Today, no one is surprised to see Hispanic names and surnames among the credits of the best productions on the big screen. It is not a surprise, true, but it is an inexhaustible source of pride. We are talking about creators who, behind the cameras and in front of them, have established an enduring influence on the Hollywood imaginary; talents that are not contained (or defined) by boundaries.
Within the framework of the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, we present to you these characters who have stood out in the film industry, giving flavor to Hollywood as only the Latino community knows how to do it.
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Guillermo del Toro (Mexico)
Guillermo del Toro needs no introduction. He is perhaps along with Alfonso Cuarón one of the most recognized and respected Mexicans in the film industry. Originally from Guadalajara, this Mexican has not only been a director, he has also acted and has even been a special effects artist. His film The Shape of Water it won two Oscars: best director and best film. He has also won BAFTA awards and a Golden Globe, among multiple accolades. Other of his most popular creations are Mimic, Hellboy and The Pan’s Labyrinth.
Javier Bardem (Spain)
From Ham Ham until Eat, Pray, Love, Out to sea, Vicky Cristina Barcelona and BiutifulThis talented and versatile Spaniard has taken on all kinds of cinematographic challenges by working with directors like Pedro Almodóvar, Woody Allen, Alejandro González Iñárritu and the Coen brothers, and with countless big-name stars. Your work for No Country for Old Men earned him an Oscar, a Golden Globe, a BAFTA, and a Screen Actors Guild Award, all in the category of best supporting actor.
Salma Hayek (Mexico)
After sharing the screen with Antonio Banderas in Desperado, was forever etched in the memory of moviegoers with his fiery participation in From Dusk Till Dawn, where I work alongside George Clooney. From there, this Mexican, who began her career in soap operas, has participated in various Hollywood productions of comedy, drama, action and even animation, among which her performance in the film stands out. Frida, a film for which she was nominated for an Oscar for best actress.
Alejandro González Iñárritu (Mexico)
This director, producer and screenwriter was nominated many times for the Oscars until he obtained the statuette in 2015 for his film The Revenant, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Other acclaimed works by this Mexican are Biutiful, Birdman and Babel. Even so, the recognitions are not enough for Iñárritu, who decided to venture into virtual reality by telling stories of immigrants who cross the desert to reach the United States in an experience called Meat and Sand, critically acclaimed. His most recent production is Limbo, filmed in Mexico City and still unreleased.
Alfonso Cuarón (Mexico)
Born in Mexico City, Alfonso Cuarón has directed, written and produced numerous films of all genres. From And Your Mother Too until the third installment of the saga of Harry Potter, as well as the science fiction film Gravity, Cuarón has never been pigeonholed. Then he chose to create something more intimate. After having won Golden Globes, Oscars and the Golden Lion, in 2018 Cuarón premiered Roma, the most personal film he has made so far, according to his words. Fulfilling all the forecasts, this production managed to capture the attention of film critics, who awarded it, among other awards, three Oscars, including the one for best director.
Ana de Armas (Cuba)
In love with cinema since she was a child, when she saw her first film at the neighbor’s house (her family did not have a television), she had her first big break at the age of 16 in Spanish production A rose from France, which was filmed in Cuba. Two years later he went to Spain, where he attracted attention in series and films to finally reach Hollywood in 2014, where he began to participate in projects such as Knock Knock, Hands of Stone, Blade Runner 2049 and Knives Out, along with actors of the stature of Keanu Reeves, Robert De Niro, Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling. Share credits with Daniel Craig on No Time to Die, the latest James Bond movie, which after a delay is finally near its release.
Emmanuel Lubezki (Mexico)
Also known as “Chivo”, Lubezki has worked with directors such as Tim Burton, Ethan Cohen, Alfonso Cuarón and Alejandro González Inárritu. What stands out about Lubezki is not the direction or the script, but the way he executes the cinematography in the films he works on. The recognition in this case lies in the technical aspects of the cinema, using natural light and cameras differently. It won for three consecutive years the Oscar for the best cinematography for films Gravity, Birdman and The Revenant.
