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Fidel Castro's daughter comes out in support of James Franco being cast to play her dad

Fidel Castro's daughter comes out in support of James Franco being cast to play her dad

Last week, actor John Leguizamo shared his disbelief on social media about Franco's casting as the Cuban revolutionary.

Fidel Castro’s daughter Alina Fernández has come out in support of James Franco being tapped to portray the Cuban revolutionary in an upcoming film.

Alina of Cuba is based on the true story of Alina Fernandez, a Cuban exile who learned that she was Castro's daughter.

When news broke that Franco had been cast as the revolutionary, many people were shocked, including fellow actor John Leguizamo.

He took to social media last week to share his disbelief at a white actor being cast to play the Cuban leader.

James Franco has been cast as Fidel Castro.
Sipa US / Alamy Stock Photo

In a post to Instagram, the 62-year-old said: "How is this still going on? How is Hollywood excluding us but stealing our narratives as well?

"No more appropriation Hollywood and streamers! Boycott! This F’d up! Plus seriously difficult story to tell without aggrandizement which would b wrong!' I don't got a prob with Franco but he ain't Latino!"

However, in response to the backlash online Fernández has praised the project and the casting of Franco, who is of Portuguese descent.

Speaking to Deadline, Fernandez said: "I find the selection of the cast amazing," adding that she’s proud "the project is almost entirely Latino, both in front and behind the camera."

She also commented that "Franco has an obvious physical resemblance with Fidel Castro, besides his skills and charisma."

Fernandez's seal of approval comes after the film's producer John Martinez O'Felan spoke out against John Leguizamo's comments about Franco's casting.

He told The Hollywood Reporter: "A guy like John Leguizamo has historically been looked up to by Hispanics as one of America's earliest actors of Latin descent since the 90s and I've always admired him as a fellow underdog.

"But his comments are culturally uneducated and a blind attack with zero substance related to this project.

The actor will play the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
Creative Commons

"The reality of the ignorance piece falls within his statement suggesting his personal view on being 'Latino', because a land mass or living area does not determine a person's blood history or genetics."

O'Felan went on: "Finding and convincing James Franco to play Castro, was a fun and challenging process and has been the collaborative work of the universe, because our director's original order was to find an actor who holds a close physical resemblance to the real Castro to build from, along with finding someone Alina Fernandez would strongly endorse."

The producer said Leguizamo's comments were actually a useful tool in discussing issues surrounding ethnicity within the industry at present.

But he said it was 'kind of disappointing' to have his 'work attacked by someone who claims to be a leader of the Latin community'.

Last week, it was reported that Franco would appear alongside Mía Maestro in Miguel Bardem’s upcoming biopic.

Maestro is set to portray Natalia 'Naty' Revuelta, the Cuban socialite who Castro had a passionate affair with, while Ana Villafañe has landed the role as their daughter Alina Fernández.

Production on the the movie is reportedly set to start on 15 August.

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Featured Image Credit: Independent Photo Agency Srl/ZUMA Press, Inc./Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Film and TV