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Eugenio Derbez, the guest on this episode of The Hollywood Reporter‘s Awards Chatter podcast, is one of the biggest showbiz stars to ever emerge from Mexico. He’s not only an actor but also a writer, director and producer who has been called “the king of Latino comedy” and “one of the most influential Latinos in the world.”
Derbez spent the first chunk of his career racking up Hall of Fame-caliber accomplishments in his homeland. He was the primary force behind some of the most popular Spanish-language TV programs, including Al Derecho y Al Derbez and La Familia P. Luche, and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2016, before he had ever played the lead in an English-language project. Then, against all odds, he came to America and did it again.
He was the co-writer, director and star of the highest-grossing Spanish-language film in America and around the world, 2013’s Instructions Not Included, as well as the star of hit English-language films like 2017’s How to Be a Latin Lover and 2018’s Overboard. Most recently, Derbez was a standout in CODA, an indie drama that swept the major awards at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival en route to selling to Apple for more than any other acquisition title in the festival’s history.
Over the course of this conversation, the youthful 60-year-old grandfather reflects on what led to his discovery, at the age of 27, that he had a facility for comedy; why crossover stardom always appeals to him; and what it was like, for many years, leading a double life as a huge celebrity in Mexico and a virtual unknown trying to make it in America. He also touches on what convinced him, in 2012, to abandon his dreams of Hollywood stardom, what happened a year later that led him to pursue it once again — this time far more successfully — plus much more.
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