Ben Bray’s Superhero Story of “El Chicano” Headlines Raul Castillo, Aimiee Garcia and George Lopez

Yesterday I accompanied my husband Enrique Castillo (Deja Vu, Weeds, Blood In Blood Out) to a reading of a Spanish translated version of Chekov’s The Seagull by Anotnio Jaramillo (Mayans MC) and Grecia Salamon (El Psiquiatra).  A group of very talented actors did an excellent reading of the finely translated version.  Outstanding job beginning with Antonio as Trigorin, Blanca Soto as Arkadina, Arturo Del Puerto Treplev, Grecia as Nina, Enrique as Shamraev, Lucy Rodriguez as Polina, Mariana Da Silva as Masha, Edward Padilla as Medvedenko, Hugo Garcia as Asyakov and my good pal Sal Lopez (Road to Juarez, American Me, Full Metal Jacket) as Sorin.

Antonio Jaramillo (L) and Sal Lopez at the reading of Chekhov’s The Seagull

During a break, as I catch up on life with my long time friend Sal, I notice he has a tatoo.  Mid-life crisis?  I think to myself — so I had to ask. I should have known it was fake. It is for a role in a movie he is currently filming. He had just gotten back  from Calgary, Canada where he was shooting the indie film El Chicano.  Intriguing name I tell him, tell me more. He plays El Gallo, the head of the cartel he says.  But that is where the stereotyping ends and the fun begins.

El Chicano was co-written by former stuntman Ben Hernandez Bray (Supergirl) who will be directing, and Joe Carnahan (Smokin’ Aces).  Using the drug cartel as a plot point, the film is a dark comedy about a crime fighting superhero and barrio vigilante — savior to the neighborhood.

The cast is headlined by McAllen, Texas born and Boston University College of Fine Arts educated, Raul Castillo (Looking); Chicago born and Northwestern University graduate Aimee Garcia (Lucifer); and San Fernando High School graduate, comedian/producer George Lopez.  Lorenzo di Bonaventura is producing with Carnahan.

Having just shot some of his scenes, Sal was looking forward to returning to Calgary to finish out his role.  He was excited to be working on a film which has a fresh new twist to the usual “Hollywood Latino story”, this time around there is  a crime fighting superhero and his name is El Chicano.  The rest of the cast includes David Castaneda, Noel G, Kate del Castillo, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Marco Rodriguez, Mr. Criminal and Sal as El Gallo, leader of the Cartel, that explains the tatoo!

From Chekov to El Chicano superheroes — Latinos can do it all.  And they are doing it!  #theCOOList

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