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¡Feliz año nuevo a todos! Let's start the year by looking at 10 performances you won't want to miss on the big screen.
Michael Peña – Gangster Squad
Michael Peña's career is rapidly building momentum. Last year he costarred with Jake Gyllenhaal in the crime drama End of Watch and this year he's fighting another batch of criminals with Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn and Josh Brolin in Gangster Squad as Officer Navidad Ramirez. The Chicago native is currently filming Diego Luna's Cesar E. Chavez biopic. Pena will play the title role alongside Rosario Dawson as Dolores Huerta.
Sofía Vergara – Fading Gigolo
Colombian bombshell Sofia Vergara embraces yet another comedic role in Fading Gigolo but this time she stars opposite Sharon Stone as her lesbian lover. John Turturro will direct and play a gigolo in the film, while actor-director Woody Allen will be featured as a pimp. Early set images show Vergara wearing a revealing lace number that is certain to get the guys into theaters.
Oscar Isaac – Inside Llewyn Davis
Cuban-Guatemalan actor Oscar Isaac teased us last year with a quick cameo in The Bourne Legacy but this year fans will get to enjoy Isaac's dramatic acting chops in the Coens' Inside Llewyn Davis, his biggest lead role to date. The film focuses on the early 1960s folk-music scene in Greenwich Village and gave Isaac the opportunity to step into the lead and show off his guitar skills with his character loosely based on real folk musician Dave Van Ronk. Need your Oscar Isaac fix now? Here's what you can watch in the meantime, click here.
Alexa Vega – Machete Kills
Spy Kids star Alexa Vega is all grown up now and she's not afraid to show off her newly enlarged... assets. The 24-year-old actress, who recently divorced her 36-year-old husband Sean Covel, is set to play KillJoy, a whorehouse bodyguard. So, yeah, expect a lot of nudity. Other beauties in the film include Sofia Vergara, Amber Heard, Vanessa Hudgens, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez and Lady Gaga.
Zoe Saldana – Star Trek Into Darkness
Karl Urban, Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, Anton Yelchin and Simon Pegg return to the big screen in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness. Zaldana will reprise her role as Uhura and based on the latest photos released she's looking mighty deadly. According to Variety, Demian Bichir auditioned for the role of the villain, which was first introduced to Benicio Del Toro, but was ultimately given to British actor Benedict Cumberbatch. The intense secrecy behind the plot continues to fuel curiosity making it one of the most anticipated films of 2013.
Eva Mendes – The Place Beyond the Pines
Eva Mendes embraces her maternal side for the second time in The Place Beyond the Pines. Directed by Derek Cianfrance, the film stars Ryan Gosling as a stunt driver who struggles to provide for his newborn son and considers joining a world of crime. The film also stars Bradley Cooper and Rose Byrne. Mendes and Gosling play a romantic couple.
Here’s what Mendes shared with me about director Derek Cianfrance last year. "I had the opportunity to work with Derek Cianfrance in The Place Beyond the Pines. I’m such a huge fan of his. I’ve never worked like how he works. He’s incredibly intense and I was so creatively excited to work with him. I’m just trying to have fun because I can."
Javier Bardem – The Counselor
If you're ever in need of a villain you know you can count on Javier Bardem to deliver the bloody goods. Ridley Scott got the memo and cast him in his latest thriller, The Counselor. The Spanish actor will costar alongside Michael Fassbender, who plays a lawyer who finds himself in over his head when he taps into drug trafficking. Also joining the cast is Penelope Cruz, Brad Pitt and Cameron Diaz. Check out our favorite Javier Bardem on-screen moments here.
Diego Luna – Elysium
Director Neill Blomkamp, who brought us District 9, returns to the big screen with his sophomore project Elysium, starring Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley and Diego Luna. Luna will play Damon's best friend in the film and two will try to survive in a hellish world set in 2159.
Jenni Rivera – Filly Brown
Fans of the late Jenni Rivera will be able to admire La Reina de la Banda on the big screen in Filly Brown, an indie film that premiered at Sundance last year. Rivera played an incarcerated drug-addict mother whose daughter (Gina Rodriguez) takes on rapping in order to free her mother. Rivera costarred with Edward James Olmos, who also produced the film, and Lou Diamond Phillips. The film is scheduled to hit theaters in spring of 2013.
Michelle Rodriguez – Fast Six
After fans of the Fast and the Furious franchise petitioned for the return of Michelle Rodriguez as Letty, through a viral YouTube campaign, Universal decided to bring her back from the dead and back into the storyline. She'll be joining Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibson and Dwayne Johnson.
I interviewed Rodriguez last year at Comic-Con where she confessed that the beauty of the Fast and Furious franchise "is this cultural unity. I love it when you bring different cultures together and make a really awesome movie that entertains people and you don’t talk about the fact that you’re different from each other, kind of like Star Trek. Star Trek I think started that sh*t a long time ago."
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