Ximena Lamadrid Named to Variety’s 2022 “10 Actors to Watch” List

Ximena Lamadrid’s star is on the rise…

The 26-year-old Mexican actress has been named to Variety’s 10 Actors to Watch list, the entertainment industry magazine’s list of thespians who are experiencing a major breakthrough on screen.

Ximena LamadridLamadrid is being recognized for her performance in Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s acclaimed new film Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths.

Acting has always been in Lamadrid’s blood. But it wasn’t until age 5, when she rejected a role in a school play, that she experienced an epiphany.

“It was that ‘no’ that made me realize it’s a ‘yes’ for me, that for the rest of my life I’d be chasing this amazing dream.” She quickly corrects herself, “Well, what began as a dream, but no longer is a dream. It’s a reality.”

After roles in Sofia Coppola’s On the Rocks and the series Who Killed Sara?, Lamadrid plays a pivotal part in Iñárritu’s Bardo as Camila, the loving daughter of a man caught in the throes of an existential crisis.

She concedes her own history — being born in Mexico, growing up in Dubai and studying her craft in New York City — greatly colored her character’s experience.

“It feels like the universe and Alejandro wrote this for me,” she says,adding: “[Camila] has just graduated from university and is figuring it out. As soon as I graduated, I was figuring it out and came back to Mexico — and it connected. I saw all of the love, warmth and everything I had missed about my country all these years.”

The ability to tackle this role has only furthered her confidence. “As an actor, I have to surrender and trust that it’s going to show up, that everything is going to come out, which it did.” She now has her sights set on the literary world, seeking a publisher for her hybrid poetry-memoir Tulip Season. “I want to make this a very big, beautiful first book.”

Variety’s alumni group of 10 Actors to Watch includes more than 35 Oscar winners and nominees including Mahershala Ali, Adam Driver, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Lupita Nyong’o.

This year’s honorees will be feted at a brunch on October 16 at the Newport Beach Film Festival.

Aubrey Plaza to Star in Francis Ford Coppola’s Passion Project “Megalopolis” 

Aubrey Plaza is having a mega moment…

The 38-year-old half-Puerto Rican actress/comedian will star in Francis Ford Coppola’s passion project Megalopolis

Aubrey PlazaThe film stars Adam Driver, Forest WhitakerNathalie EmmanuelJon Voight and Laurence Fishburne.

Coppola is directing the project from his own script.

The contemporary drama is described as follows: The fate of Rome haunts a modern world unable to solve its own social problems in this epic story of political ambition, genius and conflicted love.

The film’s budget will be just under $100 million, and production begins this fall.

Plaza recently starred in the film Emily the Criminal, which premiered earlier this year Sundance Film Festival.

She is also set to star in the next season of HBO’s hit anthology series The White Lotus.

Gabriel Leone to Star in Michael Mann’s New Film “Ferrari”

Gabriel Leone is revvin’ his engines…

The 28-year-old Brazilian actor  has been set by director Michael Mann to play a key role in Ferrari, which is being prepared for an August 1 production start in Italy.

Gabriel LeoneLeone has just signed with CAA and joins a cast that includes Adam Driver in the title role, alongside Penélope Cruz and Shailene Woodley as the women in his life.

The film is set during the summer of 1957, as the former race car driver-turned-magnate Enzo Ferrari staves off bankruptcy as he looks for salvation with a victory at the Mille Miglia, a treacherous 1,000-mile race in which pre-eminent carmakers battle for bragging rights, with their drivers hurtling around twists and turns at 180 mph. In the backdrop, Ferrari battles with his wife and business partner, Laura, as their marriage disintegrates over the mourning of their son and the acknowledgment of another potential heir.

Leone is playing Alfonso De Portago, who was one of Ferrari’s driving stars and the epitome of the daredevil drivers of that era. He was a handsome and wealthy Spanish aristocrat who captured Europe’s imagination and was a favorite to win the Mille Miglia and his results changed the race forever, but not in the way intended. STX Entertainment has worldwide rights on the film.

Leone became a star in Brazil and gained international attention as the lead in Dom, the first original Amazon series produced in Brazil. The drama became the most-watched non-English-language series worldwide for Amazon. Leone recently completed filming its second season.

Mann directs Ferrari from a script by Troy Kennedy Martin and Mann-based on Brock Yates’ book Enzo Ferrari – The Man and the Machine.

Leone separately starred as the title character in Eduardo e Mônica opposite Alice Braga, and Alemão 2, the sequel to the successful 2014 action movie.

