Eugenio Derbez is one of the most famous Mexican artists and comedians of our generation. He is a well-known name across Latin America, as well as in Spanish-speaking households here in the U.S. But in Hollywood, he was just Eugenio.

In this episode of Latino USA, Eugenio talks about his transition from comedy star to dramatic actor, his most recent work in “Radical,” how he keeps his feet on the ground, and the joy of this reinvention process.

Read the episode transcript here.

He is an actor, writer, director and producer who got his start at the forefront of many comedy series in Mexico that have made families laugh for decades. You can still catch shows like “Al Derecho y al Derbez,” “Derbez en Cuando” and “La Familia P. Luche” in reruns today.

In recent years, Eugenio has reinvented himself in the U.S with supporting and leading roles in Hollywood films. The process was not easy because while he was a star in Mexico, in the United States he was just another actor trying to make it. This challenge gave him the opportunity to completely transform his career and become a dramatic actor.

“In the U.S. when they were offering me CODA, for example, I knew the director was not aware of my background or my characters or my TV shows. It was so refreshing,” Eugenio said.

Still from the movie, “Radical.” (Photo courtesy of Participant / Pantelion Films)

In 2021, Eugenio played the supporting role of a music teacher in the movie “CODA,” which went on to win the Oscar for Best Picture in 2022.

In 2023, he returned to Mexico to star in “Radical,” his first leading dramatic role. In “Radical,” he again plays the role of a teacher, Sergio, and one of his students is Paloma Noyola, a brilliant student in the border town of Matamoros. This time, the film is based on a true story.

Featured image courtesy of Participant / Pantelion Films.

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