11 Latinos Who Have Played Mexicans On Screen

We can't help but be excited when we see Latinos playing Latino roles on television and in movies — even when we see Puerto Ricans playing Colombians or Cubans playing Dominicans. 

One nationality that is particularly present on screen? Mexicans. These Latino actors may not be Mexican, but they all played one on-screen: 

MORE: 12 Non-Latinos Who Played Latino Roles

1. Jimmy Smits

Matt Santos, a Mexican-American politician from Texas, made history in the fictional world of The West Wing when he became the President of the United States. The actor who portrayed him — Jimmy Smits — is Puerto Rican. 

2. America Ferrera

America Ferrera became the first Latina to win a Golden Globe for Best Actress for her portrayal of Betty Suarez on Ugly Betty. Although Suarez was Mexican-American, Ferrera has roots in Honduras.  

3. Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez co-starred in My Family, a 1995 film about a Mexican family. Lopez — the HBIC, a.k.a. Head Boricua In Charge — is Puerto Rican. 

4. Hector Elizondo

Hector Elizondo has played characters from a wide variety of places — fictional (Genovia) and real (Mexico). Although Elizondo played the Mexican-American patriarch in Tortilla Soup, he is actually Puerto Rican. 

5. Zoe Saldana

Puerto Rican-Dominican Zoe Saldana voiced the character of Maria Posada, an empowered, spunky Mexican woman in The Book Of Life

6. Jake T. Austin & Maria Canals-Barrera

Cuban-American Maria Canals-Barrera's played the Mexican-American matriarch on Wizards of Waverly Place. Although Selena Gomez is Mexican-American, her on-screen brothers, played by David Henrie and Jake T. Austin are not. Henrie is not Latino, and Austin is Puerto Rican. 

7. Dania Ramirez

Dominican actress Dania Ramirez plays Rosie Westmore on Devious Maids, a maid from Guadalajara, Mexico. 

8. Rosario Dawson

Puerto Rican and Afro-Cuban actress Rosario Dawson portrayed Dolores Huerta, one of the leaders of the United Farm Workers movement, in Cesar Chavez

9. Naya Rivera

Glee's Santana Lopez often referred to her "Psychic Mexican Third Eye." Unfortunately, in real life Puerto Rican actress Naya Rivera does not have a Mexican third eye. 

10. Camila Belle & Alexa PenaVega

Camila Belle and Alexa PenaVega played Mexican sisters in From Prada to Nada, a modern day interpretation of Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. Despite playing Mexicans, neither actress boasts ancestry in the country. Belle is Brazilian and PenaVega is Colombian.