It's finally happening! Following months and months of rumors that Cuban actor William Levy was crossing over into English-language projects (remember his rumored role as a stripper in Steven Soderbergh's Magic Mike?), the telenovela hunk is finally crossing over with a guest role in VH1's hit series, Single Ladies!
We are so excited about the "Latino Brad Pitt" crossing over, that we got to thinking about other Latino stars who have crossed over into English-language projects. Here are 10 of our favorites!
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Ana de la Reguera, 33
This gorgeous Mexican actress starred in telenovelas like Azul (1996), and Gitanas (2004), before landing her first English-speaking role as Sister Encarnación in the Jack Black comedy, Nacho Libre (2006). She can currently be seen playing Kenny Powers’ (Danny McBride) new love interest on season 2 of HBO’s hit series, Eastbound and Down.
Sofia Vergara, 38
The sizzling hot, Sofia Vergara—who was born in Colombia—appeared in a bunch of movies, including the underwhelming, Chasing Papi (2003), Soul Plane (2004), Four Brothers (2005), and Meet the Browns (2008) but none of that made her a big star. In the fall of 2009, Vergara positively blew up along with her hysterical ABC sitcom, Modern Family. Sofia’s first starring TV role not only earned her critical raves and made her a fan favorite, but it also earned her an Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.
Kate del Castillo, 37
Kate, who’s Mexican, starred in the popular Spanish-language soap, Leticia en Muchachitas and did nine other telenovelas, before getting her first break in Hollywood—as a mother estranged from her son in the 2007 indie hit, Under the Same Moon (La Misma Luna). In 2009, Kate landed her next English-speaking job—the juicy role of Pilar Zuzua—a manipulative vixen—on Showtime’s hit series, Weeds.
Roselyn Sanchez, 37
In her native Puerto Rico, Roselyn co-hosted the popular Variety show, Que Vacilon and won the Miss Puerto Rico Petite contest in 1993. Her big break in Hollywood came in 2001, when she landed the role of undercover United States Secret Service Agent, Isabella Molina (Jackie Chan’s love interest) in the big screen blockbuster, Rush Hour 2. There’s no doubt that her sexy performance in the film led to other opportunities, including her starring role as Agent Elena Delgado on the hit TV series, Without A Trace (2005-2009).
Salma Hayek, 44
Salma became a star in Mexico with her starring role in the telenovela, Teresa (1989), and the award-winning Mexican film, El Callejón de los Milagros (Miracle Alley). In 1991, she moved to Los Angeles to study acting and landed a starring role opposite Antonio Banderas in 1995’s Desperado. Since then, Hayek has become an A-list Hollywood star and the first Mexican to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.
Penelope Cruz, 36
Penelope was just 17 when she starred in the film Jamón, Jamón (1992), and while the film was well received—it was really her 2001 supporting roles in the films Vanilla Sky (opposite Tom Cruise) and Blow (with Johnny Depp) that made her a Hollywood star. In 2006, she earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her work in Pedro Almodovar’s Volver, and in 2008, she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her hilarious turn in Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
Antonio Banderas, 50
Antonio’s role in Pedro Almodovar’s Matador (1986) made him a star in Spain, but it was his the high profile films Evita, Interview With the Vampire, Philadelphia, Desperado, The Mask of Zorro—and the Shrek franchise—that made him a Hollywood star and a household name.
Javier Bardem, 41
Like his wife, Penelope Cruz, this Spanish actor and heartthrob earned critical raves for his work in Jamón, Jamón (1992). His Hollywood breakthrough didn’t happen until the year 2000, when he earned a well-deserved Oscar nomination for his phenomenal portrayal of Cuban writer, Reinaldo Arenas in Julian Schnabel’s, Before Night Falls. Seven years later, he became the first Spaniard to win a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his frightening performance in No Country for Old Men (2007).
Shakira shimmied her way onto the American music scene with her monster hit “Whenever, Wherever” in 2001. Though she was already well known across Latin America, her English-language album Laundry Service catapulted her to fame stateside. Since then she has won two Grammy’s and is one of the most successful female Latin singers of all time, having sold over 60 million albums.
Ricky Martin, 38
Ricky Martin grew up in the spotlight as a member of he hugely popular teen pop band Menudo. But he broke out as a solo artist on the international scene with his album A Medio Vivir, which featured the hugely popular hit song “Maria.” In 1999, his self-titled English-language album (featuring the ubiquitous “Livin' la Vida Loca") lifted Martin to new heights of popularity, cementing his name in pop music forever.