For actor Danny Ramírez, being a cast member on the Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is a “privilege” and an opportunity that he doesn’t want to waste.
“Sometimes I have to pinch myself because of what it means,” Ramírez tells Remezcla during a recent interview. “But I know there is more to bring. There is still a lot more for us to keep pushing this envelope forward.”
In The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Ramírez plays First Lieutenant Joaquín Torres, an intelligence officer and a friend of Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie). At this point in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) timeline, Sam has traded his role as The Falcon to become the new Captain America after Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) retires and formally names Sam as his replacement. Since Sam is the new Captain America, that means the role of The Falcon is vacant, which has led fans to believe Joaquín will take the helm at some point. In the comics, there is a version of The Falcon named Joaquín Torres. So, will Joaquín become the next Falcon?
“All we can do now is sit tight and just chill,” Joaquín says in the fifth episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. “Sometimes, there’s nothing to do until there’s something to do.”
Sometimes I have to pinch myself.
After six years in Hollywood, Ramírez just might have something to do that no other Latino actor has done before—play a Marvel Comics superhero. It’s not a sure thing, of course. Season 1 of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier doesn’t fully answer that question, but it does tease the idea. In the fifth episode of the series after Joaquín tells Sam to “sit tight and chill,” Sam takes the Captain America shield with him and leaves the Falcon wings in Joaquín’s possession.
“Wait, yo, you forgot the wings,” Joaquín yells out to Sam as he leaves the room. “Keep ‘em,” Sam replies.
Whether Season 2 of the series has Joaquín donning The Falcon suit is anyone’s guess at this point. Ramírez, of course, can’t reveal anything yet. What he can say, however, is how important it would be for the MCU to introduce its first Latino superhero.
“Knowing that being on the screen is going to reach far more households and a lot of kids are going to be like, ‘Oh, that looks like me or my cousin or someone that could be sitting here at our family table,’” Ramírez says. “That’s been at the forefront of my mind.”
And it’s not just households in the United States that Ramírez is talking about. In the last few weeks since The Falcon and the Winter Soldier debuted, he’s been receiving messages from across the globe from Marvel fans in Latin America and beyond letting him know how proud they are that an actor of color has joined the superhero big leagues.
Joaquín isn’t just some token Latino character created to add a few seconds to each episode.
“I wish I could reply to every single [message],” Ramírez says. “They’re from every corner of the world, not just Latino America. I want to take that energy and continue using it as fuel. There’s a great responsibility in giving it my all. I want to take this chance and go all out and not leave anything on the table.”
The good news is that Ramírez also mentioned that he can see Marvel is taking his character as seriously as he is. Joaquín isn’t just some token Latino character created to add a few seconds to each episode.
“There’s a lot of arbitrary things that happen in storytelling, but Marvel is brilliant in using every space it has to push story and diversity forward,” he said. “What this series is doing beautifully is taking on the adventure and having that conversation at the same time.”
The first season of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is available to stream on Disney+.