Jesse Garcia to Star in the Eva Longoria-Directed “Flamin’ Hot” Film

It’s a flamin’ hot time for Jesse Garcia.

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.

Jesse Garcia

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 Hoteland 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 Daughter at 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 Kids for 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.

Manuel Uriza to Appear on Netflix’s Dramedy “Gentefied”

Manuel Uriza is getting gentefied

The Latino actor has landed a recurring role on Netflix’s dramedy Gentefied.

Manuel Uriza

Uriza joins a list of new recurring cast additions that includes Clarissa Thibeaux, Ivana Rojas and Melinna Bobadilla.

The series hails from Marvin Lemus and Linda Yvette Chávez, the duo behind the Sundance Film Festival darling Gente-fied: The Digital Series, and Macro.

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 dramedy navigates important themes like identity, class, and balancing insta-fame with translating memes for their parents.

Karrie Martin, JJ Soria, Carlos Santos and Joaquín Cosio star.

Uriza will play Ernesto Morales, Pop’s estranged, oldest son. By any measure, the personification of the American Dream, Pop has never forgiven him for moving his family from East LA to the calmer suburbs of Boise, Idaho. Unlike the rest of the family, Ernesto is the only one who can stand up to Pop, as their relationship reaches a boiling point.

Rojas will portray Sarai Damian. An up-and coming Chef, Sarai is career-focused, hella ambitious, and a truth-teller. She knows what she wants and she isn’t willing to compromise her dream for anyone. We meet her as she is about to be catapulted into her biggest career high, but it comes with a big price to pay.

Bobadilla will play Melinna Barragan, a fierce non-profit lawyer, she’s down for her community, even if it means working pro-bono. If your prima with the big hoops who always got into fights got her law degree at ELAC – that would be Melinna. Passionate and fierce, she treats her clients like family.

Uriza’s credits include Magnum P.I., Hawaii Five-O, Rambo: Last Blood, The Last Ship and Snowfall.

Tanya Saracho Among Top TV & Film Creators Demanding More Latinx Representation in Hollywood

Tanya Saracho is calling for more Latinx representation in Hollywood…

The Mexican playwright, screenwriter and actress is among some of the top creators in television and film who are demanding for change when it comes to Latinx representation as Hispanic Heritage Months comes to an end.

Tanya Saracho

In an open letter to Hollywood more than 270 Latinx showrunners, creators, and television and feature writers, including Saracho, Lin-Manuel MirandaGloria Calderon-Kellett, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Steven Canals, John Leguizamo, Linda Yvette-Chavez, Carolina Paiz, Marco Ramirez, Javier Grillo-Marxuach and more are calling for systemic change in the entertainment industry.

The letter begins: “As we come to the end of Hispanic Heritage Month in the midst of a global pandemic and continued racial injustice, many of us in the Latinx community have found it difficult to celebrate. Inspired by the activism of the Black and Indigenous communities, many of whom also identify as Latinx, we stand in solidarity with our fellow Black, Native and Indigenous writers, co-signing their WGAW Open Letters and echoing their demands for systemic change in our industry.”

“As Latinx Showrunners, Creators, TV and Feature Writers, we are incensed by the continued lack of Latinx representation in our industry, especially among the Black and Indigenous members of our community,” the letter continues. “Our stories are important, and our erasure onscreen contributes to the persistent prejudice that prevents real change in this country. This prejudice is not as overt as the one that keeps immigrant children in cages and separates families at the border, or as violent as the racism that is killing our Black, Brown, and Indigenous community members at the hands of police.”

“But when we are onscreen, we’re often relegated to stereotypes or villains. And as a recent​ ​New York Times OpEd​ states, ‘White elites cannot muffle a huge, vibrant community for decades and not expect consequences. For Latinos in the Trump era, these consequences are deadly, from Hurricane Maria to the Walmart shooting in El Paso and the pandemic, as well as soaring hate crimes.’”

The letter points out that the Latinx community makes up 18.3% of the U.S. population but it is not reflected in film and TV. There are only 4.7% feature writers and 8.7% TV writers that are Latinx. As Latinx writers move up to Showrunner level, the stats only get more dismal. “By refusing to tell our stories AND by refusing to put us in charge of telling them — Hollywood power brokers are complicit in our exclusion,” the letter remarks.

This is even further supported by a recent study from CAA and Parrot Analytics, which shows that even though television shows are a lot more diverse than they were three years ago, not all racial and ethnic groups were equally well represented in scripted debuts. Latinos and Hispanics remain significantly underrepresented despite being one of the fastest-growing demographics in the country.

While there are shows like One Day At A Time that having managed to get multiple season orders, there have been other Latino-fronted shows in the past years, like The Baker and the Beauty and United We Fall — that have been canceled before getting the chance to find their footing beyond one season.

The letter can be summarized with three words included heavily throughout: “We are tired.”

The open letter does not mince words with the demands and draws out exactly what needs to be done including creating stories for and about the Latinx community by Latinx creators; greenlighting Latinx-fronted projects; respecting all aspects and intersections of the Latinx cultural representation; and hiring Latinx creators for non-Latinx projects.

The letter, which was posted on social channels with the hashtag #EndLatinXclusion, closes with “Stories are powerful. Stories change the world. Let’s get on the right side of history so we can continue to create needed change and tell captivating stories together.”

This initiative was launched by the Untitled Latinx Project (ULP) founded by Saracho. It’s an all-Latina advocacy group formed to increase representation of Latinx created stories for television. The goal of this call to action was uniting the professional community of Latinx writers, creators and showrunners.

