Netflix’s hit film has NYC’s diversity front and center.
As we approach the end of October, we want to highlight one of our favorite frights of the season: Vampires vs The Bronx. New York City and its boroughs, like the Bronx, are some of the most diverse places you’ll find in the world. It’s a hub for Latino communities like Dominicans and Puerto Ricans that are fundamental to the city’s cultural lifeblood. Though the big city streets are tough – and gentrifying vampires don’t make life easier for our cast – we’ve praised the film for its diverse characters who are not tied to immigrant tropes like Narcos. Let’s dig into the show’s cast that breathes life into the movie’s world.
Jaden stars as Miguel Martinez, the upbeat kid who goes from trying to save his local bodega to saving his whole hood from blood-sucking demons. Michael has recently been confirmed to play a younger version of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick in a new docuseries from socially attuned director Ava DuVernay.
Gregory Diaz IV
Playing the film’s anxiety-ridden vampire expert is Gregory Diaz IV – a young actor of Puerto Rican descent. You can see him again next year alongside Hamilton’s Lin Manuel Miranda and Anthony Ramos in the highly anticipated New York-based musical, In The Heights.
Gerald Jones III
The tough but good-hearted Gerald Jones III’s character depicts the social pressures that can get you mixed up in the wrong crowd. Growing up in the hood comes with adversities that can strengthen one’s integrity, and his performance embodies that notion.
The radiant queen of the block that is the apple of Miguel Martinez’s eye is Coco Jones. In the film, she refers to her Haitian background as reason for helping the boys hunt vampires; which, thank God, because these boys would be lost without her.
Imani is the scene stealing, modern day town crier, Gloria. She ties the community together with her spicy anecdotes over a social livestream.
New York native Judy Marte is the no-nonsense madre of Jaden Michael’s character, Miguel. She may be tough on him, but the unconditional love that Latina moms have is clear as day.
The Kid Mero
Dominican American and Bronx native Joel Martinez, aka The Kid Mero, plays everyone’s favorite bodega owner and mentor to the three boys.
The Staten Island MC plays Father Jackson of the local church, and if the vampires don’t strike the fear of God in the kids, then he certainly does. Method Man has been spitting politically conscious bars his entire music career, and he fits right in with this family movie charged with a powerful social message.
These standout performances alongside castmates Zoe Saldana, Chris Redd, and Sarah Gadon set a precedent for what a fun/inclusive movie can and should look like.
The kids are keeping The Bronx safe, while Spiderman Miles Morales ps5 keeps Harlem safe in the new video game.