John Leguizamo, in conversation with Richard Wolinsky, recorded July 7, 2016 in the offices at Berkeley Rep, where Latin History for Morons had opened to rave reviews.
Growing up in Jackson Heights, New York, John Leguizamo got his start as a stand-up comedian in 1984. His earliest credit was in the TV show Miami Vice in 1988, followed by small film roles. His first major role was in the big budget Super Mario Brothers film opposite Bob Hoskins. Though critical and commercial flop, it led to a variety of interesting roles, most notably the Baz Luhrmann films Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge, as the drag queen Chi Chi in To Wong Foo, thanks for everything Julie Newmar, as Vinny in Spike Lee’s Summer of Sam, and as the voice of Sid in the Ice Age animated films.
His one-man shows have won great acclaim and several of them have been filmed for HBO, including Freak, directed by Spike Lee and Ghetto Klown. His memoir, Pimps, Hos, Playa Hatas and All the Rest of My Hollywood Friends: My Life, was published in 2008.
Latin History for Morons became an Netflix film in 2018 and is now available streaming.