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Movie producer James Franco responds to criticism from John Leguizamo Castro – The Hollywood Reporter

In response to criticism from John Leguizamo from James FrancoCasting as Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro within the impartial movie Alina from Cubaproducer John Martinez O’Felan has responded, calling the feedback “culturally uneducated.”

Directed by Miguel Bardem and based mostly on a script written by Jose Rivera and Nilo Cruz, Franco stars reverse Mía Maestro, who performs Natalia “Naty” Revuelta, a Cuban-born socialite with whom Castro develops a romantic bond. The movie is predicated on the true story of Alina Fernandez – performed by Ana Villafañe – a Cuban exile turned social advocate solely to find on the age of 10 that she is Castro’s daughter.

Leguizamo, a Colombian-American actor who wrote and carried out the Broadway manufacturing Latin historical past for idiotstook to Instagram Friday to reject the choice to forged Franco, questioning why Hollywood is “excluding” the Latinx neighborhood, noting {that a} movie about Castro is a “critically tough story to inform with out glorification”.

“How’s this going?” Leguizamo, who beforehand spoke in regards to the lack of Latinx illustration in Hollywood, stated of the casting. “How does Hollywood exclude us, but in addition steal our tales? No extra appropriation of Hollywood and streamers! Boycott! This F’d up! Plus critically arduous story to inform with out glorification, which might be flawed! I’ve no drawback with Franco, however he isn’t Latino!”

In response, O’Felan, the movie’s producer, stated in an announcement: The Hollywood Reporter that he admires Leguizamo, however that his feedback are a “blind assault”.

“A person like John Leguizamo has been traditionally seen by Hispanics as one in every of America’s earliest actors of Latin descent because the Nineteen Nineties, and I’ve at all times admired him as a fellow underdog. However his feedback are culturally uneducated and a blind assault with no substance that associated to this undertaking.”

“The fact of the piece of ignorance falls inside his assertion which suggests his private view of being ‘Latino’ as a result of a landmass or habitat doesn’t decide an individual’s blood historical past or genetics,” he continues.

O’Felan goes on to say that Leguizamo’s “observe is a good subject of dialog as a result of they signify the identical confusion and identification disaster in Hollywood proper now inside the Hispanic neighborhood in America that claims we should always solely establish as Latin, which is particularly due to the lies unfold by the actors who’re alleged to signify us, however as a substitute create divisions amongst their very own folks.”

The producer concludes that Leguizamo’s criticism in the end detracts from who the movie is about: Fernandez.

“I feel he must transcend himself and likewise acknowledge that this story is a couple of Latin feminine immigrant dwelling in America who’s traditionally important, led by a Latin lady and I am simply an underdog making it, so he would additionally perceive that it’s a little disappointing to see our work being attacked by somebody who claims to be a pacesetter of the Latin neighborhood,” he says.

Alina from Cuba with a forged and crew from “at the least seven nations from all over the world” in line with O’Felan, with manufacturing design by Carlos Osorio, modifying by Diego Fernando Bustamante, costume design by Daniela Rivano and Juan Carlos Gil as director of images. Nana Fisher, who has usually labored with Franco, would be the head of his make-up staff, whereas Jessica Drake would be the dialect coach of the lead forged.

Alanna de la Rosa, Maria Cecilia Botero, Harding Junior, Sian Chiong and Rafael Ernesto Hernandez are among the many supporting forged of the movie. Capturing is scheduled for August 15 within the Colombian cities of Cartagena and Bogota.

The function is one in every of Franco’s first because the 2019 animated movie Arctic Canines and the HBO collection The Deuce. The Oscar-winning actor was accused in a LA Instances report in 2018 by a number of ladies of sexually exploitative conduct after his Golden Globes win for the catastrophe artist. In 2021, Franco settled a lawsuit over sexual misconduct filed by actresses Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal – former college students of his now-defunct drama faculty Studio 4. Franco’s legal professionals denied the allegations, however the actor admitted to sleeping with college students, though he acknowledged that it was not with anybody in his class was.

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