Ricky Martin has reflected on his status as a sex symbol and why he embraces being an object of desire for fans.

For the latest issue of Interview Magazinethe Latin icon spoke with Zoe Saldana about his early career, LGBTQIA+ rights and starring alongside Kristen Wiig in Apple TV’s dramedy miniseries Palm Royale. 

After the Guardians of the Galaxy star asked Martin what he thinks the next “big battle” will be in the LGBTQIA+ rights movement, he highlighted how there’s been “solid steps, but there’s still so much hate out there”.

“The world is so divided, and unfortunately, people don’t let people live, and some people don’t let people be. And we just have to be proud, and loud—as any minority, not only the LGBTQ+ community, the Latin community, the African-American community,” he explained.

“We just have to hold our hands and grow, and walk through life with pride and honor, and educate ourselves about who we are, and what we’re made of, and what we need. Because we’re not asking to have more than others. We just want equality.”

Saldana continued to question Martin on his status as a sex symbol, and how his relationship with the label has changed over time. He reminisced on his stint in the Puerto Rican boy band Menudo (who are widely referred to as the most iconic Latino pop music band in history), for which he served as a member between 1984-1989.

“We were five teenagers—the more we moved, the more the girls would scream. And it was a competition. So even though we were brothers and we supported each other, every time we had a solo song, we had to show off,” he said.

“So we were trained to play with that sensuality at a young age. Adding to that, the fact that we’re from the Caribbean and there’s something in the water, there’s something in the air.”


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Martin said the ‘sexiness’ of reggaeton, from the dancing to the merengue and the salsa, is “something that we can’t fight. We’re born with it, and we should not be afraid of it.

“Now the sex symbol situation’s sometimes annoying because you say, “Yeah, I want people to take me seriously for my work, and my music, and for the parts that I do,” and then you have my mom that tells me, “Ay, nene, please. Be proud of what you have, and everything will come afterwards.” So I guess we can’t fight it. It is what it is.

“And the perception, we throw something out there and the audience can make of it whatever they want.”

Martin added: “And I guess fantasize about me however you want to. [Laughs] I really don’t mind.”

You can read Martin’s interview with Saldana in full here.

All 10 episodes of Palm Royale are streaming now on Apple TV.

Created by Abe Sylvia, the series is based on Juliet McDaniel’s 2018 novel Mr. & Mrs. American Pie. Set in 1969, Palm Royale follows “outsider” Maxine Simmons (Wiig) as she sets her sights on a place in Palm Beach high society via the town’s most exclusive resort club.

Martin plays Robert Diaz, the caregiver and pool boy to Normaa Dellacorte (Carol Burnett).

You can watch the trailer for Palm Royale here or below.