Latina spoke with the charismatic Univision Premios Juventud Host, Wilmer Valderrama, at the celebrity studded awards show and then caught up with him the next night at the Nicolita Fashion Show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim in Miami – where he sat front row for Christina Milian’s debut collection “Havana Nights”. Wilmer gave us the low down on being a ladies’ man, his upcoming album, his views on immigration reform, and his fervor for empowering the Latino community one vote at a time.
There’s this image of you as a ladies’ man – dating Demi Lovato, Lindsay Lohan and now Minka Kelly – Are you really a Hollywood Player?
“Ladies man? A Hollywood Player? (laughs and looks puzzled) You know it’s funny, I really don’t understand how that happened. There’s been a lot of speculation. I really try to focus on what’s important to me and I’ll tell you what, my family and I have overcome some really, really incredible obstacles coming to America, and the fact that I can still stand here and work in the United States on the level that I am… that’s the thing that really matters the most.”
How do you feel about that title?
“I think perception is for the people that read the most unnecessary gossip columns. I really look at these gossip tabloids as these weekly comic books where they enhance every single (celebrity) to be this comic book character. Sometimes it’s just not true and most times it really isn’t.”
Where are you with your music career?
“I’m in the middle of recording a bunch of amazing music. I’m putting together a nice list of songs. Officially I can tell you that by the end of this summer, beginning of the fall I’m going to be releasing the first song and first music video!”
Will you be doing any collaborations?
“I’m working on some collaborations with some amazing people that were on stage (at Univision Premios Juventud). On the English side I’m working with some incredible producers and other artists that are really good friends of mine. So it’s become a real passion project for me. For me to do a bilingual project has been important.”
I hear you founded a non-profit with Rosario Dawson, what’s it all about?
“Rosario Dawson and I started an organization called Voto Latino many years ago (2004) and our main goal was to really educate a young Latino community about the importance of us standing together to be one voice. Specifically, registering to vote, because (there are) over 50 million people of Latin descent in the United States, and unfortunately we are yet to be taken seriously in the government. As a culture we have a lot to say. We are a people of conviction, we are a people of the world, and we belong here just as much as any other culture. Now you see Obama, you see Romney, you see everybody trying to call on the Latino community, why do you think they are calling on us? Because we are the deciding vote. So we need to talk to one another, and we need to understand that it is really up to us (to decide) what’s going to happen to this country because we’re going to be the majority.”
Who do you think he will be collaborating with from the Premios Juventud Awards Show on his first album? Could it be Pitbull, Prince Royce, Juanes, or someone else? Let us know what you think in the comments area below!