Mj Rodriguez to Appear in HBO’s “Between the World and Me,” an Adaptation of the Apollo Theater Show Based on Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Novel

It’s a whole new World for Mj Rodriguez.

The 29-year-old half-Puerto Rican actress/singer has been cast in Between the World and Me, HBO’s adaptation of the stage show based on Ta-Nehisi CoatesNew York Times bestseller.

MJ Rodriguez

Rodriguez joins a lineup of cast additions that includes Jharrel Jerome, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Janet Mock, Jason Moran, Wendell Pierce, Kendrick Sampson, Yara Shahidi and Michelle Wilson.

They join previously announced cast members Angela Bassett, Alicia Garza, Joe Morton, Phylicia Rashad, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, Courtney B. Vance, Pauletta Washington, Susan Kelechi Watson and Oprah Winfrey.

Originally adapted and staged by the Apollo Theater in 2018, the special will combine elements of that production, including readings from Coates’ book, and will again be directed by award-winning director and Apollo Theater executive producer Kamilah Forbes.

It will also incorporate documentary footage from the actors’ home life, archival footage and animation.

The book, first published in 2015 by One World, is written as a letter to Coates’ teenage son and recounts the author’s experiences growing up in Baltimore’s inner city and his growing fear of daily violence against the Black community. The narrative explores Coates’ notion that American society structurally supports white supremacy.

The special, which is currently in production under COVID-19 guidelines, debuts this fall on HBO and will also be available to stream on HBO Max.

Rodriguez rose to acclaim on FX’s series Pose. Her other credits include television appearances on Luke Cage, The Carrie Diaries and Nurse Jackie.

In November 2019, Rodriguez landed a contract with Olay Body, becoming the first Latina trans woman to enter a partnership with the company.

Diane Guerrero to Present at This Year’s Creative Arts Emmys

Diane Guerrero is getting Creative

The Television Academy has announced the first group of presenters for the 2019 Creative Arts Emmys, which will be doled out in dual ceremonies next month, with the 33-year-old Colombian American actress and Orange is the New Black star making the list.

Diane Guerrero

Guerrero will take the stage for Night 1 on Saturday, September 14. She joins a roster of presenters that includes Jon Favreau and Roy ChoiJeff GoldblumMarie KondoLisa Kudrow,Sig HansenDerek Hough and Wanda Sykes.

Highlighting the presenters at the second show on Sunday, September 15, is a reunion of In Living Color cast members including Keenen Ivory WayansShawn WayansDavid Alan Grierand Tommy Davidson. Also set are Alfie AllenCharlie BarnettRachel BloomRon Cephas JonesRob CorddryLaverne CoxLisa Edelstein,Anna Konkleand Maya ErskineChris O’Dowd,Ryan O’ConnellWendell PierceMarcus Scribnerand Michaela Watkins.

The 2019 Creative Arts Emmy Awards will start at 5:00 pm both nights at the Microsoft Theaterin Los Angeles. FXXwill air the awards at 8:00 pm on Saturday, September 21.

Ariza Cast in HBO Films’ “Confirmation,” Starring Kerry Washington

Kristen Ariza is getting confirmed

The part-Hispanic actress has been added to the cast of HBO FilmsConfirmation, starring Kerry Washington.

Kristen Ariza

Ariza joins Kimberly Elise and Malcolm Gets in the film, which details the Supreme Court hearings for Clarence Thomas (Wendell Pierce) that were rocked by testimony by Oklahoma law professor Anita Hill (Washington).

The hearings brought the country to a standstill and forever changed the way we think about sexual harassment, victims’ rights and modern race relations.

Ariza will play Judy Smith, the White House press liaison.

Interestingly, it’s a reunion of sorts for Washington and the Smith character. Smith is the founder, CEO and president of the crisis-management firm Smith & Co., the inspiration behind Washington’s ABC drama series Scandal. Smith was Special Assistant and Deputy Press Secretary to President George H.W. Bush and reportedly was instrumental in guiding his administration through the controversies surrounding the Thomas nomination.

Ariza’s credits include appearances on Parks and Recreation, Scorpion and Castle.

Vazquez’s “Rob the Mob” to Premiere at the Miami International Film Festival

Yul Vazquez is preparing to rob the mob in Miami…

The Cuban American actor’s latest film, Rob the Mob, will have its world premiere at the Miami International Film Festival in March.

Screen Shot 2014-01-31 at 12.59.37 PM

Directed by Raymond De Felitta and starring Andy Garcia, the film also stars Michael Pitt, Ray Romano, Burt Young, Griffin Dunne, Frank Whaley, Cathy Moriarty, Aida Turturro and Nina Arianda.

Rob the Mob, which centers on a couple that targets the Mafia for heists and stumbles upon something big at an underground club, is one of nearly 100 films set to be screened at the Miami International Film Festival.

The North American premiere of the Shirley MacLaineChristopher Plummer pairing Elsa & Fred will take place at the 10-day event, which runs March 7-16.

Directed by Michael Radford, the film is a remake of the 2008 Argentine/Spanish film of the same name. Also in the cast are Marcia Gay HardenGeorge Segal, Chris Noth, James Brolin, Wendell Pierce, Jaime Camil and Osvaldo Rios.

