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John Leguizamo is a super-famous actor who’s been in well over 100 movies and TV shows. You probably know him from his work in films such as Carlito’s Way, The Pest, To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar and the Ice Age franchise of movies.
His resume is impressive enough but John’s also a writer whose created and starred in a handful of powerful, hilarious one-man shows over his career.
There was his debut production titled, Mambo Mouth, in which he played a total of seven different characters on the stage — compiled and composited from people in his past. They’re all deeply personal. Touching and hilarious, too: Leguizamo finds a way to talk about himself and the people in his life – sometimes channel those people – with a remarkably sensitive touch.
John’s latest show is called Latin History for Morons. The title kind of explains the show’s conceit: with a chalkboard and a professor-y looking suit, Leguizamo gives the audience a history of the Americas that you don’t always see in textbooks: stories of oppression, exploitation, disease and war.
But, since it’s John Leguizamo… there are dozens of funny voices, recreations of historical figures long-since dead. And it all begins with a story about Leguizamo’s life: a few years back, his son was bullied over his latinx heritage at school. Leguizamo wanted to do something about it. Give him something to be proud of.
John talks to Bullseye about that incident in the show – how it happened, how it affected his son, and how it affected him.
Latin History for Morons is streaming now on Netflix.
You can get tickets for the live show on Broadway here.
Catch John in the flick Playing with Fire in theaters
Click here to listen to John Leguizamo’s interview on YouTube.
In this episode...
- John Leguizamo
About the show
Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.
Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney’s, which called it “the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world.” Since April 2013, the show has been distributed by NPR.
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