We cannot start to talk about popular Hispanic actors without mentioning the fact that Hispanics constitute about 17.4 percent of the population of the United States of America. Regardless of this notion, they are the most enthusiastic moviegoers in the US. However, chances are that you may not likely see a large number of them in the world of entertainment, especially in Hollywood. For decades, the Hispanics have remained one among the least represented groups in the entertainment industry.
But as the population of Hispanics is growing in the United States and other parts of the world, entertainers from countries like Spain, Mexico, and other Latin American countries are constantly emerging into different faculties of the entertainment industry including films, series, as well as music. We get to see a lot of them both in front of the camera as competent cast members and behind the camera as part of the crew in the entertainment industry. That being said; here is a list of popular Hispanic actors in the world of entertainment.
12 Popular Hispanic Actors in the Entertainment Industry
1. Eugenia Derbez
First on our list of popular Hispanic actors is Eugenia Derbez. Hollywood had faced the dilemma of trying to crack the code of what would interest America’s most lucrative Latino audience for decades. Eugenia Derbez, a producer, an actor, a director and writer who is a popular Mexican star brought a solution to this puzzle with his hit movie titled Instruction Not Included in 2013. Although he is a celebrity in his native country, he was relatively unknown in the US until the movie broke all records and emerged as a surprise box office success, grossing over $100 million on a mere $5 million budget. He spent all of 12 years trying to raise funds for the movie, but it became a resounding success in the end. More doors opened for the famous actor, producer, and director, including a deal with Lionsgate/Grupo Televista’sPantelion Films.
2. Javier Bardem
With tremendous performances in productions like The Sea Inside, Before Night Falls, and Biutiful, Javier Bardem possesses the ability to effect a physical transformation from one role to the other. His accomplishments indeed have not been equalled by any other artist of Hispanic origin. His role in No Country for Old Men earned him three Oscar nominations and a win. Even though he lacks a presence on social media, he is strongly connected to the Latino audience who places a very high value on his talent and views him as their best actor.
3. Michael Pena
This Chicago born actor is one of the few entertainers with the inherent ability to reduce you to hopeless tears in one minute, and then transport you to maniac laughter in the next. Michael is also one of the rare entertainers who are proficient in both Spanish and English as evidenced in the movie titled Cesar Chavez – a 2014 immigrant activist movie by Diego Luna. Michael’s list of accomplishment is impressive, he has played leading roles in some of the best motion picture productions of the past 15 years. Notable among them are Crash and Million Dollar Baby which were Oscar-winning movies, as well as American Hustle which has been nominated for Oscar in the past.
4. Gael Garcia Bernal
Fourth on our list of popular Hispanic actors is Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal who won worldwide acclaim in the movie titled Amores Perros – a riveting movie by Alejandro Gonzalez. Gael was established as the face of the new wave of Mexican cinema in his follow-up role on the set of Y tu mama tambien. The actor is in collaboration with Diego Luna in Canana Films and Documentary Festival Ambulante.
5. George Lopez
George Lopez is definitely on our list of popular Hispanic actors in the industry. The actor’s eponymous sitcom took the day to day experiences of a typical middle-class Latino family into homes across the US at a time when social and cultural misconception was the order of the day. George became an ambassador of ethnographic between mainstream America and his home community. His sitcom became a sudden hit in syndication, sustained by a strong cross-demographic appeal, as well as unflinching support from viewers of Hispanic origin. Despite his lowly beginnings, the veteran actor has ascended up to the top of the Hollywood popularity chain without downplaying his roots or compromising his identity.
See Also: 12 Famous Hispanic People And Latinos
6. John Leguizamo
The showbiz career of John Leguizamo commenced in the conductor’s car of the subway train in New York City where he launched his debut unplanned live performance which led him towards the path of becoming a groundbreaking comedian and actor. This was during the era when Hispanic actors in Hollywood were very few. Apart from the celeb actor’s expressive countenance and infectious vigour, his indefatigable rise to stardom has earned him pride of place in the business, as well as made him an object of admiration for those who desire to follow in his footsteps.
7. Antonio Banderas
Included in our mentions of popular Hispanic actors is the legendary Antonio Banderas who is greatly admired for his charming personality, good looks, as well as his comedic inclinations. The handsome actor is an ex-footballer in Spain. In the 1980s, he became part of Pedro Almodovar’s cinematic muses. The remarkable prowess he exhibited on the set of the movie, Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles got the attention of Hollywood executives at Sonny Pictures who cast him as Zorro, a role that catapulted the handsome actor to superstardom. Banderas was the voice behind Puss in Boots ‘Shrek’ and also has a host of tremendous movie performances to his name.
8. Diego Luna
After accomplishing his breakthrough role on the set of Y tu mama tambien, the famed actor had ample opportunity to make it big in Hollywood but chose to stay back in his home country, Mexico, to assist in building up the local entertainment industry. He rendered his assistance through the help of his already established Canana Films banner and Ambulante – a mobile movie festival that takes cinema to all nooks and crannies of the country. He went into partnership with Gael Garcia Bernal – his business partner and best friend. Luna championed the advent of Mexican cinemas to America through acting, producing and distribution deals and directed the movie Cesar Chavez which was his debut English speaking movie.
9. William Levy
William has a strong resemblance to Brad Pitt and is often referred to as Latino Brad Pitt. He is a well-known Telenovela superstar, but his early life story is not an enviable one. He left the abject poverty in his home country of Cuba and migrated to the United States at the young age of 14. It took a long time for Levy to adjust to his new environment but he finally succeeded through sheer hard work and dedication. His transition into an accomplished actor earned him a spot on season 14 of Dancing with the Stars which secured his position in the pop culture consciousness. He is making a smooth transition to Hollywood after his appearance in The Single Mums Club.
10. Andy Garcia
The tenth on our list of popular Hispanic actors is Andy Garcia, a Cuban-born actor. He is one out of the few actors of Hispanic origin who have managed to break through casting stereotypes to emerge as one of the memorable leading actors of Hollywood, as well as one who is loved by fans of the Latino community. His movie titled The Godfather Part III, where he portrayed the character of Vincent Mancini earned him an Oscar nomination. In the course of his acting career, Andy became a positive influence on a new generation of actors of Latino origin. The veteran actor is an all-around character, he has competence in both dramatic and comedic roles, as well as in commercial movies. He is also renowned as a director and producer.
11. James Roday
His surname is really misleading because it is very far from a regular Latino name. But according to the Psych star who is partly Mexican, his real last name is Rodriguez but he was compelled to change it to Roday when he launched his career for a couple of reasons. Besides, another actor, by the name, James Rodriguez was already in the books of the Screen Actors Guild. In addition, an agent at the network who gave him his debut job expressed concerns that the whole situation may look as if they were avoiding issues of diversity by casting a White Latino.
12. Adam Rodriguez
We are definitely not forgetting popular American actor of Puerto Rican and Cuban descent, Adam Rodriguez on our list of popular Hispanic actors. Adam, popularly known for his role in crime series CSI Miami as Eric Delko, has continued to prove his significance in the entertainment industry. Rodriguez started from childhood to nurture his inclination to the arts, performing in the children’s theatre in New York at the time. His first appearance in a movie was in The X-Files series, as an extra. Afterwards, more minor roles in series followed. He became a cast of CSI: Miami in 2002 and has also appeared in a host of other movies including Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All by Myself. Adam has also appeared in lots of music videos by several artists in the industry.