In total, 92 feature films and 28 shorts representing 38 countries will premiere at this year’s festival, which marks its 31st edition.

“The programming team believes the selection of films showcased in the festival this year is a reflection of our passion for film, and we hope that it will strengthen our community’s love and appreciation for the art of filmmaking,” MIFF executive director Jaie Laplante said.

The festival will present actor-director John Turturro with its Career Achievement Tribute. Turturro will present his latest film, the Woody Allen starrer Fading Gigolo. The film, which debuted at the Toronto Film Festival, also stars Sharon Stone and Sofia Vergara. 

Here’s the complete list of competition films:

Festival Competition Categories:

The Knight Competition, open to dramatic works from Latin America, Spain and Portugal as well as Latino-themed works produced in the United States:

All About The Feathers (Por las plumas) (Costa Rica, directed by Neto Villalobos) U.S. Premiere
Asteroid (Asteroide) (Mexico, directed by Marcelo Tobar) World premiere
Club Sandwich (Mexico, directed by Fernando Eimbcke)
The Man of the Crowd (O homem das multidões) (Brazil, directed by Marcelo Gomes and Cao Guimarães) North American premiere
Memories of the Desert (Romance policial) (Brazil/Chile, directed by Jorge Durán) World premiere
Natural Sciences (Ciencias naturales) (Argentina, directed by Matias Lucchesi) North American premiere
Séptimo (Spain/Argentina, directed by Patxi Amexcua) North American premiere
To Kill A Man (Matar un hombre) (Chile/France, directed by Alejandro Fernández Almendras)
We All Want What’s Best For Her (Tots volem el millor per a ella) (Spain, directed by Mar Coll) North American premiere
A Wolf at the Door (O lobo atrás da porta) (Brazil, directed by Fernando Coimbra)

Knight Documentary Competition, open to engaging and thought-provoking feature-length documentaries created by international filmmakers that examine social issues, diverse cultures, icons and inspiring people:

The Art Rush (France, directed by Marianne Lamour) North American premiere
The Dog (U.S.A., directed by Allison Berg and Frank Keraudren)
Europe in 8 Bits (Spain, directed by Javier Polo)
Finding Vivian Maier (U.S.A., directed by Charlie Siskel and John Maloof)
Ivory Tower (USA, directed by Andrew Rossi)
Locations: Looking For Rusty James (Locaciones: buscando a Rusty James) (Chile, directed by Alberto Fuguet)
The Notorious Mr. Bout (U.S.A./Russia, directed by Tony Gerber and Maxim Pozdorovkin)
The Overnighters (U.S.A., directed by Jesse Moss)
Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon (U.S.A., directed by Mike Myers)
Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger (U.S.A., directed by Joe Berlinger)

The Lexus Ibero-American Opera Prima Competition for first-time feature filmmakers emerging from Spain, Portugal and Latin America:

Here’s the Deal (Somos gente honrada) (Spain, directed by Alejandro Marzoa) U.S. premiere
Mateo (Colombia/France, directed by Maria Gamboa) World premiere
Stockholm (Estocolmo) (Spain, directed by Rodrigo Sorogoyen) U.S. premiere
We Are Mari Pepa (Somos Mari Pepa) (Mexico, directed by Samuel Kishi Leopo)

Papi Shorts Competition:

A Big Deal (China, directed by Yoyo Yao) U.S. premiere
Blue (U.S.A., directed by Justin Malone) World premiere
Chub (U.S.A., directed by Samuel Albis) World premiere
Flamingo (Venezuela, directed by Carl Zitelmann)
Grace (Graça) (Brazil, directed by Anna Clara Peltier) North American premiere
The Phone Call (United Kingdom, directed by Mat Kirkby)
Skin (France, directed by Cédric Prévost) North American premiere
Shirt Out, Game Over! (Switzerland, directed by Eric Paternot) World premiere
Unicorn (Unicornio) (Bolivia, directed by Rodrigo Bellott)
Xenos (United Kingdom/Greece/Denmark, directed by Mahdi Fleifel) North American premiere

A list of noncompetition films and seminars can be found at MiamiFilmFestival.com.

First Trailer Released for Lopez’s “Parker”

If you loved Jennifer Lopez in Out of Sight, then you’re in for a treat…

The 43-year-old Puerto Rican actress/singer is starring in the action film Parker with Jason Statham, as previously reported… And by the looks of the film’s just-released first trailer, la Lopez shines bright in the film.

Jennifer Lopez in Parker

Based on the series of best-selling novels by Donald E. Westlake, Parker follows Statham’s titular character, a professional thief who lives by a personal code of ethics: “Don’t steal from people who can’t afford it and don’t hurt people who don’t deserve it.” But, on his latest heist, his crew double crosses him, steals his stash, and leaves him for dead.

Determined to exact revenge, Parker tracks them down to Palm Beach, where the crew is planning their biggest heist ever. Donning the disguise of a rich Texan, Parker takes on an unlikely partner, Leslie (J.Lo), a savvy insider, who’s short on cash, but big on looks, smarts and ambition. Together, they devise a plan to hijack the score, take everyone down and get away clean.

Directed by Taylor Hackford, the cast includes Michael Chiklis, Nick Nolte, Wendell Pierce, Clifton Collins Jr., Patti LuPone and Emma Booth.

The movie is set to open on January 25.