by Emily Neil
03/16/2018 - 09:43
Leading in Hollywood
Martha Higareda, a Mexican actress who has found success in her leading role in the Netflix series "Altered Carbon," says stars like Salma Hayek and Demian Bichir have led the way for a growing number of Hispanic actors looking to step into quality acting roles in Hollywood.
A Mexican actress who is one of the stars of the Netflix series "Altered Carbon" says she is happy that an increasing number of quality roles in Hollywood now are available to Hispanics.
"Hollywood reflects what's happening in the world," Martha Higareda, a native of the southeastern city of Villahermoso, told EFE in an interview.
"You walk into a restaurant here and you hear accents from different places. Laeta Kalogridis (creator of the science-fiction series) said she wanted to explain that in the future, and I hope in the present as well, there's a diversity that everyone embraces and accepts," she added.
"There are people who came before and who have been paving the way like Salma Hayek and Demian Bichir. They came here and said: 'We want to play important roles.' And now I'm very pleased that there are an ever-increasing number of roles for us," Higareda said.
The 34-year-old actress helped announce the nominees in the fifth edition of the Platino Prizes, which will be awarded on April 29 at a gala in Mexico's Riviera Maya tourism and resort district.
Chilean drama film "Una mujer fantastica" (A Fantastic Woman), winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, leads the way with nine nominations, followed by the Argentine picture "Zama" with eight and the Cuban film "Ultimos dias en La Habana" (Last Days in Havana) with seven.
The Spanish movie "Estiu 1993" (Summer 1993) garnered five nominations, while the Spanish film "The Bookshop" and Argentine picture "La cordillera" (The Summit) picked up four nods apiece.
"These are very important awards, especially because I find myself increasingly attached and drawn to the films made in Ibero-America, and they are gaining increasing recognition worldwide," Higareda said.
"On the industry side of things, it was very interesting when I attended the second (Platino Prizes award ceremony in 2015) in Marbella, Spain: I realized that many of us knew of the work the others were doing, but we had no place to come together, to collaborate and push one another," she added.
"That power of supporting each other is very important, and it's thanks to these awards," the actress said.
Higareda, who previously had minor roles in Hollywood productions such as "Street Kings" and "McFarland, USA," is enjoying success with "Altered Carbon," a Netflix series with a futuristic theme in which she acts alongside Joel Kinnaman and James Purefoy.
"I was doing a film in Mexico and I couldn't fly to the casting in Los Angeles, so I filmed my audition on my phone. I put my whole heart into it. I didn't hear from them until they called me two months later to meet Joel and Laeta. It was a wonderful hour-and-a-half session. I forgot I was even doing an audition ... And something magical happened," the actress said.
"Two weeks later they told me the role was mine," she added.
Higareda, who is widely known in Mexico for her roles in films such as "No manches Frida" and "3 idiotas," is seeing her popularity boom further thanks to her role in "Altered Carbon."
"It's been incredibly interesting because it premiered (a few) weeks ago, and people already are recognizing me on the street in the United States. People stop me and tell me they love the series. It's very nice," Higareda said, adding that she plans to divide her time between the US and Mexico in the future.
"I'll never leave Mexico behind because I love being there and I produce films there," the actress said.
She will be co-producing the sequel to "No manches Frida" and also "Tod@s caen," a comedy directed by Ariel Winograd and starring Higareda and her sister Miriam that will hit theaters next year.