Entertainment

Tenoch Huerta Talks Representation In Hollywood— ‘It’s Not Just Putting Some Brown-Skinned People In Front Of The Camera’

Entertainment Weekly just released a series of covers featuring each of the stars of the much-anticipated “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” movie, and even though they’re all epic, we do have a favorite.  

While we love Lupita Nyong’o as the fierce humanitarian Nakia, and Winston Duke as Jabari Tribe leader M’Baku, Tenoch Huerta’s cover as underwater ruler Namor is turning heads and we can see why.

With “Wakanda Forever” set to premiere next month, Huerta’s portrayal as Namor will change the Marvel Universe in more ways than one. Director Ryan Coogler told EW that he was always interested in Namor, a Marvel comic book character created back in 1939 that is traditionally the son of a human sailor and the princess of Atlantis. Coogler decided to change the direction of Namor for the film, making him the ruler of the underwater kingdom of Talocan, a fictional kingdom inspired by ancient Mayan culture, as the director explained to Entertainment Weekly. 

The Ecatepec de Morelos-born actor explained that in contrast to the original comic, his portrayal of Namor is decidedly unselfish. “He’s taking care of a community. He’s not an individualist. He’s part of a tribe.”

And what a tribe (and kingdom) that is— Mayan historians were brought in to make sure the visuals accurately represented the ancient civilization, all the while bringing it underwater. The people of Talocan were outfitted with materials like jade and feathers, including an indigenous-inspired headdress for Namor.

“Wakanda Forever” is set to be a game-changer for Latino representation in the Marvel cinematic universe, with Huerta applauding the film’s authenticity and inclusivity.

The actor explained to the outlet, “You can research whatever culture you want, but if you have people from that culture and they have that knowledge and experience — not just from books, but from being alive — the approach is totally different.”

Besides this role, the actor, who has Aztec and Purépecha origins, never misses a chance to highlight and celebrate the traditional indigenous garments and traditions of his home country, Mexico.

With a career that ranges from starring in “Narcos: Mexico” to his role in “The Purge” franchise film “The Forever Purge,” Huerta knows a thing or two about heavy-weight Hollywood productions— and the importance of bringing in Latinos both on and off the screen.

“That’s what inclusion means. It’s not just putting some brown-skinned people in front of the camera or giving them an important role,” he explained on Entertainment Weekly. “It’s how you’re creating the movie. Who is directing? Who is writing? What is the voice of the production of the movie?” We couldn’t agree more!

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