Eugenio Derbez (Mexico)
He is an actor, producer, writer and director, but first of all, a comedian. After being part of the cast of several Mexican comedy shows, his program To the right and to the Derbez catapulted him to national popularity. This was followed Derbez in time, XHDRBZ and The P. Luche family, in addition to several participations in theatrical productions to later begin to attract the attention of the international public with films such as No refunds (2013) and How to Be a Latin Lover (2017). In addition to having worked with actors such as Rob Schneider and Adam Sandler, and with director Scott Sanders, Derbez has a long list of credits as a voice actor, most notably his work as Burro in Shrek.
Gael García Bernal (Mexico)
Gael is an international artist who has starred in films in Mexico, the United States, Argentina, Spain, Chile, Bolivia, France, and Brazil. His early successes, like Dog loves, And Your Mother Too and The crime of Father Amaro, quickly established him within the firmament of cinema and made him the recipient of awards such as Revelation at the Venice International Film Festival and the Ariel for best actor. In 2006 he made his directorial debut with the film Deficit and in 2009 he obtained the Silver Mayahuel at the Guadalajara International Film Festival for his cinematographic career.
Antonio Banderas (Spain)
This actor, director and producer has been everything: vampire, action hero, Pancho Villa and even the pirate of SpongeBob, but first it was Almodóvar boy, director with whom he formally started his journey to Hollywood in the eighties. After tapes like Tie me up and Women at the edge of a nervous attack, made his film debut in English on the tape The Mambo Kings, to later stand out in several memorable productions such as Interview with the Vampire, where he alternated with Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise, and Philadelphia, next to Tom Hanks. His long career includes film, television and various dubbing jobs on animated films, characterized by making his own dubbing from English into Spanish. In 2019, he won the award for best actor at the Cannes Film Festival for his work in the film Pain and glory. This year the Spaniard joined the cast of the next film of Indiana Jones; also, we will see it in the video game adaptation Uncharted with Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg.
Benicio del Toro (Puerto Rico)
His parents wanted him to be a lawyer; fortunately, he did not listen to them. In addition to having received all kinds of awards, including one at the Cannes Film Festival, a BAFTA, a Golden Globe and an Oscar for best supporting actor, this prolific Puerto Rican has shared the big screen with characters like Robert De Niro, Johnny Depp and Tommy Lee Jones in popular productions around the world: The Usual Suspects, Snatch, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi and dozens of more tapes.
Diego Luna (Mexico)
His official start in the cinema was at the age of eight with the short film The last end of the year. After that, he spent time alternating between soap operas and movies to finally achieve international fame in the Alfonso Cuarón film. And Your Mother Too, with Gael García Bernal. Since then he has been dividing his work between the United States, Mexico and Spain, sharing credits with figures such as Sean Penn, James Franco, Tom Hanks, Salma Hayek and Katy Perry, and working under the baton of directors such as Woody Allen, Gus Van Sant and Steven Spielberg. His work on the Netflix series Narcos: Mexico won him a Platinum Award for Best Male Performance in a Miniseries or Teleseries in 2019, and in 2021 he took home a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Daytime Talent in a Spanish Language Show for his participation in Bread and Circus from Amazon Prime Video.
Special mention: Rita Moreno (Puerto Rico)
There is no one to stop this Puerto Rican actress, dancer and singer. Therefore, we cannot end our list without making a special mention of Rita Moreno. Moreno arrived in New York when he was 4 years old and at 11, in 1942, he was already doing dubbing into Spanish, getting his first role in a Broadway musical at 13 in the play Cloud drift to later participate in film productions such as Singing in the Rain and The King and I. Finally, in 1961, she won an Oscar for best supporting actress in West Side Story. Since then, her career has been long and prolific, she being one of the few people to have won the four great awards in entertainment: the Emmy, the Golden Globe, the Oscar and the Tony. He has participated in numerous theater, television and film productions, including the new version of West Side Story, directed by Steven Spielberg, which will be released in December 2021.
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The Most Influential Hispanics in the Film Industry