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Posts Tagged ‘sofia vergara’

A new Bilingual/Bicultural Latina in Hollywood

In celebrities, latinas on April 4, 2011 at 7:45 pm

This past Friday I was fortunate enough to attend the red carpet event in LA for the world premiere of “Cougar’s, Inc.” a fairly low budget film with big name actors such as Denise Richards, Jim Belushi, Sarah Hyland (from Modern Family), Kathryn Morris (from Cold Case), Kyle Gallner (from Nightmare on Elm Street), among others. I was very proud to know that among all of these big time names was also my sister- a rising star and only Latina, Catalina Rodriguez.

Catalina was born in Colombia and was raised in Miami. She’s made a career in modeling and TV commercials for major brands, but her

Catalina and Dayanara Torres

passion is set on acting. Some of you may remember her from the CW’s “Watch Over Me” where she played the sexy villain Sasha, alongside Dayanara Torres. She’s also been in smaller movies such as “Spin” alongside Shalim (Charytin’s son) and Fernando Carrillo and has also finished shooting a movie with Ving Rhames, Steven Bauer (Scarface), and Hemky Madera (Weeds) set to release in 2012.

Working in advertising in New York City and knowing the growth and flux of the Hispanic market in the U.S. has meant

Catalina with the cast of "Spin"

opportunities for Latinos across all categories. Here I was seeing the impact first hand, as my sister was finally in a movie that may hit the big screen in a few cities and is already On Demand (via Time Warner channel 1000). I obviously had a ton of questions for her. Here’s my conversation with her as she’s getting her hair and makeup done for the red carpet…

Cata (as I like to call her), how much fun was it to shoot alongside Denise Richards?

On the set of "Cougars, Inc" with Denise Richards

I had a blast! The entire cast was great. Denise is very nice and down-to-earth, she’s also very funny. I also had a great time ad-libbing with Chris Murphy (Eddie Murphy’s son), he’s got great energy and while off-set he’s quite and tranquil; on-set he completely transforms and really comes to life.

Your character in this movie is loud, extroverted and has a heavy accent. Being a bilingual/bicultural Latina that speaks English without an accent, did it bother you to have to portray the stereotypical Latina that has an accent on the big screen?

To be honest women such as Sofia Vergara, Penelope Cruz, and Salma Hayek have worked very hard to open these doors for me. I’m an actress that plays characters and Dominica (my character) is this woman…not a stereotype but a testament to all of those women out there who live in the states and have an accent. I came across women like this all of my life growing up in Miami so I wouldn’t consider them a stereotype but a part of our Latino mix in the U.S. Think about it, if I wouldn’t have played her somebody else would have and I’m just blessed to have gotten the part!

Do you think with the amount of Latinos influencing America, roles for Latinos in Hollywood will begin to change even more?

Cougars, Inc Red Carpet Premiere (L to R) Graham Larson, Kathryn Morris, Kyle Gallner, Ashton Larsen, and Catalina

Sure! I think we’ve been seeing that evolution happen already. We now have women like Eva Longoria, Jennifer Lopez, America Ferrera and Eva Mendes playing women on the small and big screen, not playing Latinas with an accent. They just happen to be Latinas adding a whole new dimension, talent and exotic look to Hollywood.

How hard has it been to break into Hollywood as a Latina?

Don’t get me wrong it hasn’t been easy. I still remember the words one of my acting coaches told me once when I first got to LA “Catalina, beautiful woman in Hollywood don’t play girl next door roles.” I was grateful that he put in that category of beautiful woman but now that just means I have to work even harder to not get type-casted because as we all know, there are many more girl next door roles in Hollywood than lead roles. The best part of all is that I have an amazing family that is an incredible support team – they all keep me positive and looking ahead.

Also, Hollywood is getting much more open-minded, I remember only a few years back I wouldn’t even get a second-call back because my last name was Rodriguez.

Have you thought about changing it?

Yeah I won’t lie, it’s crossed my mind. But at the same time why would I want to change what differentiates me?

After a few hours of more chat, Cata is ready to put on her dress and leaves us with this…

Catalina on the cover of "Cougars, Inc" - she's wearing the red dress

To all the Latinas going after their dream all I have to say is don’t give up! I don’t mean to sound like a cliche, b ut if you really want it than go for it regardless of what anyone says but get good at it – you need to master your craft. I do that everyday and feel great about myself knowing I am doing everything I can to achieve my dream…the worst thing that can happen is asking yourself in the future ‘what if’ or having any regrets for not being proactive.

I feel good about this chat and can only be proud of my sister. Regardless of whether she is playing a stereotype or not she’s rolling with the punches and beginning to make a name for herself. I can only imagine what Hollywood will look like in the year 2050 when Latinos are supposed to represent a projected 29% of the population. In the mean time, I’m excited for what is ahead and the doors we Latinos are paving for ourselves here in the U.S. everyday.

PS: You can follow Catalina Rodriguez on twitter @crodriguez1227 and on facebook: catalina rodriguez


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Flesh-o-meter

In sexuality, tips on May 19, 2010 at 4:21 am

As I browsed through the web trying to look for a good picture to add to my blog about yesterday’s article on “It’s Latina time” I noticed that when I Googled “latinas” there was a trend on the images that were found:

Almost all the pics looked like the one above. Believe me, I get it, we Latinas are not only voluptous, have curves but there is a sensuality and sexiness to us that not many ethnicities possess.  We also over-index on cosmetics, personal care, perfumes, and hair care products. We care about our beauty. WE are obsessed with vanity. And, I’m not saying that all Latinas are sexy but what I am saying is that there are distinct characteristics about us that differentiate us from other cultures.

But, when is sexiness treading a fine line with sluttiness?

In my mind the difference is clear. Sexiness is a mindset. It’s in the way we walk, in the way we move our hips, in the way we wear our clothes, in the way we dance, and of course in the way men look at us. So why do so many of our role models wear less and less clothes on Hispanic TV, especially on nights like Premio Lo Nuestro or Latin Grammy’s?

Don’t get me wrong I would love to have a body like the girls in the picture above but I wouldn’t want to show my body like that everywhere. And, yes although I have been guilty of showing a ton of cleavage at a few parties (hey, my bosom is hereditary), I realized I did it more when I was living in Miami – where I was surrounded by more Latinas. And now, that I live in Manhattan and I am furthering along in my career and hanging out with more gringas…Am I changing? Am I just getting more professional? or am I just adopting new ways?

I’m not sure but maybe that’s what happens to all those celebrities in Univision and Telemundo. They live from event to event with the same other voluptuous celebrities like themselves and therefore find it normal to wear less and less clothes- and they find themselves competing. I mean, just the opposite happened to Sofia Vergara when she arrived in Hollywood – to make it in the Anglo world she was advised to get her breast size reduced!

So, I guess my advice is, next time you’re headed to an event think of the audience that will be at the party. And then look at the amount of flesh you are showing. The more blanquitas or gueritas the less flesh, the more Latinos more flesh…between you and I we can call it the flesh-o-meter, just remember the choice is up to you.