A big celebration went down on Thursday, May 23 to honor the 50 Hispanic celebrities featured in People En Español’s Mas Bellos issue.
Among those featured include oscar-nominee Yalitza Aparicio from Roma, Jane The Virgin’s Gina Rodriguez, and Eiza Gonzalez from the movie Baby Driver. Typically held in New York, the annual extravaganza took place in Los Angeles for the very first time at the 1 Hotel in West Hollywood. This year the theme was “La Ola Latina,” which means “the hispanic wave.” Very fitting considering the recent influx of hispanic influence across Hollywood and music alike.
Prior to the main party, the night kicked off with a diversity panel in collaboration with SAG-AFTRA. The panelists included Victoria Alonso (EVP, Production, Marvel Studios), Lisa Vidal (Actress, Being Mary Jane and SAG-AFTRA National Board Member), Rachel Miller (Founder, Film2Future), Roselyn Sanchez (Actress, Grand Hotel), and Shirley Velasquez (Executive Editor, PeopleEnEspanol.com), all successful women who spoke about the Latino experience in Hollywood, issues of visibility, and inclusion in the entertainment industry.
Right now we’re in a time where latinos and many other minorities are consistently breaking down barriers in Hollywood that haven’t been broken before. It’s incredible to see and granted we are nowhere near where we should be, but of course each and every step is a step forward towards a better future. At the panel, Victoria Alonso, who is Argentinian spoke about Captain Marvel being the first female superhero in a lead role and how she looks forward to the day there is a Latino superhero as well. It’s key players like Alonso and many others who are minorities in positions of power that help push these changes we want to see.
On the carpet we spoke with various Latinos who have been in the industry for years and others who are just barely scratching the surface. We talked about what makes people Latinos beautiful, challenges in Hollywood they may have faced, and much more. “Going in for gang banger number two or three I’ve experienced that as I’m sure every Latino has, so I’m very grateful that Tanya created this amazing show and I have the opportunity to play a regular guy that’s just going through these human problems and trying to work them out like any other human story,” said actor Carlos Miranda.
Others present that evening were a few members of the cast from On My Block: Julio Macias, Diego Tinoco, Jessica Marie Garcia, and Jason Geneo. The Netflix comedy will soon have company with Mario Lopez’s new show latinx comedic show “The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia,” getting the green light just a few days ago. We spoke to Jencarlos Canela, a seasoned telenovela star who can soon be seen on Eva Longoria’s Grand Hotel on ABC.
He will now also star in Lopez’s new show playing Victor, “a single, bachelor who played for the Dallas Cowboys as their place kicker and is now living the wild life with his 15 year old niece who is a genius and works for JPL.” Canela told us Mario Lopez is like a Hispanic legend and was honored when he received the call for the role directly from him. He seemed extremely excited for this new project and I told him he was killing the game as a Latino crossing that boundary and making his move into the Hollywood realm. He followed up by telling me, “we are doing the damn thing,” and I couldn’t agree more.
It was refreshing to talk to so many Latinos all in one room who are making moves and breaking down barriers across the Hollywood landscape. It’s as if the world is finally getting to realize that we are more than what we’ve been stereotyped as and we have meaningful stories to tell. Latinos can hang y’all! They really can.