In a Vogue interview last week, John Leguizamo reveals he’s been working for four years to bring his newest show “Latin History For Morons,” currently on a run at the Public Theater in New York City, to fruition. The one-man show, that Leguizamo says he’s been prepping for his whole life, came out of brushing up on his own Latino history in order to help educate his son who was being bullied for being Latino at the time. He wanted his son to “feel proud of their background,” he said in the Vogue interview.
John Leguizamo’s new show spans the entirety of Latino history.
Starting from the Maya all the way to the “Age of Pitbull.” Toma!
Leguizamo says he’s been prepping for his new one-man show “Latin History For Morons” his whole life.
“I guess my whole life has been preparing me for this show in a lot of ways. I’ve had a lot of those fights growing up, even now on Twitter. And then when my son got bullied, I couldn’t believe it was still going on, even for my kids. It was shocking to me.”
He resents never being taught Latino history in school. Of his education, he says “When I was studying the Civil War, there was nothing about everything we did, not one mention of any participation or contribution, ever. And it would’ve changed my life.”
Leguizamo says “You just hear the craziest shit,” when discussing inequality in Hollywood, where someone told him Latinos just want to watch white people on screen.
Via: KUSH Comedy / Youtube / Giphy
When asked about his New York Times op-ed, where he discusses his very own agent telling him “John, you’re so talented but too bad you’re Latin — otherwise you’d be so much further along.” He says “You just hear the craziest shit.” He recalls an interaction with a studio head who told him “Well, you know Latin people don’t really like to see Latin people. They like to see white people.”
But, Leguizamo, is also optimistic and thinks some things are changing.
Via: micdotcom / Tumblr
Although he acknowledges the inequality and negativity associated in the on-screen portrayal of Latinos, especially as “POTUS 45” (as he refers to President Trump) has fostered the environment to perpetuate those stereotypes, he says that the behind-the-scenes roles are much more promising as Latinos move into producing and directing.
Leguizamo recognizes the theater is a better place to bring politically charged content to life.
On why he often prefers theater to film and TV, he brings up his fellow Broadway show hitmaker Lin-Manuel Miranda and the success of his show “Hamilton,” Leguizamo says:
“Where did Hamilton happen? It didn’t happen in movies and television, because it couldn’t. “So we’re going to do a historic piece on Hamilton and everyone is going to be black and Latin playing our forefathers.” They would say: “But wait, they didn’t speak hip-hop in the 1700s?” It would’ve never happened! But where did it happen? On Broadway, in the theater.”
Here’s an interview he did back in October discussing how ignorant we all are about Latino history.
Credit: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert / Youtube
I could watch these two all day.