Sure, there are reasons to be offended by the Latin Lover stereotype, but the more we think about the men we love, the more we realize that so many of these characteristics apply to them. Our husbands and significant others do tend to be more passionate than most men, they go over the top to express their love, and many of them, deep down inside, are hopeless romantics… and we love Every. Single. Moment!
Ironically enough, the first depiction of the “Latin Lover” on the big screen can’t even be claimed by a Hispanic actor. The most famous of all LLs, Rudolph Valentino, was actually Italian--go figure!
All of this talk of romance got us thinking about our favorite Latino actors who have made hearts pound all over the world with their sensuous depiction of lovers all of us dream about. Here’s an ode to our favorite Latin lovers! Happy Valentine’s Day…
Valentino paved the way for the Mexican-born Ramón Novarro, who became one of Hollywood’s sexiest leading men in spite of both his foreign heritage and his sexual orientation. He (literally) broke out in the 1925 silent film Ben-Hur: A Tale of The Christ, when his teeny-tiny outfit got all the ladies talking.
He may be most famous for his starring role on Fantasy Island, but Montalbán played big screen siren Lana Turner’s Brazilian paramour in the aptly titled film Latin Lover long before he became a TV star.
García has always been a sex symbol, but he turned the Latin Lover trope on it’s head with his critically acclaimed performance in When a Man Loves a Woman about a husband who has control issues with his alcoholic wife, and actually mans up to handle them and save the relationship.
Ever since Banderas burst on to the scene in Pedro Almodovar’s break-out hit Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, it’s been hard to keep our eyes off of him. But it was his turn as the dangerously sexy Desperado (in which he seduces a then little known actress named Salma Hayek) that really put him on the map.
Sigh…we can’t even THINK about how hot Bardem is in Eat, Pray, Love without feeling butterflies in our stomach. After his Oscar-winning turn as super spooky hitman Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men, it was refreshing to see the incredibly sexy Spaniard return to his leading man ways in the romantic drama.