John Leguizamo Criticizes Casting James Franco as Fidel Castro

Following yesterday’s information from Deadline that James Franco is ready to play Cuban revolutionary and former President Fidel Castro within the indie movie Alina of Cuba, John Leguizamo is talking out in regards to the casting. He fiercely condemned the selection for Miguel Bardem‘s new movie on his Instagram web page, citing it as one more instance of cultural appropriation contemplating Franco himself does not have Latino roots.

“How is this still going on?” Leguizamo questioned in his statement. “How is Hollywood excluding us but stealing our narratives as well? No more appropriation Hollywood and streamers! Boycott! This F’d up! Plus seriously difficult story to tell without aggrandizement, which would be wrong! I don’t got a [problem] with Franco but he ain’t Latino!” Leguizamo, who himself is of Colombian descent, has lengthy been a fervent advocate for the inclusion of Latino actors and tales on-screen. Not solely that, however he is typically been a proponent of instructing extra about Latino historical past and customarily giving extra recognition to the Latino neighborhood contemplating a rising proportion of the inhabitants is of Latino descent.


Alina of Cuba follows the lifetime of Castro’s illegitimate daughter Alina Fernández (Ana Villafañe), who was born out of a whirlwind affair between Castro and Cuban socialite Natalia “Naty” Revuelta (Mía Maestro). At age ten, she’d lastly study the reality about her heritage as soon as her mom lastly revealed their tryst to her and grew as much as turn into a fierce critic of her father’s regime, going through arrest on a number of events. In 1993, she’d lastly defect from Cuba to Spain and finally made everlasting residence within the U.S.

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Leguizamo’s ire appears to be precisely what Alina of Cuba was trying to keep away from when casting its stars. Franco’s casting was immediately permitted by Fernández herself and got here after an intensive search to seek out the absolute best bodily match to play “El Comandante” among the many greatest actors within the business. John Martinez O’Felan, the movie’s lead inventive producer, famous to Deadline the painstaking course of that went into discovering the proper Castro:

Finding and convincing James Franco to play Castro, was a enjoyable and difficult course of and has been the collaborative work of the universe, as a result of our director’s authentic order was to seek out an actor who holds an in depth bodily resemblance to the actual Castro to construct from, together with discovering somebody Alina Fernandez would strongly endorse. To get there on such a troublesome look to forged, we used Fidel Castro’s historic Galician heraldry as our focal compass, after which combed by way of your entire ranks of actors with Latin roots in Hollywood to seek out somebody who has an identical facial construction. In executing an in depth search into our hopefuls by way of the attention of Spanish and Portuguese family tree which the Galicians held, we discovered that James, by far, had the closest facial likeness of our Industry’s main actors, that means that the main focus can be to construct out his character accent and we’d have a surprising on-screen match to intrigue audiences and convey the story to life with true visible integrity. Altogether, working with such a supportive and thrilling forged has been a real blessing to our group and venture.

Rounding out the movie’s forged are Alanna de la Rosa, Maria Cecilia Botero, Harding Junior, Sian Chiong, and Rafael Ernesto Hernandez. Bardem directed from a script written by Jose Rivera and Nilo Cruz and is joined by producers O’Felan and Joe Lamy for Mankind Entertainment, Celine Rattray and Trudie Styler for Maven Screen Media, and Allen Gilmer and Rikki Rushing for Redbud Studios.

Alina of Cuba begins filming in Cartagena and Bogota on August 15. Check out Leguizamo’s Instagram publish criticizing the movie right here.

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