Why Andy Garcia Refused to Change His Last Name

Andy Garcia at the ALMA Awards
Getty Images

Hollywood legend Andy Garcia is certainly an orgullo for all Latinos!

On Saturday, June 7, the 58-year-old Cuban American actor was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2014 National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) Gala Awards ceremony.

Garcia gave an inspiring acceptance speech, motivating the crowd and saying, "It's important not to give up on your dreams, the journey to those dreams is just as important as the dream itself!"

Following the event, the At Middleton star revealed during an interview how he went about pursuing his dreams, including the decision to keep his last name when starting out in Hollywood.

"From early on, all the agents that I met when I came to town, first thing they would say is 'change your name,'" Garcia told The Huffington Post. "I think that the most important thing as an artist is to [have] a very personal connection to who you are. I always felt that in changing the name I would lose sort of the essence of how I could personalize the work, my point of view. And it would be, in a way, betraying that, betraying my inner self."

He continued, "So on a personal note I was just never prepared to go that route. You think about it very strongly because you want to be able to work, but at the end of the day I decided not to go that route. It's very difficult, I think, when someone asks you who you are and you state your name and it's not really your name."

You can read more from Andy Garcia's interview here!