Latinos are taking over, Hollywood has finally started to open its doors to the Latino community and we are here to stay. A great example of that is Guatemalan actor Javier Melgar Santoveña, who has changed the industry’s idea of what a Latino is and has managed to take Hollywood by storm.
In a recent interview, we asked Javier what it was like for him to be Latino in America, he said ‘’Its sometimes difficult, because a lot of people have a stereotype embedded in their head of what a Latino is and how a Latino should look like and sometimes I don’t fit their stereotype but being Latino is more than where you’re from or how you look like, it’s a culture.’’ And we agree, 17% of the United States population is Latino, and all the countries south of the border with different customs and sometimes even languages but we all have one thing in common ‘’passion’’ as Javier mentioned.
‘’We are often portrayed as loud and angry people, which might be accurate but what people need to understand that our high energy and intensity comes from passion. Latinos, we are very fiery people and everything we do, we pack it with intensity. Just look at us dance and you’ll see what passion looks like.’’ Javier has set his mind to change the industry, to change stereotypes but also embrace them ‘’We must also remember that stereotypes exist for a reason, in any realm of life we will find people who fit a stereotype perfectly and it is our job as actors to take that on as well and do our best job with it.’’ Javier added that he believes it’s all in the tone of the project and the way race or heritage is dealt with, he added that ‘’The most important thing while creating a character, as an actor or writer, is looking for the truth of the character in its reality and, stop being so uptight, life is hard enough as it is, we need to laugh at ourselves sometimes. Its healthy.’’
Finally, Javier stated ‘’Sometimes it’s not about changing the industry, just opening it up. Making films where race and heritage are not important and that when we do make those kinds of movies, we treat the topics with respect.’’ As Javier said, we need to embrace who we are and be proud of it, no matter what.