Mexican 'Rogue One' Actor Praised For Championing Diversity In Hollywood

A Tumblr user has shared her heartwarming experience of watching the new Star Wars film with her father and watching his excitement at seeing a Mexican actor with a strong accent dominating the screen as a hero

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Unless you have a passion for foreign cinema, aren't phased by watching films with subtitles or have the ability to speak several languages, mainstream exposure to international films and foreign actors is slim.

Over the years, in order to acquire a broader scope of acting roles and success in Hollywood, foreign actors have been hard pressed to compete with English-as-a-first-language actors, such as Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch and Emma Stone.

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Renowned actors including the likes of Christoph Waltz, Marlene Dietrich, Javier Bardem, Marion Cotillard, Monica Bellucci and Mélanie Laurent are but a few actors, for whom English is not their first language, that have been able to break into a larger cinematographic market. But the list is not endless.

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However, in having English as a second or third language, foreign actors often find themselves cast as stereotypical 'baddies' in plots. Foreign accents are, for some reason, still cause for negative typecasting.

For reference, see every Bond villain ever.

On other occasions, actors are urged to practice their English pronunciation with dialect coaches in a bid to soften the sounds of their native tongue.

While more work towards championing foreign cinema and diversity needs to be done, in recent years, prejudice towards foreign-speaking actors has dramatically changed, with the likes of Chilean Pedro Pascal in Narcos and Game of Thrones, Colombian Sofía Vergara in Modern Family and Brazilian Rodrigo Santoro in Love Actually and Westworld breaking through the British/American film and television industry.

As a result, a woman has taken to Tumblr to reveal her happiness following a recent experience watching Rogue One: A Star Wars Story with her Mexican-born father, who was overjoyed at seeing a Mexican man – with an acccent – being represented favorably as a hero in Hollywood.

The 27-year-old – who goes by the name Perls – tweeted about the viewing, explaining how her father nudged her during the film as he excitedly found himself watching a fellow Mexican, in the form of Mexican actor and producer Diego Luna, that he could relate to. He told her: 'He has a heavy accent.'

'My dad was so happy,' Perls wrote. 'As we drove home, he started telling me about other Mexican actors that he thinks should be in movies in America,' she added.

Responding to her tweet, Luna retweeted her message and admitted: 'I got emotional reading this!'

This isn't the first time the Star Wars star has spoken on the subject of diversity, telling Conan O'Brien in December that it is 'the most positive thing of this time'.

'The cultural influence of Mexico here [in the US] is amazing, and it has made this country very rich. It's diversity that makes this country very rich,' he said.

It's important to note that Luna's film, Rogue One boasts a cast that is the most diverse than any film from the franchise before it.

We look forward to seeing actors from different backgrounds, ethnicities and countries being celebrated in lead roles in film in the future.

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