Leone began his career in a theater company performing classic repertoire, making his stage debut in Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew.

He also starred in numerous musicals including Wicked and Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, for which he was nominated for the principal theater and musical awards in Brazil.

 

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Penélope Cruz to Star in Michael Mann’s Enzo Ferrari Biopic “Ferrari”

Penélope Cruz is revving her engines for a new role…

The 47-year-old Spanish Oscar-winning actress, who earned an Academy Award nod this week, will star in director Michael Mann’s passion project Ferrari.

Penelope CruzCruz is among a roster of All-Star cast members that includes Adam Driver and Shailene Woodley for the big-budget biopic of racing mogul Enzo Ferrari.

Driver is replacing Hugh Jackman in the title role while Parallel Mothers star Cruz will play Enzo’s wife Laura.  Woodley will play mistress Lina Lardi.

Four-time Oscar nominee Mann is gearing up for a May start in Italy.

STX is handling international rights and has now picked up the domestic rights in a big deal with Mann. Amazon is aboard in a handful of international markets. STX International will look to close remaining deals this week with some big international pacts already secured, including Leone in Italy.

The movie, which Mann has been working on for two decades, is set during the summer of 1957. Ex-racecar driver, Ferrari, is in crisis. Bankruptcy stalks the company he and his wife, Laura, built from nothing ten years earlier. Their tempestuous marriage struggles with the mourning for one son and the acknowledgement of another. He decides to counter his losses by rolling the dice on one race – 1,000 miles across Italy, the iconic Mille Miglia.

The project has famously been through multiple iterations, but this is as far along as the casting has been at any stage.

Mann will direct from a script by Troy Kennedy and Mann based on Brock Yates’ book Enzo Ferrari – The Man and the Machine.

“Being able to have these wonderfully talented artists, actors Adam Driver, Penélope Cruz and Shailene Woodley, bring to life these unique characters on location in Modena and the Emilia-Romagna is a vision fulfilled,” says Mann.

Ferrari is so much more than a story about a man and his machine,” says Adam Fogelson, Chairman of STXfilms Motion Picture. “It is an extraordinary and emotional story that Michael has been developing for years and the entire team at STX is looking forward to the start of production with this dream cast and filmmaker. Adam Driver is one of the most talented and fascinating actors working today, and we could not be more thrilled to pair him with Penélope, whose legendary career builds with every role she takes.”

Cruz, nominated this week for the Best Actress Oscar in Parallel Mothers, won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Vicky Cristina Barcelona and was nominated another two times for her roles in Volver and Nine. In addition to Parallel Mothers for Sony, she currently stars in IFC’s Official Competition opposite Antonio Banderas.

Natalie Mendoza to Star as Satine in Broadway’s “Moulin Rouge! The Musical”

Natalie Mendoza is seeing rouge

The 42-year-old part-Spanish Australian actress/singer has been cast as the lead role of Broadway’s Moulin Rouge! The Musical, filling the vacancy left when the Tony Award-nominated Karen Olivo resigned in April.

Natalie Mendoza

With the casting of Mendoza, the full Moulin Rouge! cast is in place for the resumption of performances on Friday, September 24, at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre.

The musical originally opened on July 25, 2019, but performances were suspended in March 2020 when Broadway went dark due to the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown.

Mendoza joins a principal cast that also includes Aaron Tveit, Danny Burstein, Sahr Ngaujah, Tam Mutu, Ricky Rojas and Robyn Hurder.

The casting is a bit of a homecoming for Mendoza, who portrayed a can-can dancer named China Doll in Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 film Moulin Rouge!

“From the moment Natalie was cast as China Doll in Moulin Rouge! the film, we knew we had discovered a major young talent,” Luhrmann said in a statement. “That young talent has now blossomed into the lead in our Broadway production. I could not be more thrilled that Natalie will be lowered in that glorious swing as Broadway’s Sparkling Diamond.”

Said Mendoza, “Having been involved with the film from its early conception, the role of Satine has always been close to my heart. This rare jewel of an opportunity to play a character like her on Broadway feels like a full circle moment. With this stunning group of bohemian artists and this uniquely conscious creative team I couldn’t be in better care.”

Mendoza, raised in Australia, previously worked with the Broadway musical’s director Alex Timbers when she appeared as Imelda Marcos in Here Lies Love at London’s Royal National Theatre.

 

He starred on the BBC One drama series Hotel Babylon and The Descent horror film franchise.

