By Jack Rico
This week it was confirmed that power players Jay-Z and Will Smith will officially produce “Annie” with an African-American twist. Yes, the little orphan that sings “the sun will come out tomorrow,” will be black. Annie will be played by the adorable 9-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis who will go into Oscar history as the youngest Best Actress Oscar nominee. The Academy Award gave Wallis this honor after her astounding performance in “Beasts of the Southern Wild.”
This wonderful news got us thinking – if Hollywood can have a black Annie, why can’t they also have a little adorable Latin Annie?
But who?! You may ask yourself. All of the young Latinas are way too old to play little Annie – Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, and Victoria Justice are all in their twenties! It cannot be done.
Well stop being so pessimistic because we are here to tell you otherwise. In fact, we have the three perfect little Hispanics that will steal your heart.
Madison De La Garza is meant to be a star. This 11-year-old Texan, maternal half-sister of teen star Demi Lovato, has already worked with big names like Eva Longoria in “Desperate Housewives” where she played Juanita Solis, the actress’s mischievous daughter. She has also made appearances in two Disney shows — which we all know is a great formula for stardom, just look at Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera — “Sonny with a Chance” and “Jonas Brothers: Living the Dream.”
Even though she might be “older,” Gabriela Borges is what we call a triple threat. This 14-year-old Miami native from Mexican parents is a dancer, singer and actress. Gabriela started dancing at the age of 3 and by 7 Gabriela had been part of numerous successful dance groups including being a backstage dancer for the Univision show “Sabado Gigante” and the team “The Untouchables” directed By Emmy winner Glenn Douglass Packard. She has also played important roles in various telenovelas including “Eva Luna” and most recently “Corazon Valiente.” Not only that, Gaby has also made music videos for the songs “Ave Maria” and her very own “Can’t Be Tamed.” We already expect Gaby to make a successful crossover into the English market like William Levy so why not start with “Annie.”
Ok so we promised you little Latinas, but why not think outside the box? If we are already breaking the frame of “Annie” by casting a little Latina, why not take it a step further and cast a little Latino named “Anibal”? Enter Rico Rodriguez! Rodriguez is great and maybe even our favorite for the role. The 14-year-old Mexican-American has already won all of our hearts with his role as Manny on the ABC hit “Modern Family.” He is not only funny, cute and a ladies man, but he is also a two time Emmy winner! Rico has also made many other film and TV appearances including “Sesame Street” as a presenter and “The Muppets” movie in 2011. Sounds like success to us!
Last but not least, our #1 choice to play Annie… 10-year old Alexys Nycole Sanchez. This beyond lovable Mexican American actress – who played the character Becky Feder (Salma Hayek‘s daughter) in the movie “Grown Ups” – is too cute to be true. She captured the attention of Hollywood’s finest when she won the popcorn trophy for Best Movie Line at the 2011 MTV Movie Awards for her ever so memorable line – “I wanna get chocolate wasted!” She speaks perfect English, she has comedic timing, she’s exactly the right age and possesses the charm and likability factor to win America’s hearts.
Here’s the video of her big MTV win!
Who do you think about our choices, hit or miss? Let us know who you think can play a great little Latina or Latino orphan Annie?