“He’s not Latino!” : John Leguizamo protests against the choice of James Franco to play Fidel Castro


Alina from Cuba will be one of the first films shot by James Franco since being reported for sexual harassment in 2018. D’Avanzo Maurizio/IPA/ABACA – DPA/ABACA.

The American actor is to play the former president of Cuba in the film Alina from Cuba. A decision that is not unanimous.

Alina from Cuba: La Hija Rebelde, film likely to create controversy because of its politically sensitive subject on the Castro family, hits the headlines before filming even begins. The choice of the interpreter playing the role of the Cuban revolutionary indeed poses a problem. American actor James Franco has been chosen to play the former president of Cuba, Fidel Castro, in the biopic dedicated to his daughter. This decision divides, in particular, in the Latin American community which feels invisibility by Hollywood.

Colombian-American actor John Leguizamo, star of Encanto, denounced this choice on social networks. “How is this still possible?How come Hollywood keeps excluding us and stealing our own stories? Enough of Hollywood and streamer appropriation. Boycott. Damn ithe explains. It’s very difficult to tell a story without glorifying it, which is very bad. I have no problem with James Franco, but he’s not Latino.Actor James Franco is of Portuguese and Swedish descent on his father’s side and Russian Jewish on his mother’s side.

Alina from Cuba, directed by Miguel Bardem, will be filmed in Colombia from August 15, 2022. American actress and singer Ana Villafañe will play Alina Fernandez, Castro’s daughter, and her mother Natalia Revuelta Clews, will be played by Argentine Mia Maestro. For Miguel Bardem, James Franco is made to interpret the Cuban revolutionary. “The director wanted someone who physically resembled Fidel Castro and who had his charisma”producer John Martinez O’Felan told AFP.

John Leguizamo is not the only one to denounce this choice. Actor Jeff Torres also raised his voice on August 5 on Twitter: “While I’m tryingto audition for yet another role as a Latin American drug dealer, James Franco will play Fidel Castro“. “Latinos spend their time getting screwed here and everywhere“, he laments.

Franco’s first film since being reported for sexual abuse

However, Fidel Castro’s daughter does not share this opinion. “James Franco bears an obvious physical resemblance to Fidel Castro, in addition to his talents and charisma.she explained to the magazine Deadline . I think the rest of the cast is great. Ana Villafañe is extraordinarily talented, and not just as an actress. She is also a great singer, a very complete performer. I’m sure Mía Maestro, an actress I look up to, will understand and portray Naty, my mother, in a unique way and I can’t wait to see her build her character.” For her, the main thing is that the conversations around Cuba continue to exist. “Personally, the initiative is so unexpected, but above all, very humble”, she told the magazine.

Alina from Cuba will be one of the first films directed by James Franco since being reported for sexual harassment in 2018. After winning the Golden Globes for best actor in a musical or comedy film in 2018, James Franco was accused by four former students of his school of abusing them during nude scenes. The actor had admitted, last December, to having had sexual relations with some of his students.


SEE ALSO – Cuba: Miguel Diaz-Canel promises continuity to replace Raul Castro

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