On the film side, she’ll next be seen in the buzzy Cannes Film Festival film Annette, directed by Leos Carax and starring Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard.

Mendoza’s other credits include Michael Winterbottom’s futuristic thriller Code 46, Miramax’s The Great Raid and, on television, ABC’s production of South Pacific, ITV’s McDonald & Dodds, CBS’ Blue Bloods and in upcoming episodes of Amazon Prime’s Jack Ryan.

On stage, additional credits include Miss Saigon, Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark and Ghost.

Salma Hayek to Star in MGM & Scott Free Production’s Feature “House of Gucci”

Salma Hayek is House-bound…

The 54-year-old Mexican Oscar-nominated actress has joined the cast of House of Gucci, the feature film from MGM and Scott Free Productions currently in production.

Salma Hayek

Hayek joins an all-star cast that includes Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons, Jared Leto and Jack Huston, with Ridley Scott directing.

“So happy to have my good buddy Salma join our wonderful cast,” said producer Giannina Scott. “I’ve been talking with her about this Gucci project for 20 years. Now it’s happening and she is a part of it. Rid and I are thrilled.”

Ridley and Giannina Scott will produce via their Scott Free Productions banner.

The film tells the story of how Patrizia Reggiani (Gaga), the ex-wife of Maurizio Gucci (Driver), plotted to kill her husband, the grandson of renowned fashion designer Guccio Gucci. Hayek will play Pina Auriemma, who was a clairvoyant friend of “Black Widow” Reggiani, who was sentenced to 26 years in prison after her trial in 1998.

Roberto Bentivegna penned the script. House of Gucci will be released in the U.S. via MGM’s distribution joint venture United Artists Releasing on November 24. The film will be distributed internationally via Universal Pictures.

Hayek next can be seen in Lionsgate’s The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguardwhich will bow on June 16. She also has Marvel’s The Eternals coming out on November 5 and recently was seen in Amazon’s Bliss. 

Jared Leto In Talks to Star in Ridley Scott’s Next Project “Gucci”

It looks like Jared Leto could be landing a fashionable new role…

Ridley Scott is reportedly in talks with the 48-year-old part-Spanish American Oscar-winning actor/singer to star in his next project, MGM’s Gucci.

Jared Leto

Leto forms part of Scott’s all-star cast wish list that includes Adam Driver, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Jack Huston and Reeve Carney

Lady Gaga is already attached to star as Patrizia Reggiani, the ex-wife of Maurizio Gucci, who was tried and convicted of orchestrating his assassination on the steps of his office in 1995. She served 18 years in jail before being let out in 2016.

Maurizio had two daughters with Reggiani, but he left her for another woman. She’d had a brain tumor removed, and her children blamed it for her actions; the media took a darker view of her during a sensationalized affair, depicting her as a hot-blooded woman scorned and dubbing her “Black Widow.” She was originally handed a sentence of 29 years.

It’s Gaga’s first starring role since her Best Actress Oscar nomination in 2018’s A Star Is Born. She won an Academy Award for writing the song “Shallow.”

MGM landed the rights to the film back in April with plans to go into production after Scott finishes shooting his current project The Last Duel.

Scott’s partner Giannina Scott long has been passionate about the cinematic prospects for a film about the tumultuous Gucci family’s fashion dynasty and the murder of the grandson of founder Guccio Gucci.

The Gucci murder tale is scripted by Roberto Bentivegna, based on Sara Gay Forden’s book The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed.

Leto, who won multiple awards, including an Oscar, for his role in Dallas Buyers Club, will next appear in Sony’s Morbius.

Focus Features to Release Rosie Perez’s Zombie Movie “The Dead Don’t Die” in June

Rosie Perez is preparing for the Dead days of summer…

Focus Features will release Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die, starring the 54-year-old Puerto Rican actress,wide on June 14 this year.

Rosie Perez

Billed as “the greatest zombie cast ever disassembled”, The Dead Don’t Die boasts an all-star cast of Perez, Bill Murray, Adam DriverTilda SwintonChloë Sevigny, Steve BuscemiDanny GloverCaleb Landry JonesIggy PopSara DriverRZASelena GomezCarol Kane and Tom Waits

Jarmusch writes and directs the film his third with Focus Features. The studio previously released the filmmaker’s highest-grossing pic in his canon, 2005’s Broken Flowers starring Bill Murray which made $13.7M.

Focus Features and Universal Pictures Internationalwill distribute the film worldwide.

