“Being a Latino in Hollywood is something that makes me very excited and I hope my work inspires others and that young people can identify with me,” said Hollywood newcomer Miguel Gómez, who costarred this year alongside Jake Gyllenhaal in Antoine Fuqua’s Southpaw.
Gómez played a boxer named “Magic” Escobar known for being a fierce, highly-confident troublemaker. But, unlike his character, Gómez describes himself as a shy and quiet person who was able to connect with the character not because of his personality but because just like “Magic,” he also grew up in a rough neighborhood.
“My character talked really loud and knew how to sell himself. But more than anything, I took notice at how hard he worked and was able to get out of the streets and care for his family. I connected to that easily because to me, my family is everything,” said Gómez.
On the big screen “Magic” becomes Billy Hope’s (Gyllenhaal) biggest nightmare but cameras aside, the two actors connected with each other. “He’s super cool and dedicated to his family. That trust helped us give it our all during our matches on the ring,” said Gyllenhaal to Variety Latino.
“I consider him as a brother. At the end of the day we would take care of each other,” said Gómez.
The actor of Honduran and Colombian descent will co-stars in the second season of FX’s most buzzed-about television show The Strain, created by Guillermo del Toro. He plays Agustin “Gus” Elizalde, a street kid who becomes a key element in the fight against a mysterious virus. Gómez and the rest of the cast will start shooting the third season of the science-fiction show in November.
“I want to tell every Latino out there,” said Gómez, who shared one key piece of advice. “As Latinos we should be proud of who we are, and not let anybody put a label on us. We are smart and hard-working. We are survivors.”
Variety Latino’s 10 Latinos to Watch, honors 10 actors for their contributions to film and television. The honorees: Diego Boneta, Karla Souza, Stephanie Sigman, Luis Gerardo Méndez, Diane Guerrero, Natalie Martinez, Raúl Castillo, Maite Perroni, Miguel Gómez and Lorenza Izzo.