Arturo Castro
Actor and Comedian Arturo Castro behind-the-scenes for the "Totalmente" Super Bowl ad from Total by Verizon. Total by Verizon

Latino culture will play a salient role in the Big Game this Sunday. In hopes of incorporating more diverse audiences, TelevisaUnivision is running more than 90 hours of new programming leading up to its airing of a Spanish-language broadcast of the Super Bowl. The telecast will also include a variety of Spanish ads.

One of those ads is from Total by Verizon, a prepaid no-contract wireless carrier from Verizon. The ad brings back 90's Latin dance music with a new take on the hit merengue song "Suavemente" by Elvis Crespo.

But the spot doesn't only include emblematic Latin music, it also incorporates two major forces of Latin comedy. Directed by Venezuelan actor and comedian Fred Armisen, the commercial includes a surprise cameo from Guatemalan actor Arturo Castro.

In a recent interview with the Latin Times, Castro reflected on his experience working with the Telecommunications company.

"To be part of [Total by Verizon's] first Super Bowl Spanish-language commercial, which is such a quintessential American thing it's such a wink and such a reverence to how important the [Latino] culture is and how immersed we are in American culture," Castro said.

For a few years now, Latinos have been making their way into the pinnacle of American culture. In 2020, Shakira and Jennifer Lopez headlined the Big Game's halftime show, a milestone for artists that showcases their popularity and importance in the American market.

In that performance, the NFL and the artists highlighted Latin American culture through traditional dances, Spanish songs and other Latin guests like Bad Bunny and J Balvin.

Castro understands and recognizes the uptick in Latino culture in the U.S. and how artists have been key to this development. He jokes about his similarities with Shakira, for instance.

"The amount of times I get compared to Shakira, you wouldn't understand," he says between laughs. "I can hear the whispers when I walk down the street. The hair color is very similar and everything."

The actor first rose to prominence internationally in 2017, when he landed the role of David Rodriguez, son of Cali Cartel kingpin Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela, in season 3 of the Netflix series "Narcos." But he solidified his status when he created and starred in Comedy Central's "Alternatino with Arturo Castro," a sketch comedy show centering on life as a modern Latino man.

Through his success, the comedian recognizes those that came before him and their impact on Latin American comedy in the U.S., a reflection that became a full circle moment when he collaborated with fellow comedian Fred Armisen for the Total by Verizon Super Bowl ad.

Castro recalls first seeing Armisen in the 2004 comedy and adventure film "EuroTrip," and since then, being mesmerized by his art.

"To be able to work with him in this capacity at the same time while being in a freaking Super Bowl commercial, it's one of those moments where your chest feels like it's going to explode of gratitude. It was a completely surreal moment," he says.

But the Super Bowl is not the last bit of American culture the Latino seeks to conquer, as he continues to work with A-List celebrities like Jake Gyllenhaal and Conor McGregor in his upcoming film "Road House," which is set to premiere in March.

The upcoming project is a reimagining of the 1989 film by the same name, and it follows a former UFC middleweight fighter that ends up working at a roadhouse in the Florida Keys where things are "not as they seem."

The comedian compares the Super Bowl ad and the upcoming film. While they are not related or have similar premises whatsoever, he enjoyed the opportunity to be able to play a Latino who celebrates his culture, not focusing mostly on the struggles of the culture.

"We come to celebrate Latin joy," he says about these projects, "and that, to me, is just the best change that I've seen in the past 15 years."

Quinceañeras and uncles getting too rowdy are just some of the fondest memories attached to Castro's culture.

Regardless of these memories, though, the elephant in the room was still lingering, who will he be rooting for in the Super Bowl?

His teams for the 54th Super Bowl will be "Total by Verizon. Taylor Swift. And then some game going on in the background."

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.