Freddie Prinze Jr. on Putting His Latino Heritage Front and Center on ‘Christmas With You’: ‘I’ve Never Done That Before’

Amy Garcia and Freddie Prinze Jr. to star in this Netflix holiday movie, Christmas with you. (photo: Netflix)

Freddie Prinze Jr. has been one of the most prominent Latino actors in Hollywood since his teen movie heyday in the 1990s. But over the course of a quarter-century of his career, the son of the late comedian and Freddie Prinze has rarely had the opportunity to represent his culture on screen.

“I’ve received nothing but love from Latino taxi drivers for business owners who talk about being inspired by seeing a Latino not running from cops or dealing drugs,” he told Yahoo Entertainment. “But within the industry, I’ve always encountered a great deal of resistance from directors wanting to validate my Latino heritage.”

Here’s why Prinze is cheering his new Netflix holiday movie on, Christmas with youAs a gift that keeps on giving. The film is directed by Argentine director Gabriela Tagliavini She is all of this Stars as Miguel – A public school music teacher and single father strikes an unlikely Christmas romance with pop superstar, Angelina, played by Amy García. Believe it or not, Prinze says this is the first time he’s been hired specifically to play a Latino character. “I’ve never done that before unless I write the damn thing,” he notes. “So when Gabriella brought this to me, all I wanted was a chance to earn her respect.”

“Every Latino I’ve seen play has always been something after the fact,” Prinze continues. (The actor previously portrayed Latino characters in Peacock’s Banky Brewster revival and in the eighth season of the hit Fox series, 24.)” The role would be named “Mike Smith” and they would say, “Oh, we hired Freddie, so we could show people how versatile we are.” And suddenly his name became “Miguel Ramirez.” And that doesn’t count the guy! Not Number. This was something very important to me, and a big reason for my focus on this movie.”

Watch a scene from Christmas with you below:

Not for nothing, however Christmas with you It’s also one of the few Christmas movies that has a Latino family front and center. In recent years, networks and streamers like Hallmark, Hulu, Lifetime, and Netflix have sought to diversify their holiday fare with stories that prominently feature LGBTQ and Black characters, but that change has been slow to include other groups. “Amy said she couldn’t think of another American Christmas movie for a Latino family,” says Prinze. “I was like, ‘I’m sure there must be. ‘ But I can’t think of anything! That’s what makes this movie great.”

“I’ve heard from white people before that they don’t like forced diversity,” he adds. And I get that, I really do. Creatively, you should never feel like something’s being forced on you and there’s a lot written in the agenda. But this movie is about a family celebrating Christmas. It’s about a father who’s lost his wife and daughter. Her mom and he try on both roles. I know plenty of people, no matter what their race, who grew up with a single parent – I happen to be one of them. So there’s a human element to the story that everyone can relate to. The only thing that makes us different is the foods we eat, the way That we dance to and the music we love. And once you have tacos, you’re with me, man. And if you hate tacos, that’s fine too. I hate mayonnaise!”

Amy Garcia as Angelina and Freddie Prinze Jr. as Miguel on Christmas With You.  (Photo: Jessica Korkounis/Netflix)

Garcia as Angelina and Prinze as Miguel Christmas with you. (Photo: Jessica Korkounis/Netflix)

Food was a big part of Prinze’s childhood Christmas feasts in New Mexico, where he lived with his mother after his father died before his first birthday. “Everything is different there,” he recalls. “We are the ones who started stars at Halloween instead of lights, and we’d do them at Christmas too sometimes. You have to find ways to keep it from melting into the snow! The Native American culture and the Mexican culture blended beautifully in that case and dictated the kinds of food we would eat and the drinks we would drink. We will have subabaypelas With honey and fried indian bread. These will all be a staple at every Christmas dinner, and I brought them to California when I got back here.”

Prinze continues to serve up those New Mexico staples at holiday dinners he hosts with his wife, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and their two children. “I couldn’t find good Mexican food in Southern California before the food truck revolution, so I was literally shipping green chilies and red peppers in from New Mexico,” he says, laughing. “I serve green chili chicken gravy at Christmas, and everyone goes for bananas. I’ve been lucky enough to see cultures embrace each other, and it’s usually the food that provides the common ground. I know how to cook because of that.”

While Prinze would be part of another Latino-focused Christmas movie in a heartbeat, don’t expect to see him return to George Lucas’ galaxy far, far away for any future holiday specials. The real life star Wars Fan voiced Jedi survivor Kanan Jarrus in four seasons of the fan-favorite animated series, Star Wars Rebelswhich ended its run in 2018. Since then, though, the rebels Ship is best known for making a cameo (along with Prinze’s voice) in the Skywalker Saga-capping blockbuster, Celestial Rise, and other animated characters — including Ahsoka Tano and Bo-Katan — made the leap into the live-action world. But Prinze insists that Kanan will not join them.

“I’m done performing star WarsHe says, adding that if Kanan appears The Mandalorian Or another Disney+ series, he wouldn’t be the one rocking the Jedi’s blue lightsaber. “I felt like I did a great job with that character that I love. He had a nice story, but it’s over, and while my relationship with him hasn’t gone away, I have nothing left to offer him. It would just be forced, and I don’t like it. I didn’t even want to speak my mind.” Celestial Risebut [Rebels co-creator] Dave Filoni convinced me! I said no the first time they asked so he had to take the call. He believed in me for this role in rebels When it wasn’t Disney, and for that, I always support him.”

Christmas with you Currently streaming on Netflix

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