Octavia Spencer spoke to the idea of playing a maid in her acceptance speech for her 2012 Golden Globe for her work in The Help. She said, "You know, with regards to, domestics in this country, now and then, Dr. [Martin Luther] King said it best, 'All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance,' and I thank you for recognizing that with this film." Click here and here for more info.
Lupe Ontiveros also speaks about playing a maid in this video.
And while having a Latina play a domestic may be stereotypical, we do salute the consistently stellar work she brings to the stage and screen.
Besides, we know a lot more about this well-rounded, talented artist.
This longtime HOLA member was recently honored with a 2011 HOLA Award of Special Recognition for her over 40 years of work in film, television and theater.
Her film credits include Critical Condition, The Yards, Abuela's Revolt, La ciudad (The City), The Blue Diner (which starred her son José Yenque), Trust the Man, Liberty Kid, Cedar Rapids, Musical Chairs, and others. Her television credits include the recurring role of Carmela on "Ed," "30 Rock" (where she played Salma Hayek's grandmother), "The Division," "Rescue Me," "The Sopranos," "Hope and Faith" and the abovementioned "Law & Order" and "Law & Order Special Victims Unit" episodes. For more information, click here.
Onstage, she appeared on numerous theaters across New York City and regionally across the U.S.. She also appeared on Broadway in the Roundabout Theatre revival of Tennessee Williams' play A Streetcar Named Desire at New York's famous Studio 54. The revival starred Natasha Richardson and John C. Reilly. This blogger saw that production and in this blogger's humble opinion, Ms. Yenque stole every scene in which she appeared.
She is a jewel in the Latino theater scene (and New York and American theater scenes). Her work in film and television has been always been memorable and of the highest caliber. In her own words, "Nobody knows Teresa Yenque... by name. They know my face though. And when people stop me in the street and tell me that I made them laugh in this film or made them cry in this show, I feel good because it means I am accomplishing my mission as an artist."
Hopefully, more people will know her name as well as her face. Someone of her talent deserves that much.
Excellence at Work.