Taylor Zakhar Perez Talks Sustainability And Latin Representation In Hollywood

Taylor Zakhar Perez Talks Sustainability And Latin Representation In Hollywood

FORBES – Arguably best known for playing the U.S. President’s son Alex Claremont-Diaz in the global hit Prime Video movie Red, White & Royal Blue, actor Taylor Zakhar Perez might in fact now be a central figure within Hollywood and across social media, from being named an Ambassador at the SAG Awards earlier this year to globetrotting to various fashion shows and other special events, yet he has remained mindful about striving to make smarter choices surrounding our environment, as well as to expand upon the opportunities for his fellow creative.

Also known for his acting roles in projects like Minx and The Kissing Booth movies, I recently sat down with Zakhar Perez, 32, around the time that the Red, White & Royal Blue sequel was announced, wondering what he would say his focuses are today beyond Hollywood and how he is utilizing his influential public platform to elevate his passionate causes.

Zakhar Perez said, “Hmm, that’s a good question. So, growing up, my mom was a huge proponent of organic eating. We had a little garden in the back – I mean, it kind of got out of control because we used to have horses and then after they were gone, my mom planted this incredible garden back there – manure-heavy, fertilizer-heavy – and so, it kept growing and growing. For us growing up, organic was like a dirty word but [my mom] kind of had this holistic way about her, where it was like, No plastic – reuse your bag, bring it back home and I think that really fed into my love for sustainability.”

The Red, White & Royal Blue star went on to say that he feels like sustainability and “going green” have sometimes become a marketing ploy within our society, adding that “organic people now associate with natural and natural is not the same as organic.”

Zakhar Perez continued, “Sustainability is huge! I work with this woman named Harriet Vocking out of the United Kingdom. She is just a steward of the earth and is just so intelligent, and I get all my information and reading on her. That’s something that I have to consider when I’m working with brands because it’s like, What are you doing for the world? Is it 1% for the planet? Are you recycling? Are you finding different ways to cut down manufacturing and stop cut-and-sew and now it all comes out in one piece? That stuff is very important to me.”

Vocking is the Chief Executive Officer of Eco-Age, a global agency creating systemic solutions in line with science, in harmony with nature and in solidarity with human rights. Over the past couple of years, Zakhar Perez began going on supply chain trips with Eco-Age to The Woolmark Company, an Australian nonprofit organization that is the global authority on the natural, renewable and biodegradable fiber of wool, because he “wanted to know more about where our stuff comes from; what it’s made of, where it’s sourced from, and how many hands touch it before it lands in our stores.”

I also briefly spoke with Vocking about her fond interactions and thoughts about Zakhar Perez, with her saying, “Taylor is the perfect example of how talent can use their platform for good. When we first met, it was clear he had an interest in what he was wearing and where things came from. So, I asked him to come with me on some supply chain trips to find out firsthand the reality behind our clothes and jewelry. And he did! And it has been epic. He came with me purely to understand more. No deals, no hidden agenda – just a desire to make the world a better place – and it’s this which makes him quite so special.”

In recent months, Zakhar Perez took to his Instagram to thank The Woolmark Company, while posting photos of him taken on-site, for “giving me the full farm to fashion experience,” where he was taught about the wearability and the versatility of wool.

Beyond his ongoing sustainability efforts, Zakhar Perez is also focused on supporting his Latin community, as he moves forward within the ever-evolving landscape of the entertainment industry.

He said, “The Latin talent in the mainstream media today is continuously underrepresented. In the United States, 19% of the population is Latin, right? That’s not representative in TV/film. I think it’s like less than 10% of actors are of Latin descent, and it’s like 5% or less of the showrunners and directors are [Latin]. It’s crazy because Latin-led TV shows are some of the most-watched projects globally on our streamers. I’m beginning to start a production company and these are the metrics that I’m looking at to go, What kind of stories do I want to tell?”

Zakhar Perez added: “The Latin moviegoer is 25% of the United States and them not being able to see themselves on-screen, I think, is detrimental for their mental health. You need to see positive representations of yourself on-screen. My goal is to find talented producers and find talented writers who want to tell these stories in an independent way, in a commercial way, and really champion Latin people in media. This year, like 34-35 million Latinos will be eligible to vote and the future is so bright. I think the most amount of Latin people in the United States are [currently] 11 years old and in the next 10-20 years, they’re going to be the industry and I think that’s really exciting.”