The 38-year-old Mexican American actor and former Quinceañera star has landed the lead role in Eva Longoria’s feature directorial debut Flamin’ Hot from Searchlight Pictures and Franklin Entertainment.
Garcia will play Richard Montanez, the architect of the Flamin’ Hot Cheeto, while Annie Gonzalez of Gentefied will portray his wife, Judy.
Flamin’ Hot tells the true life story of Richard Montanez, the Frito Lay janitor who took inspiration from his Mexican American heritage to create Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, the snack that disrupted the food industry and became a pop culture phenomenon.
Desperate Housewives actress and Telenovela, Grand Hotel, and Devious Maids EP Longoria beat out several directors for the job after impressing Franklin and Searchlight with her authentic approach to the project.
“It has been my biggest priority to make sure we are telling Richard Montañez’s story authentically,” said Longoria in a statement. “I am so happy to have two extremely talented and fellow Mexican-Americans on board in these pivotal roles. Jesse and Annie have a deep understanding of our community and will be able to help tell this story of great importance for our culture.”
Also new to Flamin’ Hot is scribe Linda Yvette Chavez who has come aboard for revisions on the Lewis Colick-penned screenplay. Chavez is the creator of Netflix’s Gentefied and she’s also adapting I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughterat the streamer for America Ferrera’s upcoming directorial debut.
Garcia appears in the Searchlight Pictures title Under the Same Moon, alongside Kate del Castillo and Ferrera. He has been widely recognized for his role in the highly acclaimed Quinceañera winner of the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. For his performance as Carlos, Garcia was nominated and won the prestigious ALMA Award (American Latino Media Arts) as Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture in 2007. Garcia can also be seen in The Avengers.
Gonzalez is a Chicana actress and East Los Angeles native. She grew up singing with the band Quetzal, (which has been a noted force in the Chicano movement), was one of the original dancers on Jamm X Kidsfor the WB and has been appearing on TV since the age of 10. She is most known for her roles in Gentefied, Vida, Shameless, and Legion. She was recently cast in the ABC pilot, Bucktown starring opposite Jane Lynch and Nicole Richie. Gonzalez also has a YouTube page with videos dedicated to her thoughts on spirituality, self-love, peace, positivity and living life as a Latina.
There’s one last super shift in America Ferrera’s future…
The 36-year-old Honduran American actress will return for the series finale of NBC’s comedy series Superstore.
Ferrera, whose character (Amy Sosa) moved to California for a new corporate gig at Zephra earlier this season, will reunite with the Superstore cast once more as a final farewell.
She will appear in the one-hour series finale on Thursday, March 25 at 8:00 pm ET/PT.
Prior to her departure back in November, Ferrera’s Amy devised a system that would help the the Cloud 9 staff thrive amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. In what was a bittersweet ending to Amy’s Cloud 9 journey, “California Pt. 2” featured fellow staff members celebrating their manager’s new adventure and saw Jonah (Ben Feldman) and Amy end their romantic relationship, and near-engagement, amicably.
Ferrera first announced her exit from the NBC comedy back in February 2020, two weeks after creator Justin Spitzer and Universal Television shared that Superstore was renewed for a sixth season. The actress also executive produced the series and directed four episodes.
Superstore is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, in association with Spitzer Holding Company, Miller Green Broadcasting and The District.
The 36-year-old Honduran American Emmy– and Golden Globe-winning actress will make her feature directorial debut with an adaptation of the New York Times bestselling novel,I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by author Erika Sánchez, who will serve as a co-producer on the film.
Anonymous Content and MACRO are producing the film, which will be released on Netflix.
Linda Yvette Chávez, the co-creator behind the Netflix and MACRO series, Gentefied, adapted the screenplay. Anonymous Content optioned the rights to the book under the company’s first-look deal with Aevitas Creative Management.
Released in 2017, the story follows Julia Reyes, the precocious and strong-willed teenaged daughter of first-generation Mexican immigrants. She often clashes with her more traditional parents, who wish she were more like her sister Olga, the platonic ideal of a Mexican daughter. However, when Olga is killed in a tragic accident, it is up to Julia to hold her family together.
“Years ago, I fell in love with Erika L. Sánchez’ stunning novel, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter,” said Ferrera. “The depth, wit and searing intelligence of her writing, and her young Latina heroine, struck me to my core and left me wanting so much more. I am truly honored and humbled to direct Linda Yvette Chávez’s beautifully adapted screenplay. The opportunity to direct the work of these two incredibly talented Latina writers is a dream come true. I can’t wait to share this film with the many fans of the novel, and to introduce this funny, profound, and resonant story to the world.”
