Diego Luna reposted a fan’s emotional comment: ‘Representation matters’

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has just crossed the $800 million mark and it will keep going from there. From a major blockbuster perspective, the cast was more diverse than we’ve seen and hopefully will be an example on which future movies can build. Many Rogue One stars have spoken about how diversity was important to them and how proud they were to be a part of a more blended ensemble. One such person was Diego Luna who, in addition to having a major crush on Jabba the Hutt, felt seeing different faces and hearing a variety of accents was important to the movie going public. A fan on Tumblr who goes by the name riveralwaysknew posted a beautiful testament confirming this when she spoke about taking her father to see Rogue One. When Diego read her story, he reposted it in the following tweet:

Show of hands – who got through that without a catch in their throat? Anyone? I’m having a hard time figuring out who I am in love with more – Diego, the girl who wrote this or her dad. I think I’ll just have a collective crush on all of them. Diego is very proud of his heritage and being a representative for Mexico on screen. As is posted above, that includes maintaining his natural accent. So of course this story touched him particularly, to know that he is representing and it is making a difference. I realize Rogue One wasn’t complete in it’s diversity but I do think it took a step in the right direction.

When riveralwaysknew found out Diego had addressed her post, she responded, “I am so touched that Diego took the time to tweet about it and I know my 60-year’old, very chill dad, is going to FREAK OUT.” If you want more feel goods, check out Diego’s twitter feed for all of the people who send him Jabba pictures and his personal lovefest with Mark Hamill.

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Photo credit: Twitter and Fame/Flynet Photos

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56 Responses to “Diego Luna reposted a fan’s emotional comment: ‘Representation matters’”

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  1. Mia4S says:

    I LOVED this! And I feel a bit guilty for spending most of the movie just thinking about how sexy Diego was. 😏 Seriously though given the lame job DC and Marvel have done with Latino representation, Star Wars wins this round of the mega franchises.

    Diversity should be the norm and if diversity in all the things means Diego Luna in all the things I’m even more for it! 😉

    • TQB says:

      Co-sign, especially the sexiness. But you know, he was sexy because of the depth of the character he created. This was hands down the most well-acted SW film and I wish that was getting more attention.

  2. Miss M says:

    It is always a good day when we start it with Diego Luna! Thanks, Hecate!!!!!
    I got all emotional reading riveralwaysknew post. Representation does matter! I am glad her dad experienced that. :)

  3. Lucy says:

    I love, love, loooooove him. So very much.

  4. A says:

    This really hits home with me, because my dad also had a similar reaction to Aziz Ansari’s father’s cameo on Master of None. They honestly give up so much to come and start over in a new country and the least that people can do for them in return is create some characters and representation that isn’t the same, tired, often very racist immigrant parent trope that gets done to death. Especially if you’re a child of immigrant parents who is working in the entertainment industry and creating stories and worlds to which their parents have also likely made a contribution.

    • Erinn says:

      That episode of Master of None really got me. It was done so well.

      When you’re creating a character – you probably don’t NEED it to be a white guy. Unless race is a very specific, main plot point – what difference does it make? How hard would it be to do a casting call that’s more dependent on age/build/attitude and just leave race out of it? How many talented people are overlooked because they don’t perfectly fit the box that the writer/casting people want.

      if it’s a fictional character that you’re creating out of nowhere, there is no need to make them look a very specific way. It should be more about hitting the ‘style’ of the character, and being able to deliver the kind of performance you need. And when you’re not making them a caricature or stereotype, it’s going to feel authentic.

      Watching Rogue One – when it came to diversity I remember briefly thinking “hey, the people look a lot more diverse, that’s cool”. That’s it. It didn’t take away from the story. It didn’t ‘distract me’. It didn’t annoy me. If anything, it was a nice change, and it made me appreciate the movie more. It’s space. It’s another galaxy separate from earth – why wouldn’t there be diversity – especially when it came to people coming from different planets, or regions, or whatever. If you can create a wookie, why not expand your casting calls past ‘white dudes’.

    • lucy2 says:

      That was an exceptionally well done episode. The whole series is great, but that one really was touching.

  5. OSTONE says:

    As a Mexican born woman, living in the South east, this made me tear up. Bien hecho, Diego Luna!

  6. Caitlin Bruce says:

    Yeah I definitely got a lump in my throat. Sometimes actors social media ruins them for me it’s a dangerous thing but he’s definitely went up a few notches(he was already pretty high anyway)

  7. Ramona says:

    I’m not crying, thats just rain water streaming down my face.

