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AP explores Latinos’ challenges, hopes for a Hollywood breakthrough

Producer Lin-Manuel Miranda, left, and actor Anthony Ramos appear together at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival opening night premiere of “In The Heights” at the United Palace theater in New York, June 9, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

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Spanish-language entertainment editor Sigal Ratner-Arias spoke with an impressive variety of Latino actors to examine the hurdles Latino subjects have encountered in Hollywood, and how 2021 is shaping up to be a potentially breakthrough year. Ratner-Arias worked for weeks to secure high-caliber interviews from Rita Moreno, one of the only Latino performers to ever win an Oscar, and stars like John Leguizamo and Jimmy Smits.

Her story revealed some of the frustrations Latino stars have faced in getting their stories to the big screen. Moreno told film writer Jake Coyle, who teamed up with Ratner-Arias on some of the interviews, that she didn’t expect to live long enough to see Latinos get a proper footing in Hollywood. The story weaved in hopes for a turnaround pinned to “In the Heights” and other films releasing in 2021 with voices from relative newcomers like Anthony Ramos and Charise Castro Smith.

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Actor Jimmy Smits performs a scene from the 2021 release of “In the Heights,” in a Warner Bros. Entertainment publicity photo. – Macall Polay / Warner Bros. Entertainment via AP
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