93 pages 3 hours read

America Ferrera

American Like Me

Nonfiction | Essay Collection | Adult | Published in 2018

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Essay 23-ConclusionChapter Summaries & Analyses

Essay 23 Summary and Analysis: “Wilmer Valderrama”

From a young age, Wilmer Valderrama loved acting and entertaining others. He discusses many of the hurdles he both faced and overcame while breaking into the American entertainment industry. Though born in the US, Valderrama’s parents moved the family back to Venezuela when he was a toddler. Because of this, and because Valderrama focused more on entertaining than school while growing up, he never learned English in school.

This became a major issue when the family informed him in his late teens that they’d be moving back to the US. Valderrama now had to not only fit in in the country where he was born, but he wanted to act and audition despite his thick accent and limited English. His drama teachers saw he had talent; one teacher allowed him to play the role of the Beast in a school production of Beauty and the Beast, though she recited the lines. While some might find this offensive, Valderrama declares he was simply happy to be onstage.

Valderrama is perhaps most known for the iconic role of Fez on That ‘70s Show. No one knew where Fez came from or what his accent really was, and this helped Valderrama in the role for several reasons: