August 18, 2022

John Leguizamo slams James Franco for being cast as Fidel Castro

4 min read


John Leguizamo has criticized the decision to cast American actor James Franco as Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro in the upcoming film.

Earlier this week it was revealed that Franco, 44, would be playing Castro in Cuban indie project Alina, and Lequizamo, 62, took to his Instagram on Friday to speak on the casting choice.

‘How’s it still going? How is Hollywood locking us out but also stealing our narratives?’ Leguizamo debuted in his rant, which garnered nearly 10,000 likes.

‘No more appropriation Hollywood and streamers! Boycott! F’d it up! Also it would be wrong to tell a seriously difficult story without upgrading!’

'She's not Latino!'  John Leguizamo has criticized the decision to cast James Franco as Fidel Castro and called on fans to boycott the film over 'appropriation'.

Angry: Lequizamo, 62, took to his Instagram on Friday to speak on the casting choice (pic; 2019_

‘She’s not Latino!’ John Leguizamo has criticized the decision to cast James Franco as Fidel Castro and called on fans to boycott the film over ‘appropriation’.

Adding: ‘I don’t have a problem with Franco but she’s not Latino!’

The View’s co-host Ana Navarro then commented under the post, telling Leguizamo that she would ‘join’ him in boycotting the film.

Navarro wrote: ‘I think no Latino actor worth his salt would sign up to play and promote a murderous dictator who terrorized the Cuban people for six decades. For both the reasons you clarified, I support you in the boycott.’

Role: Earlier this week it was revealed that 44-year-old Franco will be playing Castro in Cuban indie project Alina (pictured; 2010)

Role: Earlier this week it was revealed that 44-year-old Franco will be playing Castro in Cuban indie project Alina (pictured; 2010)

Franco is set to appear in the film, which is being helmed by Spanish director Miguel Bardem.

The Oscar-nominated actor will be joined in the cast by actress Mia Maestro, 47, who will play socialite Natalia ‘Natti’ Revuelta, Castro’s one-time mistress, time limit reported on Thursday.

The pair join the cast, along with 33-year-old actress Ana Villafane, as she plays Alina Fernandez, Castro and Revuelta’s daughter, in the movie.

The motion picture – the screenplay of which was written by Jose Rivera and Nilo Cruz – will depict the life story of Fernández, a Cuban exile and social activist.

When she was 10 years old, Fernández learned that she was Castro’s daughter, as her mother had told her the truth after Castro had come to the family home in secret for many years. Revuelta gave her and her doctor husband’s property to finance the early stages of the communist revolution.

Fernández eventually became an anti-communist activist who was arrested several times for his attempts to leave Cuba, and was banned from traveling outside the country. In 1993, Fernandez moved to Spain and eventually settled in Miami.

According to the outlet, the shooting of the film will begin on August 15 in the Colombian cities of Cartagena and Bogota.

RENT: Leguizamo took aim at his official Instagram account on Friday

RENT: Leguizamo took aim at his official Instagram account on Friday

Latest: James Franco, 44, has been cast as late Cuban leader Fidel Castro in director Miguel Bardem's upcoming film Align of Cuba.  The actor was seen in Italy in June

Producers stated that Franco's resemblance to Castro was a factor in playing the role.

Latest: James Franco, 44, has been cast as late Cuban leader Fidel Castro in director Miguel Bardem’s upcoming film Align of Cuba. The actor was seen in Italy in June

Producer John Martinez O’Phelan told Deadline that “finding and convincing James Franco to play Castro was a fun and challenging process, and it’s been a collaborative work of the universe, as our director’s original order was such a big deal.” The actor had to find someone who closely resembled the real Castro in physical form, as well as finding someone Alina Fernandez would strongly support.

‘In order to arrive at such a difficult look to cast, we used Fidel Castro’s ancient Galician heraldry as our focal compass, and then traversed through the entire ranks of Latin-origin actors in Hollywood a similar facial. Worked to find someone with the structure.’

O’Phelan said that ‘after an extensive search in our hopefuls through the eyes of the Spanish and Portuguese ancestry that the Galicians had,’ Franco found ‘the closest facial resemblance to the leading actors of our industry, whose Which means the focus will be to build his character accent and we will have a great on-screen match to captivate the audience and bring the story to life with real visual integrity.’

He said that casting Villafane and Maestro was ‘a no brainer because, in addition to the trajectory of their previous work, one represents modern Cuba-America and the other Argentina.’

O’Phelan told the outlet that the focus of the project is ‘to create an artistic piece of modern Hispanic history, with the vision for the project through uniting actors and creatives from the United States with both intergenerational and recent Latin roots. To be truly inclusive, Latin America, and the world.’



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