Actress Andrea Vicunia Was Tired of Being Stereotyped, So She Wrote an Award Winning Script About it

 Latina stereotypes

If you’re a Latina in the U.S., chances are you’ve been stereotyped in your personal and professional life. If you’re a Latina actress, it’s a sure bet you’ve auditioned for a maid, vixen, or sassy sidekick sometime in your career. In the entertainment industry, Latina representation substandard. Such stereotypes make it hard for Latinas to get roles that are often given away to white actresses, and they greatly enhance negative perceptions that bleed into the greater community.

On television and movies, Latinos continue to be represented primarily
as criminals, law enforcers, and cheap labor. From 2012 to 2013, 17.7% of Latino film characters and 24.2% of TV characters were linked to crime, a considerable increase from 1994, when it was only 6% on television.
— National Association of Hispanic Journalists, June 2005

Actress Andrea Vicunia learned the hard way that if you have a Spanish accent, you are automatically labeled a “Latina”. Hailing from Spain, Vicunia finds herself continually correcting people by telling them Spain is not Mexico (or any other Latin American country), but to no avail. So she decided to write a script titled “Stereotyped” to get away from - you guessed it - being stereotyped.

 The “Stereotyped” cast on the Warner Bros. lot

The “Stereotyped” cast on the Warner Bros. lot

“When I was in Spain, I played a doctor and an employee at a high-end P.R. office. I auditioned for all types of complex roles. However, in the U.S., as soon as a casting director hears my accent, those complex roles are quickly taken away from me. I don’t even get a chance to audition. I’m given parts to read such as the mistress or the girlfriend of a gang member. There is a misconception white audiences have about Latina women that is really shocking to me. Being in the U.S. has really opened my eyes to being ‘the other’. I have a master’s degree and every Latin American friend I know is intelligent and multi-dimensional. There is a disconnect between what being a Latina really is and what we see on the screen.”

Vicunia’s script “Stereotyped” is a comedy about trying to understand her new label - Latina. She was selected from 1000 scripts to film inside the Warner Bros. lot thanks to the AT&T Shape Competition. The finished short was then featured in Elizabeth Banks’s WHOHAHA and Vicunia went on to win the AT&T Best Underrepresented Filmmaker Award, an award handed to her by Ava DuVerney.

She is currently in talks to fully produce the series and can’t wait to show the world “what Latinas are really about”.

Check out the seven minute trailer below and let us know — Have you ever been stereotyped? Let us know in the comments below!


Interview by: Gabriela Garcia

Images Courtesy of: Andrea Vicunia