Wilmer Valderrama Says His Daughter Will Know She Comes From “A Heritage of People Who Came to This Country To Work Really Hard”
Since Wilmer Valderrama had his first child in 2021, he has been consistently candid about how his identity as both a Latino and an immigrant has informed his parenting style. Recently, he opened up about how some of his former co-stars on “That 70s Show” have also passed down their immigrant teachings to their kids, specifically the values of working hard and being grateful.
Valderrama pointed to friend and former co-star Mila Kunis as a fellow immigrant who shares the same sentiment.
“One thing is, for sure, is that every single one of us who has kids on ‘That ‘70s Show,’ we really try to make sure that they not only try to understand their roots, but they understand that they come from a heritage of people who came to this country to work really hard,” Valderrama told reporters at an Oscars event recently. “And a lot of them are immigrants, from Mila to me.”
“We really joke around that we’re going to have a ‘That 70’s dynasty,’” the actor continued. “Like, it’s going to be like a Spanish soap opera… So, it’s funny because we joke around like, what are they going to be like? Are they going to be anything like us?”
“But all of us really are very conscious of that,” Wilmer said, speaking about their immigrant experience. “So, I think they’re going to have the values and they’re going to be aligned…”
Born in Ukraine, Mila Kunis and her family immigrated to the United States in 1991 to pursue a better life. And obviously, their mission was successful. Kunis is a beloved movie star with fans all over the world.
But the journey wasn’t easy. In fact, Kunis has previously described the culture shock of moving from Ukraine to the U.S. at 7 years-old as traumatic.
“I blocked out second grade completely,” she revealed in 2008. “I have no recollection of it… It was because I cried every day. I didn’t understand the culture. I didn’t understand the people. I didn’t understand the language.” She compared her experience to “being blind and deaf at the age of seven.”
Valderrama had a similar experience immigrating to the U.S. when he was just 3 years-old. Just like Kunis’s family, Valderrama’s family also came to the U.S. to pursue a better life.
“I knew when we sold everything we had in Venezuela that we were coming to America to work. That was a fact. I remember my dad saying, ‘We didn’t come here to go to Disneyland,'” Valderrama told Vice in 2016.
And he is still humbled by his success today. “I am so grateful that the United States makes the American dream possible for immigrants,” he told Parents.com in January when talking about his role as a USO Global Ambassador to American troops abroad. “The least I can do now is be of service to those who serve our country.”
For now, Valderrama is soaking up the experience of being a first-time father, including playing the “Encanto” soundtrack on a loop for his 1-year-old daughter, Nakano. He told reporters that his daughter wakes up every morning to the chart-topping songs.
“When [Nakano] gets up in the morning, we give her the bottle and as soon as she hears the song, immediately, hands up clapping,” he said. Sounds like she’s already her daddy’s number one fan!
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