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Ricky Martin Talks Navigating Hollywood After Coming Out in 2010: ‘Would You Ask Brad Pitt If He’s Afraid’ of ‘Being Typecast as a Straight Man?’

At CAA Amplify, Ricky Martin reflected on the highs and lows of his career like how he ‘almost retired’ before his historic performance at the 1999 Grammy Awards.

via: Variety

All eyes were on Ricky Martin during CAA’s seventh annual Amplify summit on Tuesday where the Grammy-winning entertainer took the stage to discuss his storied career with Bruno Del Granado, the head of CAA’s global Latin music touring division.

Martin discussed his role in Apple TV+‘s (newly-renewed for Season 2) “Palm Royale,” and opened up about his major career milestones, including his impact on Latin American music in the United States, and LGBTQ+ representation in mainstream spaces.

Martin showed love for his “Palm Royale” castmates and the “life-changing” stories they’ve been able to portray. Set in the 1960s in Palm Beach, Martin portrays Robert, a gay man and a bartender at the high society club Palm Royale.

“A couple of years ago when I was promoting ‘[The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story’], this journalist from Poland asked me ‘Ricky, aren’t you afraid that you’re going to be typecast as a gay man in every role that they give you?’ and I wondered if he would ask the same thing to Brad Pitt; ‘Brad Pitt, are you afraid that you are being typecast as a straight man all the time from now on?’… Men and women out there in the LGBT communities are dying to tell stories. Just give them the opportunity. They will rock your script — doesn’t matter if they’re portraying gay, straight, transgender. It doesn’t matter.”

After gushing over his experience as a headliner for LA Pride, Martin shared it was his father, Enrique, who gave him the push to eventually come out as gay in 2010 — just a few months before the release of his memoir, “Me.”

“I just wanted to be able to walk into a red carpet with someone I loved,” he remembers. “This is something I really wanted to do… I sat down in front of the computer and I wrote a lot. It was the beginning of Twitter, [and when I posted it] I felt the instant gratification of thousands of people sending me nothing but love. There were haters. It took them a minute to come around but they came around later. But at that moment, I was feeling really good. I immediately started crying… I’m like, ‘Oh my god. Okay, can I come out again?’ Because I felt amazing.”

Tuesday’s panel conversation opened with a replay of Martin’s 1999 performance at the Grammys where he delivered a high-energy rendition of “La Copa De La Vida,” what already was a global hit at the time. As Del Granado pointed out during the panel discussion, American media widely began following Martin’s career after that.

Martin’s success at the time, which came after 20-plus years as a member of the successful boy band Menudo and as a solo artist, also opened the door for his first stints in acting.

“I almost retired before that night [at the Grammys] because I had been working for many, many years by that point,” Martin said. “I was going to sabbatical right after [performance] that but I guess life had a big surprise for me.” Martin added that night gave way to “a wonderful crossover into American mainstream,” which was “something I always wanted, and it was something that I was, of course looking forward to, coming from Puerto Rico.”

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