  8. Val says:

    I fucking LOVE Diego Luna, ever since his y tu mama tambien days. SWOOON. Love his fan’s comments. So important and true.

    • QQ says:

      Same, I love love love him, i’m so so Happy him and Gael have so much success

    • Morgan says:

      Me, too. I’m even feeling the need to rewatch Havana Nights, which is utterly terrible, for him!

      • hogtowngooner says:

        He was the only reason I kept watching that trash movie lol. That and the costumes were really nice.

      • teacakes says:

        I love Havana Nights, and I have zero shame about it. Sure,I watched it only because I was a fan of Diego, but by the end of the movie I was a fan of Romola too, their chemistry is perfect.

  9. Insomniac says:

    Yep, I got teary reading this. Nice to read something pleasant today.

  10. Veronica says:

    I saw that post a few days ago, and it was very touching. I have a few Hispanic users on my tumblr list who posted similar sentiments, especially in a time as harrowing for ethnic minorities as it is now.

    (I am also up for any excuse available to gaze upon the splendor that is Diego Luna’s face.)

  11. freebunny says:

    As much as I understand this person, as much as I think it’s horrible people may think the only way to have a successful career is to have a successful career at Hollywood.

    Like an actor can only be seen as good and respected if he was in some HW blockbuster.

    More power to Diego Luna, but mexican cinema is also respectable by itself and you’re not less an actor if you do your career in your country.

    • TQB says:

      Great point. Mexican cinema is outstanding, period.

    • Mia4S says:

      I don’t think it’s so much about Hollywood being the only way. He’s had great success outside of Hollywood but no one can deny this level of world exposure is a huge deal. While I imagine this will lead to some big opportunities, it also has a nice side effect. The movie is going to make over a billion dollars, meaning many people are discovering these actors for the first time. Many of those people are then going to seek out their earlier work. That is additional exposure for Mexican films and maybe broadens a few fans’ tastes. Blockbuster fame can have its uses as long as you keep your head.

      Shout out to all the teen girls watching Y tu mama tambien for the first time! Yes in some countries movie studios are not afraid of sex! You’ve taken your first step into a larger world.

      • freebunny says:

        In some perfect world, it would.
        But how many Batman’s fans have checked Marion’s french work for exemple?
        Not so many.
        Does Marion’s HW success helps french cinema in the US? Or get french movies more exposure? I don’t think so.
        So a bunch of fangirls will see Y tu mama tambien, but the general balance will stay the same.

  12. Sixer says:

    I choked up.

  13. SusanneToo says:

    “I’m having a hard time figuring out who I am in love with more – Diego, the girl who wrote this or her dad. I think I’ll just have a collective crush on all of them.”

    Yep, all of them is the correct answer. And so happy for her father – he has a good daughter.

  14. Tallia says:

    I needed to read something like this after that horrid 2016. <3 #hatehasnohomehere

  15. mp says:

    I don’t understand the natural accent thing, I mean is not like he can change it, us not native english speakers, even with good english almost always have a different accent right? Even Pedro Pascal who has been for a long time is the US has a little accent.
    I think the important idea is that he’s not ashamed of his accent, more that he didn’t change it.

    • Ramona says:

      I’m surprised Pedro Pascal, who isnt Mexican or even a household name is getting a namecheck over Salma Hayek. If you are looking for a recent Mexican actor who started in Mexican cinema and retained their accent to great success in Hollywood, she should be the first to come to mind. I dont think Diego is doing anything new or claiming to. His fans are just recognising how cool it is that the biggest franchise in history has an accented Mexican in a lead role. Its a milestone especially given the “build the wall” rhetoric of the last two years.

      • mp says:

        I used the Pedro Pascal reference, because I read he actually went quite young to USA, like a teen I think, so that’s why he’s got an almost no accent :)
        Salma went to USA when she was older, I even think that in her case, she had quite a basic english that improved trough the years.

    • Trillion says:

      I think a lot of actors train and study accents and are indeed able to change their own. He could have trained the accent out entirely or at least diminished it, but chose not to.

      • mp says:

        Sure, but im not talking about someone like Gary Oldman speaking english in different accents, im talking about us regular people who speak spanish (or any other language) but once we speak a secong language we still have an accent, what i mean is that that accent you guys mention, I dont think he can really change it, and thus that’s why he’s proud of it and not ashamed.

