By Jack Rico
2013 has started off, in what can be argued, as one of the best beginnings to a year for Latino actors in Hollywood movies. January alone has seen Guillermo del Toro and Andres Muschietti behind the camera in Mama, Michael Peña in Gangster Squad, Jennifer Lopez in Parker, Natalie Martinez in Broken City, Eva Longoria in The Baytown Outlaws, Andy Garcia in The Dark Truth and The Last Stand with Luis Guzman, Genesis Rodriguez, Rodrigo Santoro and Eduardo Noriega. There’s even holdovers from 2012 still in release with Edgar Ramirez in Zero Dark Thirty and John Ortiz in Silver Linings Playbook.
Unfortunately, the trend with most of the 2013 films is that they have not performed well at the box office, except for Mama. Even though The Last Stand did poorly at generating major cash, it is in my opinion, the most fun you can have at the theaters this January. You can read my review here. The rest are duds and deservedly so. But the Latino actors are working more than ever whether the movies are bad or not. What seems to be happening is that the “impossibility” of Hispanics breaking through is now a myth. Talent is what is starting be judged now and casting directors are selecting the best Hispanics out there.
Even if Hispanics in movies is starting to gain traction, TV is the next challenge and frontier. Natalie Martinez is going for both. She has just been casted in CBS’ Under The Dome, the 13-episode summer series from Steven Spielberg and Stephen King. The show’s premise is set in Chester’s Mill, a small New England town suddenly and inexplicably sealed off from the rest of the world by an enormous transparent dome. The town’s inhabitants must deal with surviving the post-apocalyptic conditions while searching for answers to what this barrier is, where it came from and if and when it will go away. Martinez will play Linda, a young, ambitious deputy, fiercely loyal to Sheriff Duke Perkins, who runs a tight ship in the town of Chester’s Mill.
With January being so prolific in terms of work for Hispanics, 2013 could very well be one of the best years for the working Hispanic actor/filmmaker.