Growing up Latino, queer, and plus-sized had actor Harvey Guillen convinced that he had "three strikes" against him when pursuing a career in Hollywood.
In an exclusive interview with Page Six at the Jaxx at Lincoln Center premiere of Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, Guillen said, "I was told, 'That's not good, that's not welcome, Hollywood doesn't like that.'"
Though he believed the negativity at first, a change in mentality had him saying, "No, this is who I am. I'm great in the body I'm in and (great with) my sexuality and my culture and I'm proud of it. You can take it or leave it but I'm not going anywhere."
Fans of Guillen may know him best as Guillermo de la Cruz in the 2019 comedy series What We Do in the Shadows. Now, he will take on the role of Perro, the new canine sidekick in the Puss in Boots movie franchise.
Despite the fact that working alongside icons Salma Hayek and Antonio Banderas was a dream for the young Latino actor, he was only able to meet Hayek in person a few hours before the film's premiere.
"She gave me the biggest hug," he said. "I was so excited to meet her. She came over and hugged me and we started talking in Spanish. Such a warm heart and so open, great energy."
Admitting he watched Hayek and Banderas while growing up, Guillen added, "For a Latino kid, you want to see yourself represented on screen and not seeing it that often. She and Antonio were those people you saw on the screen where you went, 'Maybe one day' and then here we are in New York City!"
Here's to dreams coming true when you love the skin you're in, baby.
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish opens December 21 in theaters.