Ferrera rose to acclaim as a headstrong young Latina in Real Women Have Curves. She would later go on to win an Emmy and Golden Globe for her role as Betty Suarez on the ABC series Ugly Betty, which ran for four seasons. She can currently be seen in the sixth and final season of the NBC comedy, Superstore.
America Ferrera will be spending part of her Election Night on YouTube…
The 36-year-old Honduran American actress will make an appearance on Black Lives Matter co-founder and executive director Patrisse Cullors first live streaming event on YouTube for election night.
Patrisse Cullors + BLMPAC Present: Live From Election Night will stream on Cullors’s YouTube channel starting at 6:00 pm PT / 9:00 pm ET.
Cullors will host the 90-minute event produced by Trap Heals and BLM alongside Richie Reseda CEO of Question Culture. Activists from across the country including Black Lives Matter Los Angeles’s Melina Abdullah and Vice President & Chief Partnership and Equity Officer at MomsRising.org Monifa Bandele will share reflections on this historic election.
In addition to Ferrera, the event will also include appearances from Tracee Ellis Ross, Tessa Thompson, Ramy Youssef, Chelsea Handler, Diane Guerrero, Yara Shahidi, Black Men Build organizer Philip Agnew, California state senator Holly Mitchell and more.
The event will also feature a DJ set from Channel Tres and a meditation sound bowl set with Pulse LA.
America Ferrera is galvanizing the influence and power of the country’s Latinas.
The 36-year-old Honduran American actress and former Ugly Betty star has partnered with Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria to launch She Se Puede, a digital lifestyle community created for Latinas.
Ferrera, Longoria and a group of powerful Latinas have high hopes for the new destination for the modern Latina.
“It’s a media platform that … inspires and affirms and informs Latinas on how to leverage our power in a way that transforms our lives, our families and our communities,” says Longoria.
Inspired by Dolores Huerta’s enduring phrase, “Sí, se puede!” the nonprofit initiative was also founded by experts in the political, entertainment and organizational worlds: Alex Martínez Kondracke, Carmen Perez, Christy Haubegger, Elsa Collins, Jess Morales Rocketto, Mónica Ramírez, Olga Segura, and Stephanie Valencia.
The site will cover fashion, health, culture and politics, an important subject during this election year.
Latinos account for 32 million eligible voters, the country’s largest ethnic voting block. She Se Puede, says Longoria, aims to “build a culture that allows Latinas to see that power, believe in that power and see that full potential released.”
The platform’s launch also comes amid a pandemic in which 34 percent of essential workers are Latino and communities of color have been hit hardest by job losses and lack of health care, as well as a divisive presidential election that sees Joe Biden trailing in the Latino vote in Florida, according to one poll. “We all truly know who’s on the side of Latinos, and it’s definitely not Trump,” she says. “This is the man whose administration is locking kids up in cages, who creates travel bans from countries that are poor, who wanted to sell Puerto Rico and exchange it for Greenland.
She Se Puede is a community where Latinas can find information that addresses our unique needs and supports us to move ourselves, our communities, and our country forward. To learn more, visit shesepuede.org.
Becky G is bringing in some big guns to talk politics and more…
The 23-year-old Mexican American singer/rapper’s new voting-themed episode of her En La Salamultimedia podcast features Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris and actress America Ferrera.
The candid conversation, which went live Tuesday (October 6) exclusively on Amazon Musicwith corresponding video on Amazon Music’s Twitch channel, touches on a wide range of topics including Harris’ experience as California’s attorney general, the importance of voting on November 3 and 2Pac.
“This is one of the biggest moments in my entire career,” Becky G says in the episode’s trailer. She also speaks with Ferrera about She Se Puede, the new nonprofit the actress and activist founded to pursue social justice and support civic engagement for Latinas. The episode will also be dedicated to the Latino Community Foundation, a nonprofit working to increasing political participation of the Latinx community in California.
Becky G is confirmed to speak at this year’s virtual Latin Music Week. The hitmaker will join Jorge and Hernán Hernández from the iconic norteño group Los Tigres del Norte to discuss the role artists currently play in engaging Latino voters who for the first time in a presidential election are the nation’s largest racial minority among eligible voters this year with a record 31.6 million Latinos eligible to vote. They will also chat about the immigrant experience as seen by two generations of Mexican-American artists. To reserve a spot and receive updates, RSVP here.
Gomez, one of nine Latino/as to make this year’s list, has been recognized for “unabashedly spreading her wings and influence into whatever lane her passions lead her,” writes America Ferrera in an essay about the artist.
