Actor Tenoch Huerta has become a phenomenon thanks to his role as Namor in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. His story of overcoming and his fight against racism in his time in Hollywood (and even in his own Mexico) has made him one of the most acclaimed actors of this generation.
That is why it was no surprise to anyone the impact caused by the news that Huerta would be signing autographs at the 2023 edition of La Mole, the largest comic book and pop culture event in Mexico. However, criticism did not take long to arrive for the actor since the prices for autographs and photographs were also announced as soon as his participation was announced.
1,800.00 MXN pesos (just under $100) was the price for a photo with Tenoch Huerta, which unleashed all kinds of criticism about the price, which many considered excessive. The complaints were because “Tenoch wasn’t worth that money,” Other international actors, like Drake Bell from Drake and Josh and Ron Perlman from Hellboy, charged less per photo and autograph than the Mexican actor.
Despite the criticism, the sale of tickets for the photos with Tenoch sold out immediately, and many event attendees even said they could take pictures with Tenoch as he walked through the aisles of La Mole. In this way, fans and the actor had a great experience on March 17, 18, and 19, and the actor became part of a Mexican tradition that was born not long ago at music festivals: the gift of a stuffed toy of Dr. Simi.
In a video that has already gone viral on the Tik Tok platform, Tenoch can be seen autographing a fan’s Namor Funko figure when suddenly, a stuffed animal hit him directly in the face. Confused by what had happened, the actor grabbed the stuffed animal, and when he realized it was a Dr. Simi disguised as Namor, Tenoch could only shout, “A huevoooo!” looking very excited in front of the cameras.
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The tradition of throwing Dr. Simi stuffed animals began at the 2021 Corona Capital Festival, with Norwegian singer-songwriter Aurora being the first to receive this gift. Gradually, the public began to adopt the gesture and even personalized the stuffed animals to resemble their favorite artists or allude to their songs or show (for example, the vocalist of Rammstein was thrown a Simi disguised as a fireman about the fireworks they often use in concerts).
Regarding the “rough” way Tenoch received his stuffed animal, it is worth mentioning that he is not the first to be “attacked” by Dr. Simi. During a show in Canada in August 2022, Lady Gaga was hit by Dr. Simi while performing the song Hold My Hand. However, the “attack” was insufficient for the actress and singer to drop the microphone.
Undoubtedly, much of the success of Wakanda Forever was due to Tenoch’s performance as the anti-hero Namor. In an interview with Esquire conducted in November 2022, the Mexican actor shared details about how he created this historical character.
“We wanted his motivations to be those of a normal human being. Of course, he has superpowers, and he has this wonderful universe, but in the end, his motivations are those of the common man: he’s just a man protecting his family. That’s what we can all empathize with. That’s where people can relate. But added to that, he does it regardless of the cost. And that’s where we can differ. And that’s where the complexity comes in: what decisions and actions we’re going to take to protect them is where we’re going to part ways.”