LatinoBuzz: Lauren Velez “They Call Me La Lupe”

LatinoBuzz: Lauren Velez "They Call Me La Lupe"


“They Call Me La Lupe,” originally a play, with the help of acclaimed Puerto Rican actress, Lauren Velez, has generated enough money on Kickstarter.com to begin film production. Most notable for her role on Showtime’s Emmy award-winning series, Dexter, she has become the first Hispanic celebrity to raise over $100,000 on the website for creative projects. Finally she will get to fulfill her dream of portraying La Lupe, the Cuban singer, who was a dynamic inspiration to Velez as a child.  

Lauren on her accomplishment with Kickstarter.com

Someone is always going to be the first, but I just hope that it’s the beginning of something bigger. We need the Latino community continuing to support Latino projects. Kickstarter.com empowers people to support something they believe in. They give the community an opportunity to really show up, and put their money where their mouth is, so to speak.

With an already demanding career how did she reach her goal?

My nature is if you give me a challenge, I’m just going to take it on. Kickstarter is really a full-time job. Juggling the finish to Dexter‘s seventh season, currently airing on Sundays on Showtime, was intense. It seemed almost impossible initially to raise that kind of money in such a short amount of time. But with  the help of executive producer Lee Hernandez, and Dexter creator James Manos Jr., the mark of $100,000 to create the movie was hit Oct. 26th.  Also several key investors, helped jump-start the campaign when they were willing to match donations made by the public. It is really, really kind of fascinating, because I feel like the Latin voice is starting to collect.

La Lupe, was a famous Cuban singer whose strong personality caused Cuba’s leader Fidel Castro to exile her to the United States. How did Lupe impact Velez?

When I was a kid, I heard her music, and I remember being really struck by the sound of her voice and how it made me feel, I felt immediately connected to her. About 10 years ago, I started actively working on trying to bring her story to life, and it started out as a one-woman show, and I got together with James Manos Jr. and he wrote the screen play. Since then, we’ve been working on it to make a film.

With all her hard work in bringing La Lupe’s story to life, Lauren has plenty to look forward to

I’m fulfilling a dream! It’s just an incredible opportunity to play this character, who’s unlike anybody you’ve ever seen, Latina or not. She’s just an extraordinary character to portray. I can’t wait to start living her! She is a mini hurricane. Misunderstood, uncompromising, and unwilling to play by anyone else’s rules. A black Latina in the ‘60s and ‘70s, made La Lupe, a world of trouble because she was in the right place at the wrong time…so ahead of her time.

On going indie

While it would be nice to get the multi-million dollar contracts from some studio to get made, my feeling is that isn’t how it’s going to happen. Shooting guerrilla style, I have an excitement I haven’t felt in a long time about making a film.

Currently, in the pre-production stage, what are Lauren’s final aspirations?

I hope people love the film, and I hope that they love the character and get to know her the same way I do.

The film is her only focus right now, as season eight of Dexter does not begin shooting until January. She is also looking forward to being home in Spanish Harlem once Dexter is finally done shooting.  Velez emphasized her thanks to all who supported “They Call Me La Lupe,” saying she was overwhelmed with the support, and calling the entire process “extraordinary, beautiful, and touching.”

This Article is related to: News and tagged ,


Comments

Luis G.

QUE BOMBA! Total disappointment. I also gave money. Never heard anything again. As La Lupe would say in one of her songs…Bomba pa ti, pa ti, pa ti. So letdown.

EDWARD

No, unfortunately it is not a joke. Much $$$ was taken from fans of La Lupe who wanted this production to proceed. Nothing was ever said again after Ms. Velez and her crew collected well over $100K. I am just so very turned off to her. I along with a few friends each contributed $50 each. Not one word or update (as promised) was ever given again. La Lupe was pushed aside by many people, and now Ms. Velez. I have read that it was Ms. Velez’ dream project, or should I say her "ego" project. Shame on al involved with this production!!!!! Nothing you offered when collecting your money was given, Not 1 update since 2013. I read you were going to film in Puerto Rico. I guess your "Kickstarter" funds paid for a nice vacation. Te debe dar verguenza!!!!

joanne ortiz

how can we help to make this movie happen, we need to know her story of La Lupe. please Latinos we need to do this together…. La Lupe brings history

DINA FLORES

Is this a joke or what? I was really looking forward to this movie and am very disappointed.

lana just

what a shame it looked so promising and i was so excited they should try and finish it.

Sydney Levine

You’re right. We wrote this in 2012. The last post on their Kickstarter website was March 2013. I guess the film has died for now. That happens most of the time, believe it or not.

Edward

There has not been 1 update on this film since Oct 2013. Updates were promised, as were rewards for those that contributed to the production of the movie. Everyone involved in this film should be ashamed of their empty promises, lack of caring, to those that tried to help make Lupes’ story come to life. the lack of professionalism on Ms. Velez part is shameful! he was all over the place when she needed $$. Now nothing. Not a fan any longer!!!!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *