When it comes to casting Latino-themed films, New Line's Goldman points out, those with female-dominated stories, such as "The Perez Family," are in a bind. "The number of Latino actors with a profile in the Anglo community is longer than five years ago--but is still a short list," he says. "When it comes to bankable Latino actresses, however, Goldwyn couldn't find any. It's a chicken-egg situation. How do you sell a Latino movie without a star? And how can you create a Latino star if no one is willing to cast someone without a track record?"
Some say that Latino star-power is not a prerequisite of success. The low-profile "Like Water for Chocolate," they observe, is the highest-grossing foreign film ever. And though "American Me," "Bound by Honor" and the independent "Mi Vida Loca" failed to take off, the low-budget "La Bamba" brought in $54 million in the United States and Canada alone.