Edward James Olmos is making a seen…
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has launched a new Latin interview video series titled Seen, that will feature interviews with Latino/a stars including the 74-year-old Mexican American Oscar-nominated actor.
Hosted by journalist Nick Barili, Season 1 will feature interviews with Olmos, John Leguizamo and Eva Longoria.
“What a dream to host a series celebrating our community leaders like John Leguizamo, Eva Longoria and Edward James Olmos by giving them the recognition they deserve. Not only for trailblazing with their careers, but also for using their platforms to be a voice for our community. I look forward to sharing their journeys, their passions, and their legacy with the world,” Barili tells Deadline.
“This is a step in the right direction to address the lack of representation in Hollywood, but we still have a lot of work to do,” he added.
In the series premiere above, Barili has a one-on-one conversation with Leguizamo about how he navigated the industry over his decades-long career and how he’s confronted stereotypical casting. They also dive into the underrepresentation of the Latino community both in front of and behind the camera, tokenism, colorism, and what’s left for Leguizamo to accomplish.
“The conversation with John resonated with me at my core,” Barili said. “Not only is his show Freak the first time I truly felt seen, but also, he’s broken down walls for our community every step of his career. When Hollywood would only typecast him in stereotypical, one-dimensional roles, he took it upon himself to create, write and perform his own one-man shows that gave Latinos like me a chance to see themselves as three-dimensional characters that we didn’t get to see when we turned on the TV. They were complex, funny, courageous, vulnerable, and made me feel proud to be Latino.”
The second episode will feature an interview with Olmos, airing on January 31. Barili and Olmos pay a visit to the students from the Youth Cinema Project program at Los Angeles County’s Bell Gardens Intermediate School.
On February 7, Barili and Longoria tour her alma mater, California State University, Northridge, where she received a master’s degree in Chicano Studies in 2013 while filming Desperate Housewives.
Barili co-founded the Latinx in Media & Arts Coalition, which focuses on promoting Latinx creatives, increasing access to traditional and new-media platforms, providing resources and opportunities to youth, and cultivating the next generation of Latinx entertainment and creative professionals.