10 Reasons Latinos Are Taking Over Hollywood!

Tom Hanks' appearance on the Spanish-language show, Despierta America this morning had quite a few people saying "que?" Why is a major American movie star like Hanks (who doesn't even speak Spanish) visiting a morning show on a Spanish-language network? The answer is an easy one: Latinos have arrived in Hollywood! Don't believe us? Here are 10 reasons Latinos are taking over Hollywood!

1. People Jennifer Lopez Cover

We're the Most Beautiful 

In April, People Magazine named Jennifer Lopez (not Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Anniston or Megan Fox), the most beautiful woman in the world. La Lopez looked positively radiant on the cover of the magazine's annual most beautiful issue and more importantly, for once the most beautiful face in America is one that Latinas will recognize as one of their own. 

CONFIRMED: Jennifer Lopez Named People Magazine's Most Beautiful Woman


2. Sofia Naya

We Bring the Funny

We don't know about you, but our favorite scenes from FOX's hit show, Glee are the hilarious one-liners that Puerto Rican actress, Naya Rivera cold-heartedly delivers week after week as the uber-bitchy cheerio-turned-gleek, Santana Lopez. From "I'm a closet Lesbian and a judgemental bitch, which means one thing: I have awesome gaydar," to "Legend has it that when I came out of my mother I told the nurse she was fat," to our absolute favorite of all-time: "The only straight I am is straight-up bitch," all of Naya's witticisms are equally hurtful to the person she's insulting (but to us, they're just funny!). Meanwhile, on ABC's hit comedy, Modern Family, no one cracks us up more than Sofia Vergara, who always seems to have a stumped, 'what do you mean?' expression on her face as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett, a character whose level of naiveté makes her a cross between George W. Bush and Steve Urkel. In other words, she's comedy gold!

EXCLUSIVE: Sofia Vergara on Golden Globe Nomination: "It's a Gift"

3. Teen Stars

We Have the Biggest Teen Stars on Earth

Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Victoria Justice, and Bella Thorne — they’re the biggest female teen stars on the planet right now, and they’re all Latinas! Selena, who recently finished filming the final episode of her hit Disney series, Wizards of Waverly Place has a new movie career, a blazing hot music career (her third album, When The Sun Goes Down drops on June 29th) — and she happens to be dating the biggest male teen star in the universe: Justin Bieber! Selenita’s fellow Mexicana, Demi Lovato, who is widely respected for her musical talents, is currently recording a new album, while Disney's new princess, Bella Thorne has her own star vehicle with Disney's hit show, Shake It Up! And Boricua Victoria Justice — the only one from this group who's not a Disney alum — is also a Hollywood fixture. Justice has her own hit Nickelodeon show, Victorious, she's currently recording her debut album, and she just got cast as the lead in the coming of age comedy, Fun Size, which is being directed by Josh Schwartz (creator of Gossip Girl and The OC).

Attack of the Latino Teen Stars

4. Scotty McCreery

We're the New American Idol!

Over the last ten years, we've come close to winning FOX’s American Idol several times (David Archuleta, Alison Iraheta, Syesha Mercado), but in 2011 — with a superstar Latina (Jennifer Lopez) at the judges table — part-Puerto Rican country singer, Scotty McCreery finally made history when he became the first Latino ever to win the hit FOX competition. After he won, Scotty —  whose father was born in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico — had this message for his Latino fans. "I love ya'll. I've got a quarter of ya'll in me, and it was really cool to get up there and sing for all of you. We'll see if my flavor that Jennifer {Lopez} talked about keeps on going!"

Scotty McCreery Becomes the First Latino to Win 'American Idol!'

5. Kate Del Castillo

We Are Ratings Gold

La Reina del Sur is a bad title for Kate Del Castillo's Telemundo telenovela. It ought to be called, La Reina de Televisión. In March, the primetime Spanish-language soap beat ALL English language programing in major cities like New York and LA in the ratings and regularly beat the major networks (ABC, CBS and NBC) among adults 18-34. Attribute the soap's success to the fact that Hispanics now make up more than 16% of the U.S. population, and that Hispanics watch more TV on average than other Americans, and you'd be right. But it's not just Latinos watching Spanish-language soaps anymore — Spanish-language networks now offer subtitles to their programs for non-Spanish speakers. The rest of America is learning what we learned from abuela (and Thalia) as children: telenovelas are addictive and fun. 

