Fast & Furious Latino Musicians Turned Actors!

Ludacris and Eminem aren’t the only rappers who can act — in this weekend’s Fast Five (the fifth movie in the Fast & Furious franchise), reggaetoneros Tego Calderón, 39 and Don Omar, 33, reprise their roles as street racers Leo (Calderon) and Santos (Omar). "It’s good to have a career, but it’s also important to have a passion and I think I have found a new passion for film,” said the Puerto Rican Don Omar. “I put my music on hold to make this movie,” adds Omar, who says he would like to be known by his birth name (William Omar Landrón) now that he's pursuing a career as an actor in Hollywood. 

In honor of Tego and Don Omar’s roles in Fast Five, let's take a look at other Latin musicians who have successfully crossed over into acting!

1. Musician Actors: Don Omar

2. Musician Actors: Diego Boneta

Diego Boneta, 20 

This hunk was a singing sensation in his native Mexico before landing the role of Rocco in the popular homegrown soap, Rebelde. After putting out his debut album, Diego in Mexico, Chile and Brazil in 2005 and his second album Indigo in 2008, (which was produced by Kara DioGuardi), Boneta went on to play characters on hit teen dramas like 90210 and Pretty Little Liars, that were essentially versions of himself. “The characters were practically me with a different name,” said Diego of the good-natured singers he portrayed on-screen. In the upcoming movie-musical, Rock of Ages, Diego will play the lead role of Drew, alongside Tom Cruise. The talented actor-singer is thrilled to have the opportunity to marry his two passions: music and acting. "It's a dream come true," he tells Latina.com.

 

 

3. Musician Actors: Ricky Martin

Ricky Martin, 39

Following his success with the Latin boy band Menudo — and after releasing two successful solo albums (Ricky Martin in 1991 and Me Amarás in 1993) — the Boricua superstar joined the cast of ABC’s General Hospital in the recurring role of Miguel Morez, a hospital orderly turned singing sensation. “What I love about doing a soap opera character is that you can never be sure what will happen to him next,” Ricky said at the time. Ricky also appeared in several Mexican telenovelas, and in 1995 he played Marius Pontmercy, the romantic lead in the Broadway musical, Les Misérables. Ricky's acting days are far from over. He's confirmed to be playing Che in the Broadway revival of Evita, which is scheduled to begin previews in March 2012. 

 

 

4. Musician Actors: Daddy Yankee

Daddy Yankee, 34

Reggaetonero Daddy Yankee is a Latin Grammy winner who has sold millions of albums worldwide, but he’s also a very good actor. In Talento de Barrio (2008) a film loosely based on his experience growing up in Puerto Rico's caserios, or projects, Yankee gave a nuanced performance as Edgar Dinero,a young man who gets tangled between thug life and the beat of his barrio, while falling in love with a girl from whom he must conceal his strong ties with the violent street underworld. The film was a huge success, breaking the record held by the Benicio del Toro-produced Maldeamores for most tickets sold in one day for a Puerto Rican movie. Next up, Yankee will play a boxer in a fictional movie in 2012.

 

5. Musician Actors: Marc Anthony

Marc Anthony, 41

The top-selling tropical salsa artist of all time, Marc Anthony was born to sing. But the multi-talented Puerto Rican artist can also churn out a good performance as an actor. Anthony has turned out solid performances in films like Martin Scorsese's Bringing Out the Dead (1999) and Man on Fire (2004), but it was his role as the drug-riddled salsa legend Hector Lavoe in El Cantante that wowed us the most. The movie did have its flaws, but as critic Roger Ebert noted, Anthony channeled Lavoe's passion for performing like a pro: "We sense the excitement of the music in Anthony's stage performances, where he is backed by orchestras full of gifted musicians (Willie Colon is played by John Ortiz), and where his moves project the joy of the music," wrote Ebert. 

6. Musician Actors: Carlos Ponce

Carlos Ponce, 38

Puerto Rican actor Carlos Ponce started his career in the early 90's with roles on the telenovelas Fuego en la Sangre and Sentimientos Ajenos. In 1998, Emilio Estefan signed Ponce to a record contract. Soon after that, Ponce released his first album entitled Carlos Ponce, which went double platinum. Following years of guest starring roles on shows like Beverly Hills, 90210 and 7th Heaven, Ponce got a thong-overdue role on the big screen (yes we meant to say thong) in the Vince Vaughn vehicle, Couples Retreat (2009). Most recently, he voiced one of the characters in the animated box office hit, Rio

 

 

 

7. Musician Actors: Enrique Iglesias

Enrique Iglesias, 35

When he's performing onstage, Enrique is so passionate about his music that he's a joy to watch. Perhaps that's why the superstar has managed to sell over 55 million albums. As an actor, Enrique's got that same star quality. He was fun to watch as the foul-mouthed, gun-wielding Lorenzo opposite Antonio Banderas in Once Upon a Time in Mexico, and he was hilarious as Gael, an Argentinean guitar player/massage therapist whose career was living, windsurfing, and making love - "sometimes at the same time," in the hit comedy, How I Met Your Mother

8. Musician Actors: Related Links