January 17, 2021

‘LL: What are some of your least favorite things about the film industry today?
The lack of support for important films. If we’re talking about Latino films specifically, I think that more films should be handled better marketing wise so that more people can know about them—the same way that you would advertise something like a superhero movie. I think some of the bigger marketing companies, all they have to do is tell people this is the movie you should watch, and they’ll watch it.

‘LL: What are some things that the film industry is getting right?
You’re starting to see more of the regular person on the big screen. I feel like there’s room for real people, which I think is great—and we should continue to move in that direction.

‘LL: What are some of the challenges that you feel still remain for Latinos in the industry?
I think the opportunities given to us. There are a lot of excellent Latino filmmakers and writers out there that would have opportunities in which they can be given more money to produce things on a higher level. I hear stories where there can be a director, not Latino, maybe a white director, and he might have just done a short film, and then they might give him a superhero movie to direct—like a $300-400 million budget film. So, they’ll trust a new guy who’s just done short films. I think that kind of support, those opportunities, I would like to see more Latino filmmakers, producers and writers [get them]—they have been doing it for a long time and they know how to do it well. Maybe spread the wealth.

‘LL: What are your opinions on the role of Latinos in Hollywood and their portrayal in the media? Do you feel like there has been some progress over the years?
There are some better roles today. There was a time where we may have just been the thief or the maid. I can say that there has been some progress, but then again, I recently heard that there hasn’t been that much progress and that it’s worse now than it was maybe 70 years ago. I guess it depends on who you talk to. But, based on my experience when I go out as an actor, I think that there are some great opportunities out there. I think there could be more. And, I think the Latino can be the hero sometimes. He doesn’t always have to be the sidekick or the bud of a joke or the comedic character. I think we can be taken serious. There could be a Latino Superman. There could be a Latino Aquaman. You can call him “Aguaman” [laughs].

‘LL: There actually is a Mexican Superman. Well, he’s not really Mexican, but he was raised by Mexican immigrants, so he speaks Spanish and fights off a bunch of people who hate immigrants at one point.
That’s awesome! I think in terms of producing films, I think it would be cool if they took a chance to have the Superman that was raised by the Mexican parents.

‘LL: Maybe you should produce the film.
[Laughs] I might. I might. It’ll be like when Lex Luthor shoots a missile at him, he’ll be like, “¡Coño!” No, wait, that might be a Puerto Rican saying that [laughs].

‘LL: What are some upcoming projects that you have coming up that our readers should look out for?
As an actor there are two films: one is called Crazy Famous. I play one of the four leads in the film, and we’re four guys that break out of a mental institution in search of the real Osama bin Laden. The second one is a movie [titled Yeh Din Ka Kissa] I just did with Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler and Dustin Hoffman. I play Dr. Gonzalez. And, I’m in the process of writing my next feature film, but I won’t talk about it yet because I’m super private when it comes to evolving projects.

‘LL: What advice do you have for any aspiring actors reading this?
If this is something that you really want to do, go out and get the training, learn techniques, but I think more importantly, learn about yourself however you can. Look in the mirror and ask yourself a simple question: “Who am I?” Say that over and over again for one whole minute, and spend the next minute waiting to hear what comes back. We have the answers, but we don’t trust ourselves enough, and we get scared and afraid. But, we don’t need to be. We’re here for a reason, for a purpose. So, if you’re meant to be an actor, if you’re meant to be a producer, a writer, a filmmaker, go for it. Go for it fearlessly. You can’t half do it—you have to do it all out.

For a look at The Stockroom check out the trailer below.

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About The Author

Born to Dominican parents in NYC and raised in Passaic, NJ, in nearly a decade as an entertainment writer, Emmanuel Ureña has written for numerous publications, including VIBE, Latina.com, BET.com, LLERO, Urban Ink, Inked, and many others. When he’s not typing away on his MacBook, Ureña is reading fictional novels and comic books while enjoying ice-cold Blue Moon beers. You might also find him at a local tattoo shop getting some fresh ink!

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