John Leguizamo has prominently made a name for himself in the acting and voice-over world. He’s starred in many legendary movies while also writing and producing many of his own one-man shows, typically revolving around his life and the Latino heritage. You can come see him on July 26 at the Winspear Opera House. In the meantime, here are five of his great performances that made him the legend he is today.
5. Tybalt in Romeo + Juliet (1996)
Starring alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, this rendition of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet takes place in the modern day where horses are replaced with vehicles and rapiers with guns. Tybalt is one of the most known antagonists in literature and his death scene, portrayed by Leguizamo, shows off his emotional acting capabilities.
4. Henri de Toulouse Lautrec in Moulin Rouge (2001)
Moulin Rouge has become a legendary movie musical which is loved by musical theatre fans abroad. In it, Leguizamo plays the nearly-insane leader of performers who want to perform at the Moulin Rouge. John Leguizamo put a lot of research into his character and learned of the crazy life that the real-life artist had lived and fully portrayed all of it on screen.
3. Benny Blanco in Carlito’s Way (1993)
One of Leguizamo’s most notable roles was when he played the main antagonist, Benny Blanco from the Bronx, in a movie starring alongside Al Pacino as the title character. He plays a cold-blooded killer which fit perfectly with his comic personality, which has earned him a spot on IMDb’s Top 500 Villain Actors as #83.
2. Sid in Ice Age (2002, 2006, 2009, 2012, 2016)
Sid is perhaps one of his most beloved characters even though many people don’t realize Leguizamo is the voice behind him. When it came out, Ice Age became an instant hit starring other talented actors such as Ray Romano. Sid is a ground sloth who lives in the historic Ice Age and is joined by two other protagonists, Manny the Mammoth and Diego the Saber-toothed Tiger. Leguizamo creates a highly memorable comic character with a lisp (due to sloths typically carrying food in their mouths) which has gone down in history as some of the best voice-over work in animated film.
1. John Leguizamo’s Freak (1998)
Even though Leguizamo had a successful career on the silver screen, his passion lied on the stage where he created stories revolving around his life and the Latino culture. He was inspired to do so because of his early film career where he mainly played thugs and gangsters. His goal was to disprove these stereotypes. Eventually, he ended up writing Freak which was his first show that took place on a Broadway stage. The show revolved around his story and how he grew up in New York and was led to a career in acting and comedy. The hilarious production won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding One-Person Show alongside two Tony nominations for Best Play and Best Leading Actor in a Play.
Today, John Leguizamo is performing his new hit straight off of Broadway, Latin History for Morons, after he was disappointed about Latino figures barely appearing in his son’s American History textbooks. He takes it upon himself to teach the history of his people from the Aztecs to Pitbull. It is coming to the Winspear Opera House on Friday, July 26. Get tickets here!
Aurelio in John Wick and John Wick: Chapter 2
Luigi Mario in Super Mario Bros.
Dr. Victor Clemente in ER
Felix Ramirez in Collateral Damage
Rat #2 in Dr. Doolittle
Chi-Chi Rodriguez in To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar
Burke in Die Hard 2
Latin History for Morons:
Sneak Peek of Latin History for Morons: