Miami Liftoff: Carlos Gómez

The Cuban actor presents his culture to the country on ABC's new show

Last Monday, all eyes were on Miami as ABC debuted on national television its show, The Baker and the Beauty. Set in our city, it’s about a baker working in his family’s Calle Ocho business who falls in love with an international superstar. The patriarch is played by Carlos Gómez, 58, who happens to be both Cuban and from Miami, leaving at age 19 to study musical theater in New York. He eventually landed roles in Lin Manuel Miranda’s original production of In the Heights and on the hit sitcom, Friends, playing a Latin poet who falls in love with Monica.

The Miami influence: “They let me put my two cents in when it came to things that were Cuban and were not Cuban. For example, we use a lot of Spanglish. When I could, I’d add my Cubanisms to give it more authentic feeling.”

Thoughts on a show about Cubans: “It’s cool because I’m representing my culture, it’s a Cuban family on network tv. The last one was I love Lucy.  It’s great because the show features an immigrant family that’s already been in the United States for over 10 years. As soon as you say ‘immigrant family’ you start to picture stereotypes. But this represents a culture like any other, Italian or Japanese, and shows we’re like any other family. We live in the US, we’re proud of living here, we’re hard working, and we don’t forget about where we came from.”

First thing you do when arriving home in Miami: “I eat a meal when I get off the plane — either lunch or dinner — I don’t wait for the city. I go to Versailles in the airport for vaca frita with black beans, white rice and a Materza, a Cuban cream soda. And then I get my bags.”

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