“He’s opened up the doors for Latino artists everywhere by making the world hear and fall in love with our culture, our sounds and our spirit,” says pop star Camila Cabello in an essay about the man born as José Álvaro Osorio Balvín. “What I truly admire and love the most about José is that he is just himself. He’s himself to the world, he’s himself to his friends and his peers, and he’s got the kind of heart that makes him a person everyone is rooting for. When he wins, we all win.”
Anne Hidalgo has been named to the Time 100.
The 61-year-old French–Spanish politician, who has served as Mayor of Paris – is the first woman to hold the office – since 2014, is being recognized for being a leader in the movement to solve the global climate crisis.
“Even in the midst of confronting the global pandemic, Mayor Hidalgo has turned Paris into a shining example of how cities can lead the transition to cleaner, healthier and more prosperous societies,” writes former U.S. Vice President Al Gore. “She is transforming the city’s landscape to make it friendlier to pedestrians and bikers, cutting car traffic and making the air safer to breathe.”
Dr. Cecilia Martinez is also being recognized for her environmental work…
“As a leader in everything from international projects to grassroots organizing, Cecilia Martinez has dedicated her impressive career to a moral imperative: the pursuit of environmental justice and the inclusion of equity and justice in environmental policy,” writes U.S. Senator Cory Booker about the co-founder and executive director at the Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy (CEED).
Bonnie Castillo, the 60-year-old Latina registered nurse and executive director of National Nurses United, has earned her spot on this year’s list for support of frontline health workers.
“She was among the first to call attention to the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) available to nurses across the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic, and fought layoffs and pay cuts that nurses faced despite their vital frontline work,” writes civil rights activist and United Farm Workers of America co-founder Dolores Huerta. “Bonnie’s commitment to the labor movement and unions is unwavering; she states that unions are the foundation of a democratic society. Bonnie does not just work to heal patients; she works to heal society.”
Felipe Neto has also made this year’s list…
The 32-year-old Brazilian social media star, who has 39 million YouTube subscribers and 12 million Twitter followers, is considered the most consequential digital influencer in Brazil and possibly in the world.
“A decade ago, from his family’s humble Rio de Janeiro home, he began creating content for YouTube and quickly found fame, a huge and loyal young audience, and lucrative endorsements,” writes Brazilian congressman David Miranda. “What has changed—radically—is how Neto uses his platform. His early notoriety was generated by standard fare for online adolescents: video games, celebrities and girls. But with the 2018 election of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro and the empowerment of his proto-fascist movement, Neto, risking his brand and safety, repurposed his popularity to become one of Bolsonaro’s most effective opponents.”
For the second year in a row, Jair Bolsonaro has been named to the Time 100.
“The story of Brazil’s year can be told in numbers: 137,000 lives lost to the coronavirus. The worst recession in 40 years. At least five ministers sacked or resigned from the Cabinet. More than 29,000 fires in the Amazon rain forest in August alone. One President whose stubborn skepticism about the pandemic and indifference to environmental despoliation has driven all these figures upward,” writes Time’s international editor. “Yet the number that really matters is 37—the percentage of Brazilian society that approved of Jair Bolsonaro in a late-August poll, the highest rating since he took office early last year. Despite a storm of corruption allegations, and one of the highest COVID-19 death tolls in the world, the right-wing firebrand remains popular with a large section of Brazilians.”
Sister Norma Pimentel is being heralded for her work with immigrants…
“Sister Pimentel has been on the front lines of mercy for three decades, supporting migrants who are seeking refuge in the U.S. along Texas’ border with Mexico. As executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, she directs efforts to provide shelter, food, sanctuary and comfort to people often treated as less than human. Her organization has housed and assisted well over 100,000 people at the border,” says former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro. “Her work has taken on greater importance in the era of Donald Trump, and for good reason. As he has acted with cruelty toward migrants, she has acted with compassion. As he has preyed on the vulnerable and sought rejection, she has preached community and acceptance. As he has promoted fear, she has taught love.
Gabriela Cámara is being recognized for being “more than a chef—she is a Renaissance woman on the front lines of our industry,” writes chef Jose Andres about the Mexican chef.
Through her visionary career, Camara has become one of Mexico’s leading culinary diplomats, both in spirit and in practice.
“Not only does she run two of the most iconic kitchens on the continent—Contramar in Mexico City and Cala in San Francisco—offering the very best of her cultural heritage, she is also an adviser to the Mexican President, showing by example how food can have an impact far beyond the walls of a restaurant kitchen,” continues Andres.
America Ferrera is calling for decreased police funding…
The 36-year-old Honduran American actress and activist has joined the likes of John Legend, Common, the Weeknd, Lizzo, Jane Fonda, and others to signed a new open letter urging local governments to decrease police budgets in favor of spending more on health care, education, and other community programs.