        For instance Viggo Mortensen, he speaks spanish fluently even with an argentinian accent! but still he has a small acent, and I think it’s natural, he can’t change it, same with Gwyneth, she even speaks with a spanish accent (Spain), but also has her accent (the one we associate with gringos lol :D )

      • DOROTEA says:

        You can’t change your accent when you are speaking a different language. You can change your accent when you are speaking the same language (I.E. Different regions or countries who speak same language with different accent such as Australia/Canada/USA/Great Britain etc etc etc. An adult’s vocal chords are hardwired to suit their native tongue but a child’s can still be moulded, that’s why anyone who learn a second language after puberty will get stuck with their native country accent.

      • Locke Lamora says:

        How come Diane Kruger or Diego Boneta have no accent then?

    • Cee says:

      Don’t forget some of us, non-english native speakers, attend british schools/english institutions and learn the language from such a young age we don’t have an accent at all, instead picking up a standard american or RP British one.

  16. serena says:

    After whatching Rogue One, Diego Luna is my new crush!

  17. Nicole says:

    The daughter also filmed her dad reacting to Diego tweeting about the post. I want to hug them all

  18. lucy2 says:

    I really loved the original post, and Diego for not only taking the time to read it, but sharing it. I think a lot of people felt like this woman’s father did, and that can really have an impact.
    Representation matters so much. I’m happy they had such a diverse cast, and a woman in a lead role – a role where her gender wasn’t a factor and there was no romantic subplot.

  19. robyn says:

    What a beautiful heartwarming example of why representation matters.

  20. Fran says:

    So many good things about Rogue One including the ethnic diversity of the cast. But where the hell were the other women???!!!

  21. MellyMel says:

    And this is why representation really matters. Imagine how many people (especially kids) had the same reaction as this father.

  22. Adrien says:

    I was about to side-eye Diego for tweeting a Tumblr post but the fan who posted it came out to WaPo to prove she is legit. The dad as well. Even if it was not real, his accent rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. Lots of jerks on my FB timeline are complaining why Diego didn’t even bother to change his accent like Oscar Isaac did. Huh?! Oscar was raised here. If Diego was Spaniard like Javier Bardem no one will ever care but alas he is from Mexico. They should be wearing a Stormtrooper outfit not an Imperial uniform. They pointed out that his accent didn’t get in the way when securing Hollywood roles. He was asked to tone it down in The Terminal. His character in Milk was underwritten and was mostly edited out. His character in Elysium died instantly. Meanwhile his buddy Gael keeps getting better roles because he can do an American accent. Another complain was, he is half-white therefore not allowed to represent Latinos. Here we go again with the half white thing. We had that with Jessie Williams. I could go on.
    Anyway, I was lucky to meet him the other day, not exactly met-met but I just saw him signing autographs. He has no security (shame, Disney) so fans just kept stroking his hair. He was very accommodating. He is gorgeous in real life. I always thought he is a fine slice of meat but his underbite is distracting. In person, his face makes sense. He is truly guapisimo. Even his facial lines are cute. I am not fangaying that much, am I? Cheers, Diego! You are now an action figure. I can now see you in a non arthouse nude film wherein only 5 of us horny gays will download illegally. I hope you finally get to touch Jabba. As if Sean Penn wasn’t leathery enough.

  23. Saks says:

    I am Mexican and I can’t tell you how emotional this is for many of us. After almost two years listening openly racists comments againsts us and our culture, suddenly there is one of us as a main character in a movie of the biggest franchise in the world. Yes, representation does matter.

    My bf just came back from NY and he brought the Captain Cassian action figure, he was so excited!

    The best thing is that this feeling is shared by other poc people which saw themselves represented in the other characters. Film critic Zaki Hassan responded to Diego’s tweet, saying that he felt the same way about Riz Ahmed and his kids watching a movie starring someone who looked like them.

    P.d.: honest question, why some people are still complaining lack of diversity in Rogue One?

    • Alarmjaguar says:

      I don’t know for sure, but I assume it is the lack of diverse female characters.

    • Kate says:

      The lead is female, but beyond that the cast is almost exclusively male.

