Actor Matt Cedeño has many reasons to celebrate. Besides his role on Starz’s hit series Power, he has a second baby on the way with wife actress Erica Franco and a successful athletic line, Body Language Sports Wear, that’s won celebrity fans like Jennifer Lopez.
The actor, who was born in Washington to an Afro-Cuban father and an Irish and English mother, sat down with PEOPLE CHICA to also celebrate his roots for Black History Month. He spoke to us about diversity in Hollywood and his multicultural heritage.
“My parents weren’t without their struggles, trying to be accepted as a biracial couple,” he said, “They didn’t quite make it through. They divorced when I was six.” Reminiscing about his most cherished memories from childhood with his dad and his Cuban grandparents, he said: “I remember feeling very drawn to the Cuban culture and the language and asking my dad to teach me Spanish.”
It wasn’t until he reached maturity that he began digging into his Latin roots: “In my adult years, I’ve been able to explore more Latin culture. I’m pretty fluent now in Spanish,” he gleefully boasted, adding, “but I was always infatuated with it. Now I watch the news in Spanish and speak it every day of my life. Trying to teach it to my kid too,” he says of his son Jaxon, 4. (The actor is expecting a second child, a daughter, in April.)
Reflecting on diversity in Hollywood, Cedeño, 43, known for roles in Days of Our Lives and Devious Maids, said he’s optimistic about better and more roles for people of color in Hollywood. “They are trying to be more inclusive and have diversity in mind but it hasn’t always been the case,” he recalled. “It’s not without its challenges, but I feel like more doors are opening. There are increasing opportunities.”