Eugenio Derbez’s rise to stardom began over 30 years ago in
his home country of Mexico. Since then, the actor-producer-director has become
one of the world’s biggest Hispanic stars, setting a box office record in the
U.S. for the highest-grossing Spanish-language film with 2013’s Instructions
Not Included and even earning his own star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. But
many who pass by the marker don’t recognize the name.
“It’s like living two lives at the same time, because all
the Hispanics here in this country, they know me pretty well, but not the
Americans,” Derbez confesses to ET. “Sometimes [I’ll] go to a meeting and I’m
nothing, nobody for the executives. Then I go back and, picking up my car with
the valet, the valet parkers are excited to meet me. So my agents told me, ‘You
should do your meeting instead of in an office, in a restaurant, because all
the kitchen [staff] comes out and they want pictures.’”
MORE: 'How to Be a Latin Lover' Stars Salma Hayek and Eugenio Derbez Reveal Worst Pick-Up Lines Ever
But that should all change thanks to two high-profile
projects: How to Be a Latin Lover,
Derbez’s new filmstarring Salma
Hayek and Rob Lowe in theaters April 28, and the upcoming remake of the Goldie
Hawn-Kurt Russell classic Overboard. And
as Derbez has filmed and promoted the former, ET has been with him every step
of the way to witness just how talented, affable and -- frankly -- famous the
55-year-old star is. But will it finally earn Derbez the recognition (and power
player status) he deserves?
“I am so proud of Eugenio. I’m like, ‘Everybody, look at this guy. Keep your eyes on him.’ He’s so talented,” Hayek gushed. While Hayek and Derbez have been friends for 20 years and even share the same birthday (Sept. 2, but different years), they have never have shared the screen together. In fact, Hayek taking a role in the comedy came as a direct favor to Derbez, who called her personally to offer her the part.