Photo: Blanco Soto, Mexican actress taking her shot in Hollywood
As the United States is seeing a Latino boom in its population, Hollywood is also seeing an influx of Mexican film and television stars in their midst.
Around 16 percent of the total U.S. population is now Latino, and in 2009, Latinos bought more movie tickets per capita than any other ethnic group.
Actors like Demian Bichir of HBO’s “Weeds” and the upcoming film “A Better Life”, Adriana Barraza (“Babel,” “Thor”) and Kate del Castillo who plays Mexican crime boss Pilar on “Weeds” are among those finding great success in Hollywood.
Film producer and chief executive of the L.A.-based Maya Cinemas movie theater chain, which caters to Latino audiences, Moctesuma Esparza told the Los Angeles Times that as the Latin population in the U.S. continues to grow, it is “inevitable” that Latin American actors will be drawn to Hollywood.
“You want to be able as an American Latino to see anybody who at least looks like you, has a last name like you, who you can identify with,” he said.
After the boom of Mexican films following hits “Y Tu Mamá También” and “Amores Perros”, the country’s film industry fell flat once more, and produced just 25 films in 2005. Last year, however, things picked up as the country got out 68 films according to the Cámara Nacional de la Industria Cinematográfica. Yet still, no film has seen worldwide critical acclaim and buzz since the 1990’s and early 2000’s boom dissipated.
For the actors, heading north isn’t about leaving behind the Mexican movie industry, it’s about advancing their career and getting out into the world markets via Hollywood.
For actors like Blanca Soto, a former Miss Mexico who was seen in “Dinner for Schmucks,” moving to Hollywood allows them could branch out of Mexico’s limited television market, which is full of telenovelas, and spread their wings.
“I love my country,” Soto said, but “do I want to be there for the next 35 years of my life being a novella actress? No. I want to live in Japan, in Spain, I want to go to France and work here, in New York, in Miami.”