With COBRA KAI coming to an end—and as the big screen’s first leading Latino superhero—Xolo Maridueña is ready to usher in a new era. In a new interview with MEN’S HEALTH, the actor discusses landing his role in BLUE BEETLE, the pressure of being the first major Latino superhero depicted on-screen, and more.
On the importance of Blue Beetle’s success: “It’s not a lie that if this doesn’t do well, this type of movie isn’t going to happen again for a while. It’s important to open those doors. It’s not just for Blue Beetle—it’s for the tons of other superheroes, and cultures, and stories that we need to tell.”
On Blue Beetle not trying to depict every Latino experience: “It’s impossible to encapsulate a whole culture in one movie—that’s not really the point. Inherently, because of our writer, [Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer], the characters we’re looking at, the director, [Angel Manuel Soto], and the actors involved, it’ll be Latino.”
On learning he landed his role in Blue Beetle: “[It] ended up turning into a one-on-eight dinner with everyone from production on Blue Beetle. The director, Angel Manuel Soto, surprised me. He just popped the question right there. I just remember thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, my mom doesn’t know about this, like nobody [knows].’ I’m like, ‘I know a secret. I know something that other people don’t.’”
On his training routine for Blue Beetle: “There was an added strength, and an added amount of weight that I needed to put on for the suit and to make sure that my body could handle what it would be like to be in a suit and move around.”
On stepping outside his comfort zone and letting himself be surprised by what comes his way next: “I could have never imagined Cobra Kai. I could have never seen myself in that role. I’ve never seen myself in a superhero freaking role. I’ve been very blessed to have people around me that see things in me that maybe I don’t. So I’ll stay on the lookout.”
[Photo Credit: Elliot James Kennedy for Men’s Health Magazine]
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