The “Riverdale” star has ACTUALLY been told she doesn’t “look Latina enough.”
Before they ever appear on your favorite television shows and movies, all actors go through an intense auditioning and casting process. Along the way, they face more than their fair share of rejections — and sometimes the reasons the aren’t selected for roles are way harsh. Unfortunately, actresses have heard that they’re not tall enough for certain parts, not thin enough, or too “insert quality here” to be considered, and it’s just awful.
But “Riverdale” actress Camila Mendes explained that she has actually even been told she doesn’t “look Latina enough.” Say what?!
“I’m pretty new to Hollywood, but I’m already starting to see the issues in how some projects are cast. I often hear things like, ‘You don’t look Latina enough,’ and that mentality is so backwards,” the Brazilian-American actress told People. “The fact is: I am Latina, so how are you going to tell me that I don’t look Latina?”
Camila has every right to be outraged by these kind of statements, but she also does an incredible job in not letting comments like this get to her. In fact, she loves the way her character Veronica Lodge and the show “Riverdale” showcase Latinas in a light not often portrayed on TV.
“It’s just so refreshing to see a different story being told for Latin families,” she said about the popular CW series. “The Lodge family is a much-needed departure from the underprivileged, sleazy Latino drug-dealers we’re used to seeing in entertainment. It’s rare that you see Latin families being portrayed as intelligent, sophisticated, and powerful entities.”
Camila also explained that the title she uses, “American Latina,” is unique to every different person that claims it, but she loves exploring what it means to her.
“For me, being an ‘American Latina’ means identifying with and being influenced by both my American upbringing and my Latin heritage, and I have so much appreciation for how those two cultures have created who I am,” she explained. “I’m a full-blooded Brazilian, with an entire extended family of Brazilians, but I was born and raised in the U.S. When I go to Brazil, I feel like an American, and in the U.S., I always notice the traits that make me Brazilian.”
“I connect with my culture through my family. I speak Portuguese to my parents so that I can practice,” Camila adds. “I stay engaged with my extended family through a lively group chat on WhatsApp. That sense of community and family is the heart of Brazilian culture, and staying engaged with my family is what keeps me connected.”
Camila’s stories prove just how much stereotyping gets everything wrong — and hopefully roles like Veronica Lodge soon won’t feel like exceptions in Hollywood.