Latinegr@s 2011: Laz Alonso

Yet another person that I cannot believe that I did not highlight last year was Laz Alonso. While, I certainly wrote a blog about Zoe Saldana (and they were in the same movie), I clearly missed that opportunity last year. Now, I follow this gentleman on Twitter and I kinda put it out there to see if he would be down for an interview but that was not meant to be. So, like a true blogger, I will write about him anyway…lol

I first saw Laz in a movie called Miracle at St. Anna. This was was Spike Lee joint that came out in 2008 in which Alonso actually played a Afro Latino. The story is about four Black American soldiers who are trapped in a small Italian village in 1944 during the heart of WWII. This move was done very well and I am surprised it did not get more acclaim.

At that point I figured he was bound for something good. Laz Alonso is Afro Cuban and was born on March 25, 1974 (a great year). He is an alum of Howard University that graduated with a degree in Marketing. After working at Merrill Lynch for a little bit, he went after his heart’s desire: acting. Laz has been in a number of movies in his career that started in 2000. However, the role that has made him famous comes from the blockbuster move, Avatar, where he played the character, Tsu’tey.

I have to admit, I should have known who he was in this movie and I was just astonished to know it was him. I hadn’t seem many movies that he has been in nor much of his television roles. What I do find amazing is that Alonso seems to do his best to play Latino characters in many of the roles he plays. Perhaps not all roles are meant to be Latino, but some is good for me. Like playing Detective Gil Puente in Southland or Detective Ray Di Santos in Captivity. These are the type of characters that are not often seen on television.

When I talk about the fluid identity of Afro Latinos, I am reffering to the ability to go between the worlds of African American and Latinos. It is totally understandable how Laz Alonso becomes valuable in the diversity of roles he could be offered. It is important to note that he is one of very few Afro Latinos in Hollywood.

I think Laz Alonso is an up and coming actor that has not reached his pique and it will be very interesting to see how his career unfolds

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