Take a look back at the history of the Rogue One star in our Diego Luna movies spotlight
Known internationally through his extensive career in Latin America, Luna got his start as a kid. He got his major start on a kids television soap called Carrusel in Mexico which launched him into becoming a household name throughout the ’90s and is part of the wave of Mexican born actors to branch out into American cinema in the early 2000s.
Read on for our guide to the best Diego Luna movies, featuring quite a few notable appearances over the last 15 years. You may have seen some and some others you might want to brush up on before Rogue One hits theaters December 15.
Y Tu Mamá También (2001)
Alfonso Cuaron, who had gained notoriety in the states for films like Great Expectations and A Little Princess, returned to Mexican cinema with Y Tu Mama Tambien. The film was a coming-of-age story that starred Diego Luna and real-life buddy Gael Garcia Bernal. The road trip picture, where the two discover themselves with an older woman, was critically-acclaimed and nominated for best screenplay at the 2003 Academy Awards.
In 2002, Diego Luna appeared in Julie Taymor‘s Frida. Based off the life of famous Mexican artist Frida Kahlo (Salma Hayek), the film received cinematic recognition and won two Academy Awards. Luna played Alejandro Gonzalez Arias, one of the Frida’s boyfriends that she painted a portrait of.
Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004)
Imagined as a reboot to Dirty Dancing, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights followed the same basic plot as the original film from the ’80s starring Patrick Swayze (who had a cameo in the film). Luna starred as the film’s lead who seduces a young American girl through dance in the backdrop of pre-revolutionary Cuba.
The Terminal (2004)
Steven Spielberg’s endearing comedy The Terminal was Luna’s first major motion picture breakout role. In it, he plays a food service worker at the airport where Tom Hank‘s character lives, who becomes his friend and helps him out in exchange to learn more about the woman he has a crush on. That woman was played by Zoe Saldana and is depicted as being a huge Star Trek fan. Coincidentally, Saldana would go on to play Nyota Uhura in J.J. Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek and its two sequels, Star Trek Into Darkness and Star Trek Beyond.
Based on the Argentinian film Nine Queens, Criminal is a heist movie that stars Luna alongside John C. Reilly and Maggie Gyllenhaal. The trio play con artists out to steal from a collector who happens to be in town.
Mister Lonely (2007)
The 2007 indie film follows Luna who plays a young man who makes a living as a Michael Jackson look-a-like. Through him, Harmony Korine‘s quirky film explores the worlds of look-a-likes and their lives through the director’s distinctive lens.
Diego Luna also starred in Milk, the biographical film based on the life of gay rights activist and politician Harvey Milk (Sean Penn). Gus Van Sant directed an incredible ensemble that includes James Franco, Josh Brolin and Emile Hirsch. Luna himself played one of Milk’s boyfriends, with whom he shared a tumultuous relationship.
Rudo y Cursi (2008)
Carlos Cuarón (brother of Alfonso Cuarón) enlisted Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal for his directorial debut. The duo portray two half-brothers who dream of a life outside of their banana plantation. Both are looked at to join a national soccer team and the film centers on the conflict between the two as they compete.
Casa de Mi Padre (2012)
Starring alongside Will Ferrell, Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal re-teamed for this Adam McKay-produced comedy. Styled like a Mexican telenovela, the film centers around Ferrell and Luna as siblings who have to protect their ranch from a powerful drug lord all while fighting over the same woman (Genesis Rodriguez).
A year later, Diego Luna also appeared in Neill Blomkamp‘s science fiction picture Elysium. With a cast that included Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, the ambitious film didn’t receive the recognition that District 9 did. Luna again takes aim at the sci-fi genre in Rogue One in what we hope is more than of a leading role than as Matt Damon’s buddy.
The Book of Life (2014)
In the Guillermo Del Toro-produced animated film The Book of Life, Diego Luna stars as Manolo. Directed by Jorge R. Gutierrez, the film explores the cultural mythology of the Latin American ‘Day of the Dead’ tradition through a love story centering around Manolo and Maria (voiced by Luna’s The Terminal co-star, Zoe Saldana) as they’re robbed of a chance at a happy life when his is unfairly taken away. He embarks on a journey in the afterlife to find a way to make things right and reunite with his love.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
Directed by Gareth Edwards, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is set for release on December 16, 2016. Luna plays Captain Cassian Andor opposite Felicity Jones (Inferno, The Theory of Everything) as Jyn Erso and Mads Mikklesen as her father, Galen Erso. The film’s cast also includes Donnie Yen (Ip Man, Blade II) as the blind spiritual warrior Chirrut Imwe, Jiang Wen (Let the Bullets Fly, Devils on the Doorstep) as his heavily armored best friend Baze Malbus, Alan Tudyk (Firefly) as the droid K-2SO, Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler, Four Lions) as the Rebel pilot Bodhi Rook, plus Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland) as Saw Gerrera, a character first introduced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Ben Mendelsohn (Bloodline, Mississippi Grind) as the film’s main antagonist, Director Orson Krennic.
Which of these Diego Luna movies is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!