto Rican actor Rita Moreno won an Oscar for the role of Anita, white actor Natalie Wood played the Puerto Rican character Maria.

1969: Jack Palance in Che! 

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Credit: 2oth Century Fox

Jack Palance, on the right, played Fidel Castro. That’s Omar Sharif as Che Guevara.

1989: Armand Assante in The Mambo Kings

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Credit: Warner Bros.

Assante, an Italian actor, was tasked with playing a Cuban musician named Cesar Castillo.

1993: Ethan Hawke in Alive

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Credit: Buena Vista Pictures

Hawke played Nando Parrado in Alive, the true story of an Uruguayan rugby team whose plane crashed in the Andes and were forced to take drastic measures to survive.

1995: Marisa Tomei in The Perez Family

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Credit: The Samuel Goldwyn Company

Tomei played Dorita Evita Perez, a Cuban refugee who makes it to the US in the Mariel boatlift.

1996: Madonna in Evita

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Credit: Buena Vista Pictures

In this musical, Madonna was cast to play Argentine First Lady Eva Perón.

1996: Hank Azaria in The Birdcage

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Azaria played a gay Guatemalan housekeeper named Agador.

2001: Jennifer Connelly in A Beautiful Mind

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Credit: Universal Pictures

Connelly played John Nash’s wife, Alicia, who was from El Salvador.

But that only happened in the old days, when there were no Latino actors to choose from, right? WRONG.

2011, Carey Mulligan in Drive

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Credit: FilmDistrict

The character of Irene was written as a young Latina, but director Nicolas Winding Refn cast Carey Mulligan instead. He told The Huffington Post:

“I couldn’t find any actress that would click with me personally. I couldn’t make a decision for some reason. I had all this talent in front of me and out of the blue I get a call from Carey because she wanted to meet me about doing a movie. She came by the house and she walked in and I realized, ‘Oh my God, this is what I was looking for.’ I wanted to protect her … And I knew that was the Driver’s motivation.”

And one more time, for emphasis: Ben Affleck as Tony Mendez in 2012’s ARGO.

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Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

So what were you saying about diversity and casting, Matt Damon?

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We’re waiting.

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Tessa Thompson’s Latest Instagram Is A Tribute To A Girl Who Could Not Wait To Get Her Picture At The ‘MIB’ Premiere

Entertainment

Tessa Thompson’s Latest Instagram Is A Tribute To A Girl Who Could Not Wait To Get Her Picture At The ‘MIB’ Premiere

When the original “Men In Black” premiered in 1997, there’s no denying it was a mega box office hit. In fact, we’re a bit more surprised that it took this long for there to be another installation to the franchise. Now, 22 years later, the new version, fittingly titled, “Men In Black: International” the film is more inclusive, which is certainly appreciated in this day and age.

It’s because of this diverse representation that Latinas can see themselves on the big screen.

Last week, during the “Men In Black” premiere Tessa Thompson spotted a little girl who was dressed just like her in the movie.

Instagram/@tessamaethompson

Thompson recounted the moment on Instagram and discussed how much she’s been through with the filming of the movie and doing press all over the world. She said it was this moment that meant so much to her.

“These past couple weeks have been almost a blur— except, my favorite moment of all— meeting the one person I really made @meninblack for. Hers was the first face I saw when I arrived to the premiere— and it’s still on my mind. And what she said to me, I’ll never forget.”

This moment really signifies why representation matters so much.

Instagram/@tessamaethompson

People seem to forget how many others are excluded when we see a movie or TV show, so when you see a person that looks like you starring in a massive project, it’s an encouraging thing that means to so many. Now we’re wondering what that little girl said to her. Please tell us, Tessa!

Thompson’s role in the new “Men In Black” also came with a couple of changes including something she didn’t want to say just because Will Smith said it in the original.

Instagram/@tessamaethompson

Thompson said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that she didn’t want the new movie to be too much like the old one, which makes sense especially because this is 2019! We don’t need to regress to 1997.

In the original movie, Smith says “I make this look good” after he first puts on his suit. Thompson said she would never say that line.

“I wouldn’t have said it. In fact, I think someone did ask me to — just as an option — and I said no. M [her character] is just different from that character [Agent J/Smith]. Yeah, I was really conscious of too much nostalgia. Also, inside of that, there were moments when I thought, ‘Let’s lean in.'”

Yes!! That is why we need more women of color in movies!

90’s Cult Classic ‘The Craft’ Is Being Remade For Our Generation With Its Lead Role Going To Trans Latina Woman

Entertainment

90’s Cult Classic ‘The Craft’ Is Being Remade For Our Generation With Its Lead Role Going To Trans Latina Woman

tarotbymaisy / Instagram

There are so many reboots and revivals and sequels to nostalgic media of the past right now that it’s hard to keep track, and it’s often hard to care. And too many of them just retread the same ground the originals already covered — a cash grab, and not a reinterpretation of a beloved story, bringing something new and original to familiar ground.

But maybe, just maybe, the reboot of ‘90s teen girl witchcraft staple, The Craft, isn’t going to fall into that trap.

Friday afternoon, a casting notice began circulating on Twitter, saying that Blumhouse Productions is looking to cast a trans-Latina actress for one of the main roles.

Credit: @anderfinn / Twitter

The notice reads: “Transgender, to play Latina, a punk rocker, Lourdes is the second member of the teenaged Clique. Her super-Catholic mother threw her out for being trans and she now lives with her 80 year old abuela, who has taught Lourdes a variety of supernatural practices.”

The flyer goes on to specify that yes, they are seeking an actual trans actress for the role.

Yup, the 1996 horror about four outcast teen witches is getting the LGBTI-inclusive reboot treatment

Credit: captainabsea / Instagram

The Craft (the original) was a 1996 film starring Robin Tunney, Neve Campbell, Fairuza Balk, and Rachel True as teenagers who dabble in witchcraft until, naturally, everything goes terribly wrong when they get a little too power-hungry. Upon release, it received mixed reviews from critics and only grossed $55 million worldwide, but has since developed a devoted cult following.

It’s an iconic film, and one that was destined to join the ranks of rebooted flicks from the ‘90s.

Basically, all of the Internet is totally here for it.

Pretty much all of Twitter is saying how excited they are for this and that the project has so much potential.

And many are adding one big demand – don’t f*ck it up!

Like I mean just imagine a fierce Latina bruja in such a badass role!

Credit: @TransEquality / Twitter

This is absolutely something I would want to watch.

Many point out that The Craft was already an iconic queer film and this is just the cherry on top.

Like for real though, basically everyone who has been to a sleepover or had a Netflix and chill kind of night, has seen this amazing movie.

It’s time that a new generation gets its own adapted version.

All of this is made even more exciting because just this year the original cast reunited for the very first time.

Credit: @Nevecampbell10 / Twitter

Was this a tease at things to come? Or just a strange coincidence?

Our new version of The Craft is being produced by the same company behind The Purge and Paranormal Activity.

Doug Wick, one of the producers of the new film told Entertainment Weekly that, “there will be callbacks to the original movie, so you will see there is a connection between what happened in the days of The Craft and how these young women come across this magic many years later.” He adds that the film will be more like a sequel, which we are so excited to discover.

“Here are some young women who once again discover the power of magic, and we explore their emotional lives, their wants, their fears, their longings, as they become empowered,” he added.

The reboot is expected to start shooting in July 2019 with a likely 2020 release.

I mean same, right? This movie can’t come soon enough for diehard fans of The Craft.

What are some of your favorite cult classic films that you’d like to see remade?

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