'Dora and the Lost City' Cast on the Importance of Bringing the Latin Icon to the Big Screen (Exclusive)

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Eva Longoria, Eugenio Derbez and Michael Peña are honored and proud to be a part of Dora and the Lost City of Gold.

First premiering in 2000 as an animated children's series, the beloved story of Dora the Explorer is now a live-action adventure, complete with a well-rounded Latinx cast. ET's Nischelle Turner recently sat down with the film's three stars to talk about the importance of bringing the Latin icon to the big screen.

"One of the main reasons for me to be in it was that it was a Latin-lead cast," Peña shared as to why he decided to join the film. "I didn't know that, in my lifetime, I would be able to see this. That's everything, every reason to do this movie."

Longoria, on her end, was excited to be able to share a movie with her community and have people see their skin color represented. She also loved the fact that she was in a movie that her entire family, including her baby boy, Santi, could watch.

Lost City of Gold follows a high school-aged Dora, portrayed by Isabela Moner, who has spent most of her life exploring the jungle with her parents. Ever the explorer, she quickly finds herself leading Boots -- her best friend, a monkey -- Diego (Jeffrey Wahlberg), a mysterious jungle inhabitant (Derbez), and a rag-tag group of teens to save her parents (Longoria and Peña) and solve the impossible mystery behind a lost city of gold. Through this expedition, Dora also finds herself, a journey that many young people find themselves on during their teen years.

"In Hollywood, we struggle with [finding ourselves] sometimes because of what people think Latinos should be in film and television. [That] is what they cast, and it's usually not what we are," Longoria said, pointing to herself and her fellow actors. "We're all Latino, so the diversity within the diversity is important to celebrate and honor. We're going to be ourselves."

Additionally, the franchise is also teaching kids that being Latinx and honoring your culture is fun and important, Derbez added. 

"I've seen Latino kids, they're always trying not to speak Spanish. They don't speak good Spanish because they are afraid of speaking Spanish," Derbez explained, adding that kids might not want to take on the language in order to assimilate and "fit in" with English-speaking peers. "They don't practice their Spanish because they get [might] bullied."

"Dora the movie, it's helping to let kids know that speaking Spanish is cool," he added.

Dora and the Lost City of Gold is now in theaters. For more from the cast, watch below.

Get more Latinx news on ET MÁS, ETonline's new section featuring the latest celeb, film, TV, music and style news.


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