Sara Ramirez is 33, Eva Longoria-Parker is 34, Roselyn Sanchez is 36, Alexis Bledel is 27 and América Ferrera is now 25. So it’s the absolute perfect time to usher in the next generation of young Latina TV superstars under the age of 25! I’m talking about las jovenes who still get carded when they go out to the club, and those chicas who are only vieja enough to buy a pack of smokes (not that they should—smoking is bad for you!). Will they be Mexican like Sara, Eva and Alexis, or Honduran like América? Or perhaps they’re proud boricuas like Roselyn? Read on to meet the beautiful and talented estrellas that are set to align the Hollywood skies this fall as the stars of shows on HBO, TNT, ABC, NBC and the CW.
1. E.T. phone Mexico! The first bright star of tomorrow to make the list is the beautiful Mexican actress Seychelle Gabriel, 18, who is about to encounter some not-so-friendly aliens as one of the stars of a new, untitled pilot for TNT due out in 2010. The pilot, a surefire pickup for TNT, is written by acclaimed screenwriter Robert Rodat (The Patriot) and will be directed by Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg. Set in the aftermath of an alien invasion that has wiped out most of the human population on Earth, the show centers on a group of soldiers and civilians who, under the leadership of Tom Mason (ER’s Noah Wyle) struggle against the invading alien force. Gabriel will play Lourdes, a pretty teenager who has lost her family and helps run the camp’s makeshift commissary. TNT has not confirmed that there will be an appearance by E.T. himself—yet—but if the iconic alien does show up, I hope he has the hots for the stunning Seychelle. After all, who wouldn’t, right?
2. Spanish Empire: This fall, Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese will direct Spanish actress Paz de la Huerta, 24, in a new pilot for HBO called Boardwalk Empire. It's a gritty and realistic snapshot of Atlantic City during the Prohibition era, written by Sopranos scribe Terence Winter. In the pilot, based on the Nelson Johnson book Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City, Paz (whose name is pronounced “Path”) will play a hot party girl who’s also Nucky’s (Steve Buscemi’s) girlfriend. Over the last few years, De la Huerta, who is best known for her revealing roles in acclaimed indie director Jim Jarmuch’s 2009 thriller The Limits of Control (where she spends much of the film in full frontal nudity) and Clark Gregg’s Choke (where she played a sex addict), has been slowly transforming herself into a kind of Latina Chloë Sevigny. She’s not afraid to shed her clothes, but more important, she’s not afraid to take on challenging and serious taboo subject matters in the name of her craft. In other words, she’s a fearless character actress, which means she is poised to win either an Oscar or an Emmy at some point (I’d bet on the latter).
3. Dangerous Housewife: In the May season finale of Desperate Housewives, Brazilian actress Maiara Walsh, 21, va-va-voomed onto Wisteria Lane like a bat out of hell. She also caused Longoria-Parker’s Gaby a great deal of grief as the formerly vain model–turned–housewife pondered how she’s going to deal with this out-of-control sociopath teenager. It was a stunning entrance by Walsh. Then in July, Walsh was promoted to series regular on the show, which was not surprising considering that next season’s mystery storyline probably involves her character, Ana—who is rumored to be harboring a very dark secret that very likely affects Gaby and Carlos. In the season ender, Gaby and Ana get into a fight and Ana tells Gaby: “You’re just jealous. You’re not young anymore, and you can’t get guys to do things for you, and that drives you crazy.” Ouch!
4. The Beautiful Mexican actress Sara Paxton: The CW’s fashion-themed new show The Beautiful Life (premiering this fall) stars Mischa Barton as Sonja Stone, a model who is past her prime. However, I’m most interested in seeing the beautiful Sara Paxton, 21. She's a Mexican actress who is definitely in her prime. I’ve been looking forward to Paxton’s next big project since I saw her wonderfully evil performance as a bitchy, self-centered sorority president opposite Amanda Bynes in the movie Sydney White (she really knows how to portray a character with a mean streak)! Of the models on The Beautiful Life, (and there are many), Paxton’s character, Raina, is the most successful, and she really gets to live her dreams. It seems that Paxon—one of tomorrow’s brightest Latina stars—and her character have that in common!
5. Alexa Rocks it (on television): Alexa Vega, 19, was expected to become a big movie star several years ago after the half-Colombian actress impressed the world as Carmen Cortez in Robert Rodriguez's Spy Kids trilogy. But she went on to make a series of a bad movies no one ever saw, and it seemed like she wasn’t going to become a big star after all—until now. Last month, Alexa’s new TV show, Ruby & The Rockits, premiered on ABC Family. The half-hour multicam comedy series, a charming comedy for kids about a girl named Ruby (Vega) who is reunited with her father, is entirely Vega’s star vehicle. She carries the whole show on her back, providing loads of laugh as the central character and comedienne. The premiere of Ruby brought in 1.6 million viewers, making it the second best comedy premiere for ABC Family behind 10 Things I Hate About You and Roommates in total viewers. I don’t think Alexa will become the next big Latina movie star, but bet on her to be one of television’s biggest Latina stars of tomorrow.
What say you, TVians? Do these girls have what it takes to become the next Longoria-Parker and la proxima Ferrera? Let your voice be heard in the comments section!