The Untold Truth Of Eiza Gonzalez
Eiza González’s resume showcases her impressive acting range. Name the blockbuster and chances are she’s in it. In fact, her notable performance in films such as Baby Driver, Alita: Battle Angel, and The Fast & the Furious spin-off Hobbs & Shaw show the level of dedication she puts into each character she embodies, no matter how big or small the role (via IMDb).
In Netflix’s I Care A Lot, a smart satire on capitalism, exploitation and the grey area that can exist in conservatorships, González is more than just an actor playing a character. As your popcorn deep into the film, you don’t see her as anything other than Fran, business partner and fellow con artist to Rosamund Pike’s Marla Grayson, according to E!. It’s no surprise that I Care A Lot is trending on Netflix. But that’s one career move out of many that proves why González is well on her way to becoming a household name. Yet, in spite of her growing success, everything hasn’t always come easy for González.
Eiza Gonzalez got her start in Mexican telenovelas, but later faced backlash for this specific role
Before making it big in the U.S., Eiza González was (and still is) a huge star in Mexico. She started acting seriously when she was 15 years old, and starred in popular telenovelas (via IMDb). In 2007, she got her standout role as a fictional singer named Lola in Televisa’s Lola, érase una vez, a modern retelling of Cinderella, per Cheat Sheet. Though the gig may have been a fairytale for González at the time, she was at the center of controversy years after the series ended.
In 2020, old photos of the actress wearing blackface in an episode of the show spread online, so fans called her out for the tone deaf moment. González apologized for the incident in a statement, as reported by ET. “I am deeply sorry and ashamed about having worn blackface makeup shown in the images circulating. As a 15-year-old child actor on my first job in a Mexican telenovela, I was pressured against my will, and with no negotiating power, I could not advocate for myself in the situation. I wish I had the voice and knowledge then that I have now,” her statement read.
More images from Nickelodeon Latin America’s Sueña Conmigo made rounds showing her dressed up as a geisha. González mentioned in the same statement that she was showing appreciation for the culture but is committed to educating herself.
She's an accomplished singer with over 57 million views on YouTube
Eiza González isn’t just a well-seasoned actress. Performing in musical numbers on Lola, érase una vez helped her gain a dedicated fanbase and launch a successful music career. Not only is she a mega talented singer, she also has two album releases under her belt and over 200,000 subscribers on YouTube (via Discogs). González even scored a best solo artist nomination at Mexico’s Kids’ Choice Awards, according to Hola!.
Her official music video for her 2012 hit single “Te Acordarás De Mi” garnered over 54,800,000 views. Many of her fans celebrated her journey in the comments section and praised her for championing representation in an industry that is sorely lacking of. One user wrote “Y pensar que ahora está triunfando en Hollywood. Orgullo mexicano” which roughly translates to “And to think that now she is succeeding in Hollywood. Mexican pride.”
She worked alongside Wilmer Valderrama in this reboot of a cult classic film
In 2014, González landed a major role in the reboot of the cult classic film From Dusk Till Dawn which originally starred George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino (who wrote the film). After multiple successful follow-up films, director Robert Rodriguez premiered the TV series on his cable channel El Rey Network (via IMDb). In From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, González appeared as Santánico Pandemonium, the vampire queen, alongside D.J. Cotrona, Zane Holtz and Wilmer Valderrama. The popular series ran from 2014 – 2016 with its third season being its final, according to Screen Rant.
This was González’s first breakout role in the U.S. and really showcased her ability to breathe life to an already iconic character. In an interview with AOL Build, she reflected on her character’s arc and praised Rodriguez for his vision. “The development of the character has been amazing. I’m so happy that Robert gives women such strong personalities. That’s, I think for actresses and any woman watching the show, is very empowering to be able to see this type of character,” she explained.
Her groundbreaking role in I Care A Lot breaks free of Hollywood's sexist and racist casting stereotypes
Her portrayal of assertive, pragmatic Fran in I Care A Lot challenges preconceived notions of femininity, sexuality and race. Hollywood famously typecasts actors of colors in roles that do little to change the conversation and further perpetuate racist stereotypes. I Care A Lot opens up this dialogue by completely chucking said stereotypes out of the window.
González told Refinery29 how this role gave her the space to be more than Hollywood’s expectations of a “Latina actress”. “[Latinx actors] are either the help or the drug dealer. It always kind of falls in between these two, and it can become boring. I hate to think about myself simply as a Latina actress, but the industry thinks of you in a certain way,” she explained. She also added that her experience gives her the confidence to read for more complex roles. “This character is very much a character that any actress could have played. It wasn’t necessarily tied to culture or background or any specific ethnicity. And I think that that’s kind of the current type of character that I want to be doing, and reading more for,” she added.
In an interview with Collider, González shared that writer and director J Blakeson gave her control over her character’s look, which was intentionally minimal, laidback and make-up free. The experience was freeing and allowed her to “live in someone else’s skin”.
She's experienced loss at a young age, and struggled with her mental health
González lost her father when she was twelve, and opened up to Latina Magazine about the impact this had on her. “My father and I had an amazing relationship. We were very close. I fell into a very dark place and I couldn’t deal with [the] loss. I started eating excessively and gained a lot of weight, and I was very sad. I wasn’t in a good place. I wouldn’t say I had an eating disorder, I would say I was going through depression,” she admitted. Although she was dealing with a terrible tragedy, she relied on a strong support system. She also told Latina Magazine that her mother helped her cope by being a positive light in her life. “She’s such a sweet [and] inspiring woman — a hardworking woman. That’s why I have this nature of admiring other women because, as I say, I was raised by a soldier. She was so strong and raised her children by herself,” she added.
She has used her platform time and again to stress the importance of self-care, developing healthy eating habits and seeking support. In an older Instagram post, she wrote “Dealing with loss at that age is not simple (any kind of loss) but know that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel and we are our biggest motor” (via Hola!).
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