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SHORT TAKES : Garcia Disdains ‘Hispanic’ Label

From Times Wire Services

Compliment him on his hairy chest. Compliment him on his natty wardrobe. But don’t call “Godfather III” star Andy Garcia a “Hispanic heartthrob.”

“There’s nothing that I cherish more than my culture and what I am,” Garcia says in January’s Glamour. “But to call me the great Hispanic actor is ridiculous; it’s racism. They don’t call Dustin Hoffman the great Jewish-American actor.”

Garcia’s family fled Cuba for Miami in 1961, when he was 5.

Garcia, 34, who plays Vincent Mancini, the illegitimate son of Sonny Corleone in the latest “Godfather” movie, says his Cuban heritage is “the source of my strength.” But it also has boxed him into Latino roles during his 13-year career, which has included parts in “The Untouchables,” “Internal Affairs” and “Black Rain.”

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Though his fame is increasing, Garcia’s ego apparently is not.

Told that he looks handsome in a tuxedo in the movie, Garcia bowed his head and told the interviewer: “Vincent thanks you.” Told that the interviewer was also fond of his “glorious chest,” the actor replied:

“I can’t take responsibility for the chest. It’s a genetic thing.”


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