Comedian George Lopez has been working in the entertainment business for nearly 40 years so he knows a thing or two about Hollywood.
“This business is hard for everybody. It’s harder for some people. But it’s a hard business. If every Latino actor didn’t go to their jobs, Hollywood would still exist. If every white actor didn’t go to their jobs, it would not exist,” says Lopez.
Growing up as working class kid with Mestizo Mexican heritage, Lopez didn’t get into the entertainment industry through privilege. Instead, he had to work hard and make a name for himself.
“No one’s gonna do you a favor. No one’s gonna knock on your door and say, do you want to be an actor? Go after it. Don’t expect success. Just work hard,” he says.
While Lopez acknowledges things are tougher in Hollywood for non-white people, he also refuses to say the industry is inherently “racist.”
“I won’t say racist. Is there bias? Yes. But when you’re good, they’ll find you. And if you’re good, they’ll use you.”
Lopez’s body of work has included a television sitcom, numerous movies roles, voice-over work, and successful comedy tours.
But when he started doing comedy, Lopez said he never expected to be a star or to be famous – he just wanted to be funny.
“I was just trying to be prepared for a moment that presented itself,” he says.
For those looking to break into the industry, Lopez recommends “worrying less about what people think of you.”
“Don’t look at yourself as only a Latino and write stories that are human because the human story is our story. And you don’t have to make everybody Latino. Just don’t even write any color. Just write to what you know and don’t make it one thing or another, because humanity has no color and conflict and love don’t have any color.”
George Lopez’s latest comedy special, “We’ll Do It For Half,” is currently streaming on Netflix.