The Basco brothers are proving that Asian men can play a wider repertoire of parts in Hollywood than kung-fu fighters and math geeks. From small roles in Will & Grace, ER and Chicago Hope to their collaboration in last year's indie flick The Debut, Derek, Darion, Dante and Dion Basco (pictured clockwise, from left) are turning heads on-screen. Afraid her children might be lured into local gangs while growing up in a small suburb of San Francisco, their mother enrolled her boys in dance class, which led to their interest in performing.
Eventually, the family moved to Los Angeles, and these days the brothers are well known in Hollywood circles. They continue to hone their craft by taking acting classes with longtime coach and supporter Gloria Gifford, and they're currently seeking distribution for their film Naked Brown Men (co-written by Derek), a semi-autobiographical comedy that probes the fierce competition, undying loyalty and romantic turmoils of these Filipino-American dynamos. "It was emotionally draining, incredibly rewarding and one of the hardest things we've ever done," says Darion. But exposing their struggles on film inspired a new determination. "It's no coincidence that it's the turn of the century and that we're here now, doing this," says Dante. "It's time to put it on the line."