Jimmy Smits: How To Hit New Heights


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The explosion in media platforms - from streaming services to podcasts - means more programming is being produced and consumed than ever before. But despite the boom in content, representation of Latinos in major roles in film, television and on stage still doesn’t match the significant role the Latino community plays in American life.

People deserve to feel that their lives and stories are important and worthy of being told. At their best, TV and film characters can help us break down stereotypes so that people of all backgrounds believe they can chart their own course in life and achieve whatever role they want to play, whether on screen or in society.

Jimmy Smits has spent his career bringing to life some of the most memorable characters we've ever seen in shows and movies from “LA Law,” “NYPD Blue,” and “The West Wing,” to “Dexter,” “Sons of Anarchy,” and “Star Wars.” As a co-founder of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, he's also worked tirelessly to improve representation and given hundreds of promising young Latino students the opportunity to pursue their dreams in the arts.

On the season one finale of “Why Am I Telling You This?,” Jimmy joins President Clinton to discuss how he approaches his craft and some of his favorite characters, his role in the upcoming film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In The Heights,” and his work to expand opportunities for Latinos in front of and behind the camera.

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