Jaenada Starring in Terry Gilliam’s “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote”

Oscar Jaenada is chasing windmills…

The 41-year-old Spanish actor has landed a role in Terry Gilliam’s long-delayed film The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.

Oscar Jaenada

Jaenada, who gained acclaimed for portraying Mexican comedic legend Cantinflas in a biopic of the same name, joins a cast that includes Adam Driver and Olga Kurylenko.

The film centers on an advertising executive who returns to his Spanish village, where as a student he made a film based on Don Quixote, only to get entangled in a series of catastrophes.

Gilliam co-wrote the script with Tony Grisoni and Amazon Studios will distribute the film domestically.

Jaenada’s upcoming film slate includes Fox’s Snatched with Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn and the Fernando Leon de Aranoa-directed biopic Escobar, opposite Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem.

Isaac Earns First Acting Critics’ Choice Awards Nomination

Oscar Isaac is getting a heroes reception…

The 36-year-old Guatemalan and Cuban American actor is among the Latino talents earning a Critics’ Choice Awards nomination.

Oscar Isaac

Isaac earned his nod in the Actor in a Movie Made for Television or Limited Series for his performance in the HBO miniseries Show Me a Hero. It’s his first nomination in an acting category. He previously was nominated in the Song category for co-penning “Please Mr. Kennedy” for the film Inside Llewyn Davis with Adam Driver and Justin Timberlake.

Gina Rodriguez, who earned a Golden Globe earlier this year, picked up her second consecutive nomination in the Actress in a Comedy Series category for her starring role in The CW’s Jane the Virgin.

Rodriguez’s Jane the Virgin co-star Jamie Camil picked up his second nod in the Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series category for his role as Rodriguez’s onscreen father. He’ll face off against Mel Rodriguez, who received his nomination for his performance on HBO’s Getting On.

In the film section, Alejandro González Iñárritu earned a nod in the Director category for helming the western drama/thriller The Revenant, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy. The Mexican filmmaker was nominated last year in the same category for directing Birdman. He lost in that category, but took home the Screenplay trophy for the same film.

Meanwhile, the film’s lenser Emmanuel Lubezki received a nom in the Cinematography category. He’s the two-time reigning champion in the category after winning for his work on Gravity in 2014 and Birdman in 2015. He also won the prize in 2012 for The Tree of Life.

Paco Delgado picked up a nod in the Costume Design category for his work on The Danish Girl. He previously was nominated in 2013 for his work on Les Misérables.

Hosted by T.J. Miller, the awards show will be held on January 17 at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica. It will air simultaneously on A&E, Lifetime and LMN.

Here are the categories featuring Latino nominees for the 21st annual Critics’ Choice Awards:

MOVIE

DIRECTOR
Todd Haynes – Carol
Alejandro González Iñárritu – The Revenant
Tom McCarthy – Spotlight
George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road
Ridley Scott – The Martian
Steven Spielberg – Bridge of Spies

CINEMATOGRAPHY
Carol – Ed Lachman
The Hateful Eight – Robert Richardson
Mad Max: Fury Road – John Seale
The Martian – Dariusz Wolski
The Revenant – Emmanuel Lubezki
Sicario – Roger Deakins

COSTUME DESIGN
Brooklyn – Odile Dicks-Mireaux
Carol – Sandy Powell
Cinderella – Sandy Powell
The Danish Girl – Paco Delgado
Mad Max: Fury Road – Jenny Beavan

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
The Assassin
Goodnight Mommy
Mustang
The Second Mother
Son of Saul

TELEVISION

ACTOR IN A MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION OR LIMITED SERIES
Wes Bentley – American Horror Story: Hotel – FX
Martin Clunes – Arthur & George – PBS
Idris Elba – Luther – BBC America
Oscar Isaac – Show Me a Hero – HBO
Vincent Kartheiser – Saints & Strangers – National Geographic Channel
Patrick Wilson – Fargo – FX

ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Rachel Bloom – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend – The CW
Aya Cash – You’re the Worst – FXX
Wendi McLendon-Covey – The Goldbergs – ABC
Gina Rodriguez – Jane the Virgin – The CW
Tracee Ellis Ross – Black-ish – ABC
Constance Wu – Fresh Off the Boat – ABC

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Andre Braugher – Brooklyn Nine-Nine – Fox
Jaime Camil – Jane the Virgin – The CW
Jay Duplass – Transparent – Amazon
Neil Flynn – The Middle – ABC
Keegan-Michael Key – Playing House – USA
Mel Rodriguez – Getting On – HBO