Tuesday, November 06, 2007
One More Character Actor...Or Actress, Actually
With both jobs and school going well, I decided I have the room and resources here at Casa De Yen to add one more character actor-- or actress, actually-- in Splotchy's "Adopt-A-Character-Actor" program.
After a lot of thought and consideration, I've decided to adopt Lupe Ontiveros. You may recognize her as the mother in the 2002 movie Real Women Have Curves. Up until that point, she'd most been cast mostly as a maid-- by her own estimate, somewhere between 150 and 300 times.
A couple of years ago, all the newsmagazines had stories about how latin was suddenly "in." JLo, Ricky Martinez, Eva Longoria and other attractive young people were trotted out to demonstrate this. Yet, latino has always been "in" and part of Americana ever since the United States siezed 2/3's of Mexico's territory after the 1846-1848 War against Mexico. Actors like Edward James Olmos, Luis Guzman, and of course Ms. Ontiveros, have quietly taken roles for decades in Hollywood, often in blatantly stereotypical roles-- for men, gang members, for women, maids.
Hollywood finally seems to be wising up slowly, and actors like Ms. Ontiveros are finally being offered a little better roles. Ms. Ontiveros was cast in Real Women Have Curves as a seamstress (and business owner/entrepeneur). Yes, barely a step up from maid in the "latin stereotypes," but a step in the right direction. Her persistence in hanging in there in an industry that is slow to mend its ways is admirable, and hopefully be rewarded with some more substantial roles.