Why John Leguizamo Doesn't Want His Kids To Go Into Show Biz

"I love the art form but not the business."
Actor John Leguizamo and his children.
Actor John Leguizamo and his children.

John Leguizamo loves his craft, but he doesn’t love the business. 

The actor, whose career spans more than three decades, shared his thoughts on the entertainment industry in AARP The Magazine’s June/July issue. He broke down some of the reasons he hopes his children don’t follow in his footsteps:

I wouldn’t want my kids doing what I do. I love the art form but not the business. There’s a lot of superficiality. The way women are judged – they have an expiration date. It’s ridiculous. Or you’re too tall, too short. I wouldn’t mind my kids becoming playwrights or screenwriters. Then it’s about the work, not the B.S.

The 51-year-old star frequently speaks out about the challenges he’s faced in Hollywood, particularly as a Latino. During a 2015 interview at the Sundance Film Festival, Leguizamo explained that he first ventured into one-man shows, like his HBO special “Ghetto Clown,” because of the limited opportunities that existed in show business for Latinos. 

“It was an antidote to the system, to the Hollywouldn’t-ness of it all,” he said. “You know? And it was that, because I didn’t want to be a drug dealer or a murderer for the rest of my life. That’s not me, that’s not my people.”

Leguizamo also briefly spoke to AARP about growing older and his feelings on aging. 

“I know. I don’t look it.  Everybody thinks I’m in my early 40s, but I feel my age, 51,” he said. “Even a house starts getting rickety after 50 years. There’s a lot more maintenance. Before I train at the gym, I have to do a half-hour of pretraining. But it’s OK. There’s wisdom that comes with time. You get a macro view of the world and more compassion. Look at Shakespeare’s later plays.  They all end in forgiveness, even though they shouldn’t.” 

Read more from the AARP interview here.

CORRECTION: A previous caption misstated the name of Leguizamo’s son.



16 Times Latinos Were Brutally Honest About Hollywood’s Lack Of Diversity