Fidel Castro’s daughter has praised the casting of James Franco as a father in a new movie.
The ‘127 Hours’ actor – who has Latin and Portuguese heritage – will portray the former Cuban leader opposite Mia Maestro as his former lover, socialite Natalia ‘Naty’ Revuelta, and Ana Villafane as their daughter Alina Fernandez in ‘ Alina from Cuba’, and the real Alina thinks the producers did a great job with the cast.
She told Deadline: “[I am proud that] the project is almost entirely Latino, in front of and behind the camera.
“James Franco bears an obvious physical resemblance to Fidel Castro, aside from his skill and charisma.
“I find the cast selection amazing.
“Ana Villafañe is extraordinarily talented, and not only as an actress because she is also a great singer, a very complete interpreter. I am sure that Mía Maestro, an actress whom I admire, will understand and interpret Naty, my mother , in a unique way and I can’t wait to see her build her character.”
Alina – who will be a biographical and historical consultant on the film – then praised the rest of the cast, which includes Alanna de la Rosa, Maria Cecilia Botero, Harding Junior and Cuban-born actors Sian Chiong and Rafael Ernesto Hernandez .
She added, “The rest of the cast is going to be a wonderful surprise for all audiences.
“The filmmakers have worked hard and I can’t be more grateful for their inclusive overall selection.
“For me, the most important thing about this film is that the conversation about Cuba is alive.
“Personally, the experience so far is too unexpected but more than anything, humbling.”
Written by Jose Rivera and Nilo Cruz, the film will tell the life story of Cuban exile and social activist Alina, who discovered at the age of 10 that she was Castro’s daughter.
She became an anti-communist activist who was repeatedly arrested for her attempts to flee Cuba and banned from traveling outside the country. She defected to Spain in 1993 and settled in Miami.