Carlos Leon didn’t consider his role in Immigration Tango work. The actor – who is well known as Madonna’s ex and father to their daughter Lourdes, 14 – filmed the romantic comedy in Miami, where the cast frolicked on boats with little clothing. “How can you lose with this kind of scenery?” said Leon. Costar Elika Portnoy, who also was a writer on the script, agrees. “This film could have been anywhere, but Miami has the sex appeal, the Latin flavor, the beauty,’’ said Portnoy, who stars next in the thriller Sofia with Christian Slater and Donald Sutherland. Immigration Tango, about two couples who swap partners temporarily for a green card, is meant to be funny, but the big picture is more serious.
“Immigration is a touchy subject,’’ says Leon, who was born in New York but has Cuban relatives here. “We can’t forget where we came from.’’ Adds Portnoy, who is from Bulgaria and lives in Miami Beach: “The movie is topical; I know a lot of people who got married for papers.’’
Leon, 44, is still single but busy. He’s shopping around a reality show with the working title, Top Trainer. “It’s like Top Chef; ’’ says Leon, who has a personal training business.
“The show would have a panel of judges, who are also athletes, like Carl Lewis and Lance Armstrong. If you think you’re a great trainer, then bring it on.’’ Though he has little time for TV, Leon has one guilty pleasure: Jersey Shore.
“I don’t know why,’’ he admits. “I just feel like I’m so normal when I watch that show.’’ As for acting, Leon is looking into doing something in the horror genre. But he also makes time to be dad to Lourdes, who recently came out with her own fashion line, Material Girl. “Even as a little girl she always had a thing with clothes and putting together outfits and coordinating colors,’’ he notes. “I’m very proud of her; it’s something she’s passionate about. It’s not, ‘I’m doing it because I can.’ She works hard.’’