As much as Marvel fans want to know everything there is to know about Tenoch Huerta’s character Namor in the upcoming sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – from his mutant standing to the meaning and pronunciation of his character’s name – Huerta has taken the time to learn more about someone else: himself. He shared more about his journey of self-discovery during a recent interview with Rolling Stone en Español.
During the interview, Huerta explained that when he started researching the meaning of his own name, Tenoch, he learned that it derived from the Nahuatl language, which was the Uto-Aztecan language of the Nahuatl people. The Nahuatl people, which included Aztecs, were native to southern Mexico and Central America.
“When researching about the origin of my name, I discovered that Tenoch is the name given to the stone prickly pear, the fruit of the prickly pear that grows on stones, and that represents the human heart,” said Huerta, who graces the cover of this month’s magazine.
He also described Tenochtitlán, the capital city of the Aztec Empire during the 15th century, as “the place where the spirit incarnates in Tenoch – the heart of man – and, therefore, he becomes wise.”
Huerta also explained that growing up, he was “mocked” because of his name and “had a hard time” reclaiming it for himself. He found a parallel in his personal story with that of the character Chihiro in Hayao Miyazaki’s 2001 classic anime film Spirited Away.
“In it, Chihiro has to get her name back,” he said. “She originally has a generic name … but in the end, she has to get back the right to be called Chihiro again. It took me almost my whole life to conquer my name, but there it is. The truth is, now I really like it.”
Fans can read Huerta’s name all over the November issue of Rolling Stone en Español and see some of the standout images from the magazine photoshoot.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits theaters nationwide on November 11, 2022.