      • detta says:

        The lead is a female, gets top billing, is largest on all artwork. Also: Mon Mothma is female and one of the most powerful politicians in the Star Wars universe. In the higher ranks of the Rebel Alliance other females and female poc can be seen (and speak out). There are female fighter pilots. So there is quite a bit of representation outside of the group of the main six. And you can only squeeze so many characters into a core cast. So you have the ‘main’ main two being female and male, one droid, an Asian fighter team which can be interpreted as gay and a pilot who is not a white dude. I think complaining about not enough diversity or not enough females is not called for in this case. They really tried to bring a balance to it and imho for the most part succeeded wonderfully.

        Re that tweet: I found it via a link someone gave on AO3 a few days ago and read it and teared up. Went back and read it again every day since and had a lump in my throat and a grin on my face each time. It feels so good for her dad and beyond that for everybody in Mexico/Mexican.
        Now today I catch up with Celebitchy and some entertainment news and find this! The fact Diego read and re-tweeted it is so sweet. So many years after Y Tu Mama and here were are! Love it. And 2016 was so crap in many aspects, entertainment and otherwise, but at least Rogue One gave us some good stuff (on and off screen).

  24. Umila says:

    I needed a reason to be less obsessed with Diego Luna. Omg. I get to cry at work this morning and I’m an even bigger fan (if possible). He is the best. If you follow his Twitter feed, you’ll see how amazing he is to his fans. He’ll post inspirational messages and artwork that his followers have sent him. He seems so humble and gracious to be where he is. Love love love this man. I’m happy for the people that took such positivity from his casting. My husband is Mexican and I know he was ecstatic to see someone with a similar accent to him. I’m going to be gross for a minute and say it is sexy as hell. Sigh. I’d love to see more actors from different ethnic backgrounds. A lot of talented people are being overlooked and I’m tired of seeing ‘this is the movie of the year’, starring: George Clooney, Bradley Cooper, or Ryan Reynolds. I remember when it was Jude Law in almost every movie and Chris Rock made fun of it. Not surprisingly, C.R. suffered a lot of criticism for pointing out the obvious.

  25. Nina says:

    *Sigh* He’s so handsome in a very unassuming way. I never really took notice of him, but the more I see him, the more dreamy I find him.

    And it only makes sense that the character maintain Luna’s accent. Like I said on another site with regards to the same story, if Alec Guinness and Daisy Ridley were able to keep their British accents playing Obi-Wan and Rey, then actors with non-British accents should be allowed to keep theirs for the characters they’re playing in the SW franchise.

    The casts for this new generation of SW films continue to impress me. I just hope to see more women of colour in future films (we’ve already got an Asian girl in Episode 8, so baby steps!). The original trilogy was a huge source of inspiration to filmmakers (still is), and I hope that the diversity of the newer casts inspires more directors/writers/producers to “take chances” with non-white and female leads in the future. Representation is now more important than ever.

    • teacakes says:

      Exactly, it’s a fantasy world with multiple planets, there’s no need for everyone to have a standard British/American accent!

      And Diego really is dreamy, and SO adorable on the press circuit for Rogue One. I’ve had a crush on him for the last 15 years and after Rogue One let’s just say it’s not going away anytime soon lol.

  26. I Choose Me says:

    Oh hai Onion god. Thanks for stopping by.

  27. LaDiabla says:

    I’ve loved Diego forever, he seems like a such a genuinely kind guy. And a great actor. And fine and sexy as hell. Although I’m a star wars fan, I was just meh about Rogue One until I learned he was cast. Made it a must-see for me. Take note Hollywood, this is the caliber of actor you need to take chances on, who consistently delivers great performances. I hope Rogue One gives him a wider opportunity for more roles, though I’m sure he’ll continue to do great work regardless.
    And yes, Mexican cinema is awesome, period.

  28. Cee says:

    I cried a little bit. I’m latin with a standard american accent and get so pissed when someone mocks another for their heavy accents.

  29. Susan says:

    I too love Diego and this story and then I scrolled down to the picture and saw one woman among all the men and thought, “so much for diversity then!”

  30. teacakes says:

    ngl, I teared up too.

    Maybe the representation isn’t perfect, but I love that we’re getting to see Star Wars feature a broader vision of the world. And also if anyone has seen Diego, Felicity, Donnie Yen & Co in Rogue One, it’s clear that Disney actually did the best thing for themselves by opening up their casting criteria from the usual white men – not to tick off the boxes, but to access an even wider spectrum of talent than they would have had otherwise. Because the cast really is fantastic.