Film bloggers got a bit abuzz last week at reports that an all-female spinoff of the Expendables franchise was being developed, with “several prominent actresses affiliated with the action genre” being contacted.
This being Hollywood, of course, don’t expect too much on the diversity front–heck, even seeing Jet Li as part of the crew in Sylvester Stallone’s original ensemble and Yu Nan and Terry Crews in the sequel–is about as good as we’re probably going to get in that series.
But here at Chromatic Casting, we know we can do better. And so we’ll give it a shot under the cut.
Keeping in mind that this series basically involves anthropomorphic tropes as characters, we won’t get too deep with the descriptions, but we’ll slot folks into some archetypal roles for the protagonist team, with the villains being a bit more fluid. Continue reading →
They came to lay Chavela Vargas to rest at Plaza Garibaldi Monday night. And that was just in person. When word spread of the Costa Rican native’s passing this past Sunday, they mourned not only in her adopted home country of Mexico, but in Spain, in Cuba, and anywhere they still feel ranchera music.
In nearly a century, she was an LGBT trailblazer; a gender role provocateur; a friend to artists like Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera and a muse to others like Federico García Lorca and Pedro Almodóvar; she performed at Elizabeth Taylor’s wedding and at Carnegie Hall; she recorded 80 albums and came out at the age of 81. She beat addiction to become an institution. And they raised their glasses to her Monday night.
With apologies to fans of Michael Fassbender, Ryan Gosling, et al., by far the most pleasant surprise of this week’s Academy Awards nominee announcements was seeing Demián Bichir get nominated for Best Actor–alongside “conventional” choices like George Clooney and Brad Pitt–for his role as an undocumented single father in A Better Life.
As Colorlines noted, Bichir’s nomination was one of several nods for Latinos in this year’s Oscar race: cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, also from Mexico, was nominated for Best Cinematography for Terence Malick’s The Tree of Life; Bérénice Bejo, a native of Argentina, earned a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her turn in the The Artist; Brazilian Sérgio Mendes was nominated for Best Song for “Real in Rio,” his collaboration with Siedah Garrett, of “Man In The Mirror” fame, from the animated film Rio.
But a look at some relevant figures further illustrates how painfully rare Bichir’s accomplishment is.
2: The number of Mexican-born nominees for Best Actor, with Bichir joining Anthony Quinn, who was nominated on two separate occasions, for Wild Is The Wind (1957) and Zorba The Greek (1964).
2: The number of white actors nominated for this category for playing Latino characters (Marlon Brando, 1952, Viva Zapata! and Spencer Tracy, 1958, The Old Man and the Sea).
47: The number of years between Quinn’s nomination for Zorba and Bichir’s nomination.
61: The number of years since a Latino actor born outside of Mexico and the United States was nominated for Best Actor; José Ferrer (born in Puerto Rico in 1912, before it became a U.S. territory) earned the honor in 1950 for Cyrano De Bergerac.
1: The number of:
Latino actors (going into this year’s ceremony) to win Best Actor, with Ferrer taking the Oscar home.
Latino actors born in the U.S. to be nominated for the category (Edward James Olmos, 1988, Stand and Deliver.)
Latinas in Oscars history to win the Best Actress award (Rita Moreno, 1961, West Side Story.)
Mexican-born actresses ever nominated in that category (Salma Hayek, 2002, Frida.)
0: The number of Latina actresses born in the U.S. to be nominated for Best Actress.
Nobody said Sofía Vergara was sleeping with producers after Modern Family won a Golden Globe Sunday. Not with producers, anyway.
As you can see in the vid above, the joke starts around the 20-second mark, when Vergara, speaking Spanish, is mock-pulled by castmate Julie Bowen. At that point she announces that, because the Globes are an international award, her group’s acceptance speech for the Best Comedy/Musical Television Series would be done in Spanish and English. Which got laughs because, you know, Spanish. Or something. Continue reading →
Race, Culture, and Identity in a Colorstruck World