Film producer James Franco opposes criticism of John Leguizamo Castro – The Hollywood Reporter

Following John Leguizamo’s criticism of James Franco playing Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro in the independent film Cuba’s Alinaproducer John Martinez O’Felan responded, calling the comments “culturally illiterate”.

Set to be directed by Miguel Bardem and based on a script written by Jose Rivera and Nilo Cruz, Franco stars opposite Mía Maestro, who plays Natalia “Naty” Revuelta, a Cuban-born, whom Castro become romantic. The film is based on the true story of Alina Fernandez – played by Ana Villafañe – a Cuban exile turned social activist who learns that she is Castro’s daughter at the age of 10.

Leguizamo, a Colombian-American actor who wrote and performed the Broadway play Latin History for MoronInstagram “.

“How is this still happening?” Leguizamo, who has previously spoken out about the lack of Latinx representation in Hollywood, spoke about the casting. “How does Hollywood exclude us but also steal our stories? No more appropriating Hollywood and streamers! Boycott! F’d up this! Add to that a serious story that is hard to tell without aggravation, which would be a mistake! I have no challenge with Franco but he is not Latino! “

In response, O’Felan, the film’s producer, said in a statement The Hollywood Reporter that he admires Leguizamo but that his comments were a “blind attack”.

“A guy like John Leguizamo has historically been considered by the Spaniards as one of America’s earliest Latino actors since the 90s and I’ve always admired him as an underdog. But his comments are uncultured and a blind attack with no substance to this project.”

“The fact of the ignorant part in his statement reveals his personal view of being ‘Latin’, because a land or inhabited area does not define blood history. or a person’s genetics,” he continued.

O’Felan went on to say that “Leguizamo’s notes are a talking point because they represent the confusion and identity crisis in Hollywood right now in the Hispanic community in America, who are fighting argues that we should only identify as Latino, this is primarily because of the falsehoods being spread by actors who are supposed to represent us, but instead creating divisions between their people”.

The producers concluded that Leguizamo’s criticism ultimately detracted from the person of the film: Fernandez.

“I think he should outdo himself and also acknowledge that this story is about an immigrant Latino woman living in America who is of historical importance, led by a Latino woman and I am just an underdog is making it up, so he should also understand that it is disappointing to see our work attacked by someone claiming to be the leader of the Latino community,” he said.

Cuba’s Alina According to O’Felan, there is a cast and crew from “at least seven countries around the world,” with production design by Carlos Osorio, editing by Diego Fernando Bustamante, and costume design by Daniela Rivano. and Juan Carlos Gil as director of photography. Nana Fisher, who frequently collaborates with Franco, will be his makeup lead while Jessica Drake will be the main cast’s dialect coach.

Alanna de la Rosa, Maria Cecilia Botero, Harding Junior, Sian Chiong and Rafael Ernesto Hernandez are among the supporting cast of the film, with filming scheduled to begin August 15 in the cities of Cartagena and Bogota. Colombia.

This role marks one of the first for Franco since the 2019 animated film Artic dog and HBO series The Deuce. The Oscar-winning actor was accused in a LA Times reported in 2018 by several women for sexual exploitation after he won the Golden Globe Award for Disaster artist. In 2021, Franco settled a sexual misconduct lawsuit filed by actresses Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal, former students of his now-defunct acting school Studio 4. Franco’s lawyers have denied the allegation, but the actor admitted to sleeping with the student. it’s not with anyone in his class.

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