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Alexa Demie, Jharrel Jerome and 13 Other Hispanic Actors and Actresses on the Rise

Alexa Demie

The actress burst onto the scene with her role as Maddie Perez in HBO’s Euphoria and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. Most recently, she gave a heart-wrenching performance in 2019’s Waves, and stars in Gia Coppola’s film Mainstream, which is out on Oct. 10, 2020. 

The Mexican American actress told PEOPLE En Español that she is connected to her mother’s Mexican heritage, but noted that she knows little of her father’s ancestry. “People are confused by me in Hollywood,” explained Demie, who says she’s not interested in stereotypically “spicy Latina” roles. “I had a huge talk with my team about that,” she said. “I’m being very selective and picky now, because I’m ready to do a different role.”

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Zoey Luna

The Mexican-American actress first got her taste of the spotlight in 2017, when she appeared HBO’s 15: A Quinceañera, telling the world about her experience as a trans Latina woman experiencing a cultural rite of passage. 

Now, Luna has appeared on POSE in 2019 and will star in The Craft sequel, The Craft: Legacy. 

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Christian Serratos

Serratos is certainly not a newcomer — she has been acting since 2004, enjoying roles in Secret Life of the American TeenagerTwilight and The Walking Dead — but her star continues to rise as she’s set to take on the iconic role of Selena Quintanilla in the Netflix series about the late singer’s life. 

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Anthony Ramos

Ramos, who was in the original Broadway cast of the musical phenomenon Hamilton, caught his big onscreen break in 2018 with a supporting role in A Star Is Born, and continues to make a name for himself. 

In 2020, he voiced the character of King Trollex in the wildly popular Trolls: World Tour and his Broadway run in Hamilton began streaming on Disney +. Next up, he’s starring as Usnavi in the highly-anticipated film adaptation of In the Heights in 2021. 

Ramos is also a musician: In 2019 he released his first album, The Good & The Bad. We guess a star really has been born, huh?

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Jharrel Jerome

Jerome won an Emmy Award for his performance as Korey Wise in When They See Us, proving what we all knew as soon as we saw his performance: Jerome is destined for even bigger things. His win made him the first Afro-Latino and Dominican to win an Emmy for acting.

The 22 year old recently appeared alongside Idris Elba in 2020’s Concrete Cowboy

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Isabella Gómez

The 22-year-old Colombian actress has been taking things, well, One Day at a Time. Her role as Elena Alvarez in the hit series has brought much-needed representation to the small screen for gay Latina women. Up next, she’ll star in the 2021 film Initiation. 

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Michael Cimino

Cimino starred as Victor Salazar in 2019’s Love, Victor, the spinoff of the popular film Love, Simon. The 20-year-old actor is of Puerto-Rican descent on his mother’s side and Italian and German descent on his father’s. 

The Hulu series is set for season 2, and Cimino also nabbed roles in 2020’s Centurion XII and 2021’s Heartlight

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Herizen Guardiola

In 2019, the Cuban-Jamaican actress transformed into the role of high school cheerleader Addy Hanlon in Dare Me, a series based on Megan Abbott’s crime novel of the same name.

Most recently, she acted in Netflix’s latest rom-com The Lost Husband as Sunshine alongside Leslie Bibb and Josh Duhamel. 

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Rachel Zegler

From viral sensation to starring in a Spielberg film!

19-year-old Zegler, who is Colombian and Polish, impressed the world with her vocals when her cover of “Shallow” from A Star Is Born went viral in December 2018, and landed herself the starring role of Maria in the upcoming West Side Story film, which is set to be released in 2021. 

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Itzan Escamilla

The 22-year-old Spanish actor heads up the cast of Netflix’s Elite, a Spanish show that became wildly popular around the world. Its first season aired in 2018 and is gearing up for a fourth, which means you’ll be seeing Escamilla around! 

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Paulina Chávez

The Mexican-American actress stars in Netflix’s The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia, which is co-created by Mario Lopez. Chávez told PEOPLE En Español of her acting career, “I 
just want to help Latinos pursue whatever they want to do. It’s just creating opportunities for them and opening the doors for many possibilities.” 

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Xochitl Gomez

Gomez has been acting in short films since 2016, but her big break came when she starred as Dawn Schafer in Netflix’s 2020 adaptation of The Babysitter’s Club. In past adaptations, the role of Dawn has been played by white, blonde-haired girls, but Gomez arrived to break the mold.

“I honestly can’t even tell you how important it is to me that a Latina character and her family are represented on the show,” the Mexican American actress told PEOPLE En Español of the change. “Growing up, I never really saw anyone who looked like me, probably like most Latino girls. It was like our lives weren’t interesting enough to entertain people, which is completely not true at all. I was so happy that I wasn’t just a maid or a gang member or a bikini girl. I’m so happy that things are finally shifting. It’s so great to be on a show where a Latina is important and valued for her abilities and her loyalty and her friendship.”

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Angel Bismark Curiel

Curiel, who identifies as Afro-Latino, has made his mark as Lil Papi on the critically acclaimed Pose. Following his 2018 debut, the 24-year-old appeared in the 2020 film Critical Thinking alongside John Leguizamo. 

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Isabela Merced

You might not recognize Merced without her bob and backpack! The 19-year-old starred as Dora in the 2019 Dora the Explorer live-action film, Dora and the Lost City of Gold. The Peruvian actress used to go by Isabela Moner, but recently changed her name to Merced as an homage to her late Peruvian grandmother Yolanda Merced Salazar Pittman. 

Merced also appeared in the Netflix movie Let It Snow and is slated to star in Sweet Girl, out in 2021. And did we mention she’s currently working on her music career as well?

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Melissa Barrera

The Mexican actress, who got her start in telenovelas, has an exciting few years ahead! She plays Anthony Ramos’ love interest in the upcoming In the Heights film adaptation, will star in Scream 5 (out 2022) and will play the titular role in Carmen, which is in pre-production. 

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