Fidel Castro's daughter voices support for James Franco playing her father in new movie

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By stefan armitage

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Fidel Castro's daughter has shared her thoughts on James Franco playing her father in an upcoming movie.

Last week, Deadline reported that the 44-year-old Spider-Man star had been cast to play the former Cuban leader in the upcoming movie Alina Of Cuba. Starring alongside Franco is Mía Maestro, who is set to play Natalia Revuelta - a socialite who the revolutionary leader had an affair with.

However, following news of Franco's casting, some social media users voiced their displeasure at seeing the American actor set to play the Cuban politician.

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Credit: Independent Photo Agency Srl / Alamy

Most notably, Colombian actor John Leguizamo made headlines after stating that although he has "no problem" with Franco personally, he believes the casting is "appropriation".

Taking to Instagram to voice his concerns, Leguizamo wrote: "How is this still going on? How is Hollywood excluding us but stealing our narratives as well?"

Leguizamo went on to call the casting "F'd up" and called on fans to "boycott" the movie.

However, one person who is supportive of the casting is Castro's daughter, Alina Fernández - who will be played by
Ana Villafañe in the upcoming movie.

And Fernández certainly had high praise for Franco when speaking to Deadline, saying: "James Franco has an obvious physical resemblance with Fidel Castro, besides his skills and charisma."

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Alina Fernández (left), with her daughter back in 2006. Credit: UMA Press, Inc. / Alamy

"I find the selection of the cast amazing,” she added. "Ana Villafañe is extraordinarily talented, and not only as an actress because she is also a great singer, a very complete performer. I’m sure that Mía Maestro, an actress I admire, will understand and interpret Naty, my mother, in a unique way and I can’t wait to see her building her character," she added.

The movie's producer, John Martinez O’Felan, has also voiced his support for Franco's casting, stating that the 127 Hours star was selected because he bears the "closest facial likeness" to Castro "of our industry’s leading actors".

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Credit: IanDagnall Computing / Alamy

"We used Fidel Castro’s ancient Galician heraldry as our focal compass, and then combed through the entire ranks of actors with Latin roots in Hollywood to find someone who has a similar facial structure," O’Felan explained.

"In executing a close search into our hopefuls through the eye of Spanish and Portuguese genealogy which the Galicians held, we found that James, by far, had the closest facial likeness of our industry’s leading actors," the producer added.

Further clarifying his comments in a following post on Instagram, Leguizamo has urged people not to get his words twisted and stressed once again that he has no problem with Franco as an actor.

Watch Leguizamo's comments below:

"I grew up in an era where Latin people couldn’t play Latin people on film," Leguizamo said. "Where Charlton Heston played a Mexican, where Eli Wallach played Mexican, where Pacino played Cuban and Puerto Rican. Where Ben Affleck, even, in Argo, played a Latin guy and Marisa Tomei played Latin women.

"We couldn’t play our own roles. There was brown face, people painting themselves to look Latin in West Side Story, Eli Wallach in The Magnificent Seven. That’s the era I grew up in. The era where they tell you to change your names, stay out of the sun, that only white-passing Latinos would get jobs."

Featured image credit: Sipa US / Alamy

Fidel Castro's daughter voices support for James Franco playing her father in new movie

vt-author-image

By stefan armitage

Article saved!Article saved!

Fidel Castro's daughter has shared her thoughts on James Franco playing her father in an upcoming movie.

Last week, Deadline reported that the 44-year-old Spider-Man star had been cast to play the former Cuban leader in the upcoming movie Alina Of Cuba. Starring alongside Franco is Mía Maestro, who is set to play Natalia Revuelta - a socialite who the revolutionary leader had an affair with.

However, following news of Franco's casting, some social media users voiced their displeasure at seeing the American actor set to play the Cuban politician.

size-large wp-image-1263164395
Credit: Independent Photo Agency Srl / Alamy

Most notably, Colombian actor John Leguizamo made headlines after stating that although he has "no problem" with Franco personally, he believes the casting is "appropriation".

Taking to Instagram to voice his concerns, Leguizamo wrote: "How is this still going on? How is Hollywood excluding us but stealing our narratives as well?"

Leguizamo went on to call the casting "F'd up" and called on fans to "boycott" the movie.

However, one person who is supportive of the casting is Castro's daughter, Alina Fernández - who will be played by
Ana Villafañe in the upcoming movie.

And Fernández certainly had high praise for Franco when speaking to Deadline, saying: "James Franco has an obvious physical resemblance with Fidel Castro, besides his skills and charisma."

size-large wp-image-1263164396
Alina Fernández (left), with her daughter back in 2006. Credit: UMA Press, Inc. / Alamy

"I find the selection of the cast amazing,” she added. "Ana Villafañe is extraordinarily talented, and not only as an actress because she is also a great singer, a very complete performer. I’m sure that Mía Maestro, an actress I admire, will understand and interpret Naty, my mother, in a unique way and I can’t wait to see her building her character," she added.

The movie's producer, John Martinez O’Felan, has also voiced his support for Franco's casting, stating that the 127 Hours star was selected because he bears the "closest facial likeness" to Castro "of our industry’s leading actors".

size-large wp-image-1263164394
Credit: IanDagnall Computing / Alamy

"We used Fidel Castro’s ancient Galician heraldry as our focal compass, and then combed through the entire ranks of actors with Latin roots in Hollywood to find someone who has a similar facial structure," O’Felan explained.

"In executing a close search into our hopefuls through the eye of Spanish and Portuguese genealogy which the Galicians held, we found that James, by far, had the closest facial likeness of our industry’s leading actors," the producer added.

Further clarifying his comments in a following post on Instagram, Leguizamo has urged people not to get his words twisted and stressed once again that he has no problem with Franco as an actor.

Watch Leguizamo's comments below:

"I grew up in an era where Latin people couldn’t play Latin people on film," Leguizamo said. "Where Charlton Heston played a Mexican, where Eli Wallach played Mexican, where Pacino played Cuban and Puerto Rican. Where Ben Affleck, even, in Argo, played a Latin guy and Marisa Tomei played Latin women.

"We couldn’t play our own roles. There was brown face, people painting themselves to look Latin in West Side Story, Eli Wallach in The Magnificent Seven. That’s the era I grew up in. The era where they tell you to change your names, stay out of the sun, that only white-passing Latinos would get jobs."

Featured image credit: Sipa US / Alamy