Read the letter in full here.

Netflix to Release JJ Soria’s Latinx Dramedy “Gentefied” in February

JJ Soriais getting gentefied next month…

Netflix has scheduled the launch of Gentefied, its 10-episode Latinx dramedy starring the 33-year-old Mexican American actor, for February 21.

JJ Soria

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 CosíoKarrie 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 CunninghamAurora Guerrero and Andrew Ahn.

JJ Soria to Star in Netflix’s 10-episode Half-Hour Latinx Dramedy “Gentefied”

JJ Soria is getting gentefied

The 32-year-old Mexican-American actor has been cast in the 10-episode half-hour Latinx dramedy Gentefied.

JJ Soria

Soria joins a main cast that includes Karrie MartinCarlos Santos and Joaquín Cosio.

The project hails from Gente-fied: The Digital Series creators Marvin Lemusand Linda Yvette Chávez, showrunner Monica MacerAmerica FerreraTeri Weinbergand Macro.

Written by Lemus and Chávez, Gentefied is adapted from the web series which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival

Described as a badass bilingual series about family, community, brown love, and the displacement that disrupts it all, Gentefiedis about three Mexican-American cousins (Martin, Soria, Santos) who struggle to chase the American Dream, even while that same dream threatens the things they hold most dear: their neighborhood, their immigrant grandfather (Cosio), and the family taco shop. Set in a rapidly changing Los Angeles, the Spanglish dramedy will navigate important themes like identity, class, and balancing insta-fame with translating memes for their parents. But most importantly,Gentefiedwill settle once and for all how to pronounce Latinx.

Martin will play Ana Morales, a sarcastic, woke, blunt, and endearing, queer artist. Ana is a Chicana who leads with her heart and fights for her art with untethered conviction. She loves her abuelo and her entire family almost to a fault.

Soria will portray Erik, a wisecracking, well-read, charismatic, but tough homie with a heart of gold. He’s a high school dropout, but there isn’t a book in the local library Erik hasn’t read. He’s a reluctant dreamer trying to find his way back to himself. But his loyalty to his grandfather who took him in keeps him from putting time into himself or Lidia, the love of his life.

Santos is Chris, the prodigal grandson, a fun-loving, know-it-all, chef-in-training. Chris is a homegrown Boyle Heights boy who moved to Idaho at a young age and was abruptly introduced to Weezer and cow-tipping. His cousins call him guero for acting and looking like a white boy, which always leaves him wondering if he’ll ever be Mexican enough for anyone.

Cosio is Pop, a hard-working, stoic, but warm, old-fashioned ranchero and the rock of the Morales family. Though gruff with his Tejanaand potty-mouth (“cabron” is his favorite word!), Pop has a huge heart, but that also means a lot of heartache trying to protect them.

“We are thrilled to have gathered a lead cast that captures the unique nuance of the chisme, chistes, and chingaderas that we grew up with in our multi-generational, bilingual, immigrant families,” said Lemus and Chavez. “Joaquin, JJ, Carlos, and Karrie are the abuelo, primos, y prima we shot the shit with as kids, the cousins we partied with, and the grandpa we cried with. They are the Morales family and we can’t wait for everyone to start sending them invites to the carne asada!”

Lemus directs the Netflix production.

A love letter to the Latinx and Boyle Heights communities, creators Lemus and Chavez hope Gentefiedwill let their little cousins rocking Adidas, hoops, and big dreams see themselves on the big screen in ways they only dreamed of growing up.

Martin has co-starred on shows like Pretty Little LiarsThe ArrangementThe Purgeand will soon be appearing in David Ayer’s film The Tax Collector

Soria most recently appeared in the series regular role of Pete Ramos on Crackle series The Oath, and has recurred on TNT’s Animal Kingdom and Freeform’s The Fosters. On the film side, Soria can next be seen in the indie John Henry alongside Terry Crews

CBS Diversity Showcase alum Santos has appeared on CBS’ 2 Broke GirlstruTV’s Adam Ruins Everything and Seeso’s Bajillion Dollar Properties. He also was the lead in the 2013 Slamdance comedy horror feature Ghost Team One and guest-starred on Fox’s The Last Man on Earth

Cosio’s credits include the role of Angel de Plata on FX’s The Strain and Don Neto in Narcos: Mexico.He’s returning for Season 2 of Narcos: Mexicoand will be seen in a starring role in Amazon’s new series CDMX.On the film side, he’ll next be seen in Emilio Portes’ horror thriller Beelzebuth,as well as the sequel to Matando Cabos, where he’ll return to portray the title character. 

Netflix Green Lights the America Ferrera-Executive Produced Series “Gentefied”

America Ferrerais getting Gentefied

Netflix has given the green light to Gentefied, a half-hour bilingual dramedy executive produced by the 34-year-old Honduran American actress and former Ugly Betty star.

America Ferrera

The project hails from Marvin Lemus and Linda Yvette Chávez, the creators of Gente-fied: The Digital Series, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festivalin 2017. 

Ferrera is executive-producing alongside Teri Weinbergvia their production company. Netflix is the studio.

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.

Co-creators Lemus and Chávez will write and co-exec produce the 10-episode series, with Lemus also directing.

Lemus and Chávez call Gentefied a love letter to the Latinx and Boyle Heightscommunities and hope the series will let their little cousins rocking Adidas, hoops and big dreams see themselves on the big screen in ways they themselves only dreamed of growing up.