Puerto Rican heartthrob and Miami homeboy Carlos Ponce has crooned chart-topping Latin pop hits, starred in the telenovelas Guadalupe and Sentimientos Ajenos (even singing their theme songs), and hosted Latin American versions of The Voice and American Idol.
But until starring in the new ABC sitcom Cristela (8:30 p.m. Fridays), he hadn’t had many opportunities to show off his comedy chops. “I came into this thinking I didn’t stand a chance when I auditioned,” said Ponce, who plays Felix, the long-suffering brother-in-law of the title character, played by stand-up comedienne Cristela Alonzo.
“I’ve read for a lot of shows where there is a Latin family, but — how do I put this in the most diplomatic way? — the blend wasn’t necessarily there for what the stereotype is. The role is of Mexican descent, and I have my Miami accent, but I do my best to neutralize it as much as I can.”
The laughs don’t end with Cristela for Ponce. He’s also in writer/director Paul Feig’s upcoming comedy Spy opposite star Melissa McCarthy, who plays a bumbling secret agent, plus Rose Byrne, Jason Statham and Jude Law. The film is set to hit theaters on Memorial Day weekend.