Others to sign the letter include Megan Rapinoe, Yada Shahidi, and Anthony Romero, the executive director of the ACLU.
The letter was released by activist Patrisse Cullors, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter and a founding member of the Movement 4 Black Lives, a coalition of more than 100 black-rights organizations.
The letter arrived in conjunction with #BlackOutTuesday and #TheShowMustBePaused, a grassroots campaign within the music industryto pause work today, June 2nd, and “reconnect with our community.”
Talib Kweli, Natalie Portman, Brie Larson and Taraji P. Henson also signed the letter.
The open letter ties the deaths of unarmed black people like George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and others to the disproportionately devastating effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on black communities.
The COVID-19 deaths and the deaths caused by police terror are connected and consequential to each other,” it states. “The United States does not have a national healthcare system. Instead, we have the largest military budget in the world, and some of the most well-funded and militarized police departments in the world, too. Policing and militarization overwhelmingly dominate the bulk of national and local budgets. In fact, police and military funding has increased every single year since 1973, and at the same time, funding for public health decreased every year, crystallized most recently when the Trump administration eliminated the U.S. Pandemic Response Team in 2018, citing ‘costs.To know more about health check this site.
Noting, for instance, that state and local government spending on police and corrections jumped from $60 billion to $194 billion between 1977 and 2017, the letter lays out an array of different ways that money could be used. “It could go towards building healthy communities, to the health of our elders and children, to neighborhood infrastructure, to education, to childcare, to support a vibrant Black future. The possibilities are endless.”
At the end, the letter lays out its three demands and asks all signees to encourage their local officials to take the pledge as well: “Vote no on all increases to police budgets. Vote yes to decrease police spending and budgets. Vote yes to increase spending on Health care, Education, and Community programs that keep us safe.”
Netflix has picked up an eight-episode second season of its half-hour Latinx dramedy Gentefied, starring the 39-year-old Puerto Rican actor.
The series hails from Marvin Lemus and Linda Yvette Chávez, the duo behind the Sundance Film Festival darlingGente-fied: The Digital Series, and Macro.
In celebration of the renewal, Gentefied‘s cast and creators will reunite for a live virtual table read, hosted by George Lopez, on Wednesday, May 20 on Netflix is a Joke YouTube channel. They’ll be raising awareness for Proyecto Pastoral, a nonprofit in Boyle Heights that is addressing the impacts of COVID-19 on the low-income families and residents they serve in the Boyle Heights community.
Created by Chicano first-gen writers Lemus and Chávez, Gentefied is a half-hour dramatic comedy adapted from the 2017 Sundance digital series of the same name. Described as a badass bilingual series about family, community, brown love, and the displacement that disrupts it all, Gentefied follows three Mexican-American cousins who struggle to chase the American Dream, even while that same dream threatens the things they hold most dear: their neighborhood, their immigrant grandfather, and the family taco shop. Set in a rapidly changing Los Angeles, the Spanglish dramedy navigates important themes like identity, class, and balancing insta-fame with translating memes for their parents. But most importantly, Gentefied settles once and for all how to pronounce Latinx.
In addition o Santos, who portrays aspiring chef Chris Morales, the series also stars Karrie Martin, JJ Soria and Joaquín Cosio.
Lemus and Chávez executive produce with Charles D. King of Macro, America Ferrera of Take Fountain, Teri Weinberg of Yellow Brick Road, Kim Roth and Aaliyah Williams.
Netflix has scheduled the launch of Gentefied, its 10-episode Latinx dramedy starring the 33-year-old Mexican American actor, for February 21.
The project hails from Marvin Lemusand Linda Yvette Chávez— the duo behind Gente-fied: The Digital Series, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festivalin 2017 — and Macro.
Described as a badass Spanglish series about family, community, brown love and the displacement that disrupts it all, Gentefied follows three Mexican-American cousins and their struggle to chase the American Dream, even while that same dream threatens the things they hold most dear: their neighborhood, their immigrant grandfather and the family taco shop. Set in a rapidly changing Los Angeles, the series will navigate important themes such as identity, class and balancing insta-fame with translating memes for their parents. And it will settle once and for all how to pronounce Latinx, Netflix notes.
In addition to Soria, the series also stars Joaquín Cosío, Karrie Martin and Carlos Santos.
Executive Producer America Ferrera and Wilmer Valderrama are confirmed to guest star. Ferrera directed two episodes along with co-creator Lemus, Marta Cunningham, Aurora Guerrero and Andrew Ahn.