John Leguizamo has criticized the decision to cast American actor James Franco as Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro in an upcoming film.
Earlier this week, it was announced that Franco, 44, will play Castro in the indie project Alina of Cuba, and Lequizamo, 62, took to his Instagram on Friday to speak out about the casting choice.
‘How’s this going? How does Hollywood exclude us, but also steal our stories?’ Leguizamo kicked off in his rant, which garnered nearly 10,000 likes.
No more appropriation of Hollywood and streamers! Boycott! This F’d up! Plus a seriously hard story to tell without glorification, which would be wrong!’
“He’s not Latino!” John Leguizamo has rejected decision to cast James Franco as Fidel Castro, demanding fans boycott movie over ‘appropriation’
Add: ‘I have no problem with Franco, but he’s not Latino!’
Ana Navarro, co-host of The View, then responded under the post, telling Leguizamo that she would join him in boycotting the film.
Navarro wrote, “I would like to think that no Latino actor worth his salt would sign up to play and glorify a murderous dictator who terrorized the people of Cuba for six decades. For both reasons you cited, I join you in the boycott.’
Role: Earlier this week, it was announced that Franco, 44, will play Castro in the indie project Alina of Cuba (Pictured; 2010)
Franco will be featured in the film directed by Spanish director Miguel Bardem.
The Oscar-nominated actor will be joined in the cast by actress Mía Maestro, 47, who will play the role of socialite Natalia “Naty” Revuelta, who was once Castro’s mistress, Deadline reported Thursday.
The pair join actress Ana Villafañe, 33, in the cast as she plays Alina Fernandez – the daughter of Castro and Revuelta – in the film.
The film – scripted by Jose Rivera and Nilo Cruz – will depict the life story of Fernandez, a Cuban exile and social activist.
When she was 10, Fernandez discovered she was Castro’s daughter when her mother revealed the truth to her after Castro spent years secretly visiting the family home. Revuelta had given her and her doctor husband’s wealth to fund the early stages of the communist revolution.
Fernandez eventually became an anti-communist activist who was arrested multiple times for her attempts to leave Cuba and banned from traveling outside the country. Fernandez defected to Spain in 1993 and eventually settled in Miami.
The film will begin on August 15 in the Colombian cities of Cartagena and Bogota, according to the outlet.
Rant: Leguizamo struck Friday via his official Instagram account
The latest: James Franco, 44, has been cast as the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro in director Miguel Bardem’s upcoming film Aline of Cuba. The actor was caught in Italy in June
Producer John Martinez O’Felan told Deadline that “Finding and convincing James Franco to play Castro was a fun and challenging process and the collaborative work of the universe because our director’s original brief was to be an actor.” with a close physical resemblance to the real Castro to build on, along with finding someone who would strongly support Alina Fernandez.
“To come up with such a tough look, we used Fidel Castro’s old Galician heraldry as our focal compass and then scoured the entire line of actors with Latin roots in Hollywood to find someone with a similar facial structure.”
O’Felan said that after an extensive search “for our hopeful peoples through the eye of the Spanish and Portuguese genealogies that the Galicians had,” Franco turned out to “be most like the leading actors of our industry, meaning the focus would lie on to build out his character accent and we would have a stunning on-screen match to intrigue the audience and bring the story to life with true visual integrity.”
He said casting Villafañe and Maestro was “no-brainers because, in addition to the trajectory of their earlier work, one represents modern Cuban America and the other Argentina.”
O’Felan told the outlet that the focus of the project is to “produce an artistic piece of modern Spanish history, with the vision for the project as truly inclusive by uniting actors and creatives of both intergenerational and recent Latin roots from the US, Latin America and the world.’