With a rise in Spanish and latino cinema and series on Netflix, more and more Spanish speaking stars are coming to the limelight. And we’re using that as a fantastic opportunity to help improve our Spanish. We think it’s fantastic that there are more known Spanish speaking celebrities than ever before, not only because it’s more representative but also because it’s useful for us as language learners.
Here are our favourite Spanish speaking celebrities. We could just listen to them all day and we hope you could too.
Famous Spanish Speaking Celebrities
Penelope Cruz is probably the most famous actress to have come out of Spain within her generation. Not only did she build an incredibly successful career for herself within Spanish cinema but she also moved over to Hollywood. For English speakers, you may know her best from Vanilla Sky, Pirates of the Caribean or Loving Pablo, but her appearances in Spanish cinema are far more and far greater. These are some of our favourite Spanish films that have featured Penelope Cruz:
- Los abrazos rotos
- Todo sobre mi madre
Shakira may be the most famous Spanish speaking celebrity in the world so of course we had to include her on this list. She is a star in her own right and the fact that she is Colombian makes her even better to us. Not only does she sound amazing when she speaks Spanish, her mastery of the English language is also fantastic. If you’ve only listening to Shakira singing in English up until now then we would highly recommend you switch over to Spanish and listen to some of her songs.
- La bicicleta
No list of Spanish speaking celebrities would be complete without Antonio Banderas, most famous in the English speaking world for his role as Zoro, but even more famous in the Spanish speaking world for his roles in the following films:
- La piel que habito
Javier Bardem is an incredible actor who won an oscar for his role in No Country for Old Men. He’s also starred in huge hits like Skyfall and Loving Pablo. But if you haven’t watched any of his Spanish speaking films now’s the time. Our top recommendations would be:
- Mar adentro
- Jamón Jamón
Country: Puerto Rico, USA
Ricky Martin first became famous for his hit song Living la vida loca. He changed his name from Enrique Martín to the more English sounding Ricky Martin and would sing in English to appeal to the American market. However as latino culture has become more popular in the USA, Ricky Martin is finding he can sing in Spanish and still appeal to the American market.
Check out the following Ricky Martin songs:
- Vente pa’ ca
- Tal Vez
- La Bomba
Famous for his role as Oberyn in Game of Thrones and Agent Peña in Narcos, Pedro Pascal is one of our favourite Spanish speaking actors. Compared to the already mentioned Spanish speaking celebrities, Pedro Pascal is relatively new in terms of his fame but he certainly is popular.
Although he is originally Chilean, he also has a Basque grandmother and Majorcan grandfather so his roots lie back in Spain as well. But he was raised in the USA, in California and Texas which is why he is able to speak English so well. We are watching his career progress with great interest but make sure you check out his performance in Narcos to hear him speaking Spanish.
Diego Luna starred in some films when he was younger speaking English like Dirty Dancing 2 and had some smaller roles throughout his career, but it’s in the past couple of years that he’s really shot forward in terms of fame. Being cast in the Star Wars film Rogue One was a big deal for Diego Luna, and of course everyone’s talking about his recent Spanish speaking role in the Mexican Narcos series where he plays the infamous Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo.
If you haven’t seen the Mexican Narcos yet you really need to watch it, if only just to improve your Spanish skills.
Although he has not yet permeated into the American market, Pedro Alonso is a big hit in Spain. His recent portrayal of Berlin in the Netflix series La Casa de Papel has shot him forward and made him even more famous than he was before, which if you haven’t seen already you 100% need to watch. It’s one of the best Spanish series available on Netflix. Another series of his that we would recommend is El Gran Hotel. It’s a bit dramatic but it’s fun and light and will definitely help you improve your Spanish.
Again María Pedraza is currently only famous in the Spanish speaking world but she has been shot to fame quickly through two roles in two very successful Netflix shows. First she starred in the very popular La Casa de Papel as Allison Parker. The show was a tremendous hit and her ability to speak English shows us that perhaps we’ll be seeing her in more English speaking roles in the future. After that she starred in Elité; another Netflix series that gained immediate popularity and not just with Spanish speakers. The time of English cinema and series dominating is changing as more and more quality series are produced from different languages, and we think with this we’re going to see a lot more of María Pedraza.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of favourite Spanish speaking celebrities. Of course no list of Spanish speaking celebrities would be complete with Javier Bardem, Antonio Banderas, Shakira and Penelope Cruz, but we hope you’re found our new additions quite interesting as well.
What did you think of our choices? If you have any favourite Spanish speaking celebrities let us know and we’ll check them out and maybe even add them to this list. We notice that our list is predominantly Spanish celebrities from Spain. Who are your favourite latinos?