5 Latino Stars Who Don’t Identify as Latino

In Hollywood, there are the stars you never knew were Latino and the stars you thought were Latino—but aren’t. But there’s also one more group of Latinos: the Latinos who don’t consider themselves Latino, even though — NEWSFLASH!  they are!

It's high time for these stars to come out of the "Latino closet," especially since it's SO cool to be Latino (it always has been!). Heck, even the Pope is Latino!

Without further ado, check out 5 Latino stars who don't seem to identify as Latino...

1. Tony Mendez

Tony Mendez

A lot of people were ticked off when Ben Affleck opted to cast himself as Tony Mendez—the real life CIA agent that inspired this year’s Best Picture winner ‘Argo’—because it was believed that Mendez, was Latino. But in a recent interview with NBCLatino.com, the real Mendez (birth name Antonio Joseph Mendez), defended Affleck’s decision to cast himself (and not a Latino) in the role. “I don’t think of myself as a Hispanic,” Mendez explained. “I think of myself as a person who grew up in the desert. If I had been in a different family circumstance, I might have felt that way," he said. Still, when Mendez was asked specifically where his family was from, he said, “My great-grandfather came from Italy and he married an Irish woman and there was a French connection there. So, that’s my mother’s side. On the other side, on my father’s side, his family was originally from Mexico.” (That sounds pretty Latino to us!).


2. Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney

During a mostly awkward interview with Univision anchor Jorge Ramos last year, presidential candidate Mitt Romney was asked about the fact that his father (George Romney) was born in Mexico. “So the question is: “Are you Mexican American?” asked Ramos, adding, “Could you be the first Hispanic president?” Mitt, who had by then earned the nickname “Mexican Mitt,” replied, “I would love to be able to convince people of that, particularly in a Florida primary,” he said with a laugh. “But I think that might be disingenuous on my part, because in my case my dad was born in Mexico and I’m proud of the, uh…my heritage, but he was born of U.S. citizens who were living in Mexico at the time and was not Hispanic.” Still, Ramos pressed the former Governor of Massachusetts on the question, asking, “So you wouldn’t call yourself Mexican-American, even though he’s Mexican by definition? I just read the Mexican constitution and he is,” Ramos added. But once again Romney refused to call himself Mexican. “I don’t think people would think I was being honest with them if I said I was Mexican-American,” he said, adding another joke: “But I would appreciate it if you would get that word out,” {Laughs}. In the end, a lot of folks said Mitt lost the election because he failed to get the “Latino” vote. Go figure!


3. Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen has Spanish roots—everyone knows that! But when we interviewed his brother Emilio Estevez in October of 2011, we asked Emilio straight out if his siblings identify with their Spanish roots. “Carlos {Charlie Sheen}—you know, I don’t know…he was never Carlos growing up—he was always Charlie,” explained Estevez, who unlike Charlie never opted to change his last name to Sheen.“So, does he connect?” Estevez added. “It’s something he and I never talk about. A lot of people don’t even know we’re brothers!” Charlie's refusal to acknowledge his Latino roots is what we like to call: #losing!


4. Snook iID

Snooki

Snooki had a chance to clear up her ethnicity once and for all on an episode of The Jersey Shore, but the infamous reality star chose to poke fun at her ethnicity instead. “I’m tan,” Snooki told her best gal pal J-Woww. She went on to say, “You know when they ask you what ethnicity you are, I put “other” and I put “tan." While Snooki doesn’t talk about her Latin roots, it has been reported that she’s 100% Chilean and was adopted and raised by Italian parents.


5. Nicole Richie

Nicole Richie

Nicole Richie was raised by an adoptive father (soul singer Lionel Richie) and his then-wife Brenda Harvey, but her biological father was a musician named Peter Michael Escovedo. While Nicole has never publicly admitted she’s Latina – or talked about it – her aunt, iconic percussionist Sheila E, told us exclusively that Nicole is aware of her Mexican heritage.Yeah—she’s Latin, because my brother’s Mexican and my dad is Mexican and she’s Mexican. It’s in her blood,” she said. Asked if Nicole identifies as Latina, Sheila said, “Yeah. She knows what she is. Absolutely. She’s an Escovedo. But again, she didn’t grow up speaking Spanish. She didn’t learn it,” she explained. (We'd be happy to claim Nicole as Latina -- she's beautiful and hilarious!).