In its Sept. 28 Emmys issue, The Hollywood Reporter is all about the Latinos. Aside from featuring a gorgeous Sofia Vergara on the ensemble cover as part of an in-depth look at Modern Family (which took home several awards last night, including Outstanding Comedy Series), the trade magazine picked whom they consider to be the hottest Latino actors and actresses 35 and under - based on box office success, network ratings, and buzz about their upcoming projects.
Some obvious names pop up on the list (like 34-year-old Zoe Saldana, 20-year-old Selena Gomez), as do more obscure ones (32-year-old hottie Oscar Isaac, who starred in Drive, The Bourne Legacy, and appears in Won't Back Down, out this Friday).
I was happy to see funny girl Aubrey Plaza on there, whom I recently profiled around one of my favorite indie films of the summer, Safety Not Guaranteed. That was her first lead role in a movie, and we'll be seeing a lot more of her in the coming year. Parks and Recreation has been renewed for a fifth season, and there's also the raunchy comedy The To Do List, about a high school valedictorian (Plaza) who makes a list of all the sexual things she needs to learn how to do before she goes to college. The cast includes Saturday Night Live alum Andy Samberg, Bill Hader, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse." Plaza describes the movie, due in 2013, as "[Emma Stone's] Easy A, with actual dirty, sexual things happening."
Young bloods like Teen Wolf's Tyler Posey, 20, (whom we talked to at the VMA's) and Victoria Justice, 19, also made the cut. The sudden cancellation of her Nickelodeon show Victorious came at the right time, just as Justice seeks to transition from teen queen to more mature material on the big screen and finishes her debut pop album. Next month, Latina's October cover girl stars in Fun Size, a Halloween-themed coming of age comedy from Josh Schwartz, the creator of Gossip Girl.
No glaring omissions on the list, but here are a few people to look out for in 2013: Cierra Ramirez, who played Eva Mendes' daughter in Patricia Riggen's Girl in Progress earlier this year and has a small role on ABC Family's hit show The Secret Life of the American Teenager; Raini Rodriguez (who plays Cierra Ramirez's best friend in Girl in Progress and in real-life is the adrorable older sister to Modern Family's Rico Rodriguez, who made THR's list); Rocsi Diaz, who left BET's top-rated daily countdown show 106 & Park and moved to Los Angeles to start a movie career; and Fernanda Romero, a Mexican actress who reminds me of Jessica Alba circa her Dark Angel days. Romero, 29, stars in El Fantastico Mundo de Juan Orol, a black-and-white biopic about the Ed Wood-like cult director Juan Orol, known for making some of the worst yet most memorable gangster flicks throughout the golden age of Mexican cinema. At the ALMA Awards last week, Romero told me she hopes the film is chosen to represent Mexico at the 2013 Oscars in the Best Foreign Film category. Romero plays Orol's fifth and last wife, Dinorah Judith.
THR – which is now experimenting with a Spanish version of itself - also shouted out a few of Univision's on-air personalities on its "Latino On-Air Talent To Watch" list, among them: Despierta America's Satcha Pretto (whom we got to know a little better via her Shoe Diary), Primer Impacto's Pamela Silva-Conde, Sal y Pimienta's Lourdes Stephen, and Edicion Nocturna's Enrique Acevedo.
The magazine also mentioned mun2's Melissa "Crash" Barrera, Yarel Ramos, and Guad Venegas. We would add a couple of names to the TV talent list: Puerto Rican supermodel Joan Smalls, host of MTV's House of Style (who recently told us she's thrilled to bring such an iconic 90s fashion show to a new generation), and Kristina Guerrero of E! News. The Mexican American has a really interesting backstory about growing up poor in a small rural town in Washington and she's the first-ever Latina host of E! News, adding some flavor to the daily entertainment show.
Side note: I'm super excited for 106 & Park's Terrence J, who'll be replacing Ryan Seacrest on E! News and joining Giuliana Rancic as co-host! I think he'll bring some great energy to the show, much like Kristina already does. With this and Michael Strahan on Live! With Kelly, the success of Steve Harvey's new daytime talk show on NBC, I'm loving the new, multicultural faces of mainstream TV.
Now let's get Daisy Fuentes her own show!