Films like “Puss in Boots,” in which the main characters and heroes have Hispanic accents thanks to the voices of Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek, help Americans to think positively about the Latino community, the Spanish actor said Wednesday.
“That community feels very proud to see how Anglo-Saxon children get into their brains the possibility that the film heroes may have Hispanic accents,” said Banderas at a press conference to present the animated 3D film in Mexico.
The actor said that the fact that the two main characters of the film have Hispanic accents, while the villain has an “Anglo” accent, is “very important” given that even just a few years ago that would not have occurred.
Banderas recalled than when he made his first film in the United States, “The Mambo Kings” (1992), some Hispanic colleagues told him that if he stayed in Hollywood to work he would be offered all sorts of unsavory parts: “Drug traffickers, thieves ... those are for us, they told me,” he said.
“That is changing because there has been a community (of people) who have worked very hard to send their children to the universities and today hold positions of power, and that is reflected in Hollywood,” said the actor, who lives in Los Angeles and is a staunch defender of the rights of Hispanics in the United States.
“Puss in Boots” broke box office records in the first weekend of its U.S. release.