From the Daily News:
It's the coldest day of the year in New York City, around 10 degrees Fahrenheit, but John Leguizamo doesn't mind.
The 46-year-old actor, whose third solo show on Broadway, "Ghetto Klown," begins previews Monday, is just excited to walk around his childhood neighborhood of Jackson Heights, Queens.
After all, it has been 11 years since the fast-talking actor, best known for his movie roles in "Carlito's Way" and "Summer of Sam," has returned to the predominantly immigrant community that raised him until the age of 19 and inspired much of his self-reflective work like "Ghetto Klown."
"I moved to Jackson Heights from Bogotá, Colombia, when I was 3½," says Leguizamo, who now lives with his wife and two children in the West Village. "I don't know how much is reality and how much is imagination, but I remember coming from a really bright, sunny place with a lot of white buildings and colorful attractions to this dark and cold area. But, in time, I grew to love it."
"This neighborhood formed me," he says through teeth that neither Hollywood nor Broadway ever bothered straightening. "It was a transitional neighborhood. People were just trying to make it and get out as fast as they could. But this was where I developed my sense of humor and discovered what I liked and didn't like."
"We used the word 'rumble' a lot back then," says Leguizamo as he strolls toward the 89th St. park where he used to hang out with friends. "There were a lot of gangs and they were always fighting over honor or something like that. They'd use chains, nunchucks and switchblades, but no guns."
So he calls himself a "Ghetto Klown", talks about gangs in the area and says it was full of people who couldn't wait to get out. According to some people, this other Jackson Heights doesn't exist and its all about the food. I'm guessing Mr. Leguizamo didn't grow up in the garden apartments...