Gael Garcia to Play Exótico Legend Cassandro in a Movie
Per Lucha Central, Golden Globe Winner, Gael Garcia will play Exotico Cassandro on the Big Screen.
Mexican actor and Golden Globe winner Gael García Bernal will play the luchador Cassandro el Exotico in an independent feature film by the Oscar-winning and two-time Emmy-nominated filmmaker Roger Ross Williams, according to exclusive information of Deadline web page.
Cassandro tells the true story of Saúl Armendáriz, a gay amateur luchador from El Paso, Texas, who rises to international stardom after he creates the exotico character Cassandro, the “Liberace of Lucha Libre,” and in the process upends not just the macho lucha libre world but also his own life.
“As a filmmaker, my own life experience has inspired my passion to tell inspiring stories about strangers and raise the voices of people we don’t normally see on screen. Cassandro‘s true story, Saúl Armendáriz, was one he knew he wanted to tell from the moment I met him. I look forward to bringing Saul’s story to a wide audience”, Roger Ross Williams said to Deadline.
Cassandro would begin filming in Mexico in November.
Cassandro tells the true story of Saúl Armendáriz, a gay amateur wrestler from El Paso who rises to international stardom after he creates the “exotico” character Cassandro, the “Liberace of Lucha Libre,” and in the process upends not just the macho wrestling world but also his own life.
Armendáriz at the age of 15 quit school and began training for Lucha Libre, beginning his professional wrestling career in 1988 under the mask as Mister Romano. Ultimately he would abandon the character and take on the exotico character of Baby Sharon. Exoticos are male wrestlers who dress in drag.
Ultimately, Armendáriz would take the new ring name of Cassandro, from a Tijuana brothel keeper Cassandra whom he appreciated. In January 1991, after bad press that he was going to wrestle El Hijo del Santo in the UWA World Welterweight Championship, Armendáriz reportedly attempted suicide by cutting his wrists with a razor blade, but was saved. The title match occurred a week later and Armendáriz credits it as the match that earned him the lucha libre community’s acceptance. While Cassandro failed to win the UWA World Welterweight Championship from El Hijo del Santo, he managed to win his first title, the UWA World Lightweight Championship in October, 1992, by defeating Lasser, becoming the first exótico in history to hold a championship in UWA.