'La Reina del Sur' Helps Telemundo Break Ratings Record

6. CNN Encore

We're Getting More TV Channels in Español

Encore! Encore! People love Latinos on television so much, whether it's in English or Spanish, that they're asking for more of us, and with recent census data showing that 1 in 6 adults (and 1 in 4 children) in America is Latino, networks are beginning to target the fast growing U.S. Hispanic population. Last month, the Starz network announced that come August 1st, it will launch a Spanish-language premium movie channel called Encore Espanol and in May, leading Spanish-language network Univision — which is already a Spanish-language network — announced plans to launch three additional new networks titled Univision TL NovelasUnivision Deportes, and Univision 24/7, which will focus exclusively on telenovelas, sports, and news, respectively, and bow in 2012. Translation: We already live in a multi-channel universe, but it's time for America to get ready for a multi-channel Spanish-language universe! 

POLL: Do You Watch Television in Spanish?

7. Judges Jennifer Lopez Christina Aguilera

We'll Be the Judge!

They say that behind every great man is a great woman. But Boricua Jennifer Lopez and Colombiana, Christina Aguilera aren't hiding behind any men as the feature premiere judges of FOX's American Idol and NBC's The Voice respectively. In fact, although J.Lo and Christina are surrounded by a sea of hombres on their respective shows (Christina's fellow judges include Cee-Lo Green, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton, while Lopez's co-judges are Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson), the superstar Latinas get top billing on TV's biggest singing competitions — often getting the last word over their male counterparts. Hollywood is clearly leaving the judging to us!

Jennifer Lopez's $12 Million 'American Idol' Deal

8. Lauren Velez Kevin Alejandro

We're Getting Our Stories Told

In the last two or three years, there have been more Latino-centric story lines on TV, both on cable and network shows. The second season of HBO's Eastbound & Down was set in Mexico and welcomed Latino stars Ana de la Reguera and Michael Pena, Entourage recently did a story line about a Mexican tequila business that Turtle (A.J. Ferrara) gets involved with, and during its fifth season, Showtime's hit serial killer drama, Dexter featured a story line about Santa Muerte Murders set in a predominately Venezuelan neighborhood. Other shows that have featured Latino-centric story lines include Showtime's Weeds (where Mary Louise Parker's character Nancy Botwin got involved with Mexican drug lords), and Off the Map, a medical drama for ABC set in the South American jungle. The new season of HBO's hit series, True Blood, (premiering this Sunday), will feature a story line about a brujero (Kevin Alejandro) who dabbles in dark magic.  

 POLL: Which 'True Blood' Character Uses Mexican Viagra in Season 4?



9. Dominican Republic Puerto Rico

We're Making It Easier to Shoot in Puerto Rico & The DR

Don't be surprised if more and more films start shooting in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. In March, Governor Luis G. Fortuño of Puerto Rico approved new legislation that revamps its program, offering the U.S. tax rebates along with a 20 % rebate for non-residents including the pre-existing 40% rebate for residents. The new incentives are likely to prompt film producers in Hollywood to shoot their films on the Puerto Rican island. In a similar move, the Dominican Republic is officially launching its own production incentive program this month in an effort to lure more productions to the Caribbean. According to Variety, the program's key elements provide a 25% transferable tax credit for features and TV series shot in the country, with $500,000 minimum to qualify and an expedited customs process. 

Is Puerto Rico the Next Hollywood? 

10. Cameron Eva Gisele Adriana

We're Raking in the Cash 

In 2010, Cameron Diaz was the second highest paid actress in Hollywood (behind Sandra Bullock), while Eva Longoria was the highest paid Latina on television, pulling in an impressive $400,000 for each episode of ABC's Desperate Housewives. But it's not just Latina actresses who command big salaries — Latina supermodels also rake in big salaries. In fact, Gisele Bundchen, and Adriana Lima are currently the highest paid models in the industry. 

Eva Longoria Parker is the Second Highest Paid Latino on TV