Audiences watching Roger Ross Williams’ latest feature “Cassandro” might be surprised by one of the faces they see: that of musician Bad Bunny. The singer turned actor stars as Felipe, a friend and associate “exotico” wrestler Cassandro (Gael Garcia Bernal) meets. The film follows Cassandro’s journey of finding self-acceptance through a larger-than-life character.
“I remember the producers came to me and said, ‘Bad Bunny wants to be in the film.’ I almost fell off my chair,” Williams told TheWrap. According to the director, he auditioned several actors for the character of Felipe and had actually come down to the final group of contenders. “We screen tested a Felipe and the guy was about to get the call,” he said. That is until Bad Bunny’s people reached out.
The musician, according to Williams, is a fan of the Mexican wrestling known as lucha libre that, along with his interest in the script sparked his interest in wanting to be in “Cassandro.”
“We moved heaven and Earth,” Williams said.
What surprised Williams was how much Bad Bunny, the actor, was different from the singer’s on-stage persona. “It’s a little like ‘The Wizard of Oz,” Williams said. “There’s a shy little person in there pulling the strings and creating this bigger-than-life character, but that’s why he’s able to act and he’s able to give the subtle performance off of Gael’s performance.”
“He has a huge career ahead of him as an actor,” Williams said.
But that’s no surprise. Bad Bunny made his cinematic debut in the actioner “Bullet Train” last year. He was attached to Sony’s Spider-Man spin-off “El Muerto,” a story about a man who, through the aid of a luchador mask, becomes a superhero. However, the studio removed the film from the release calendar back in June and a September interview with Vanity Fair revealed he is no longer connected with the role.
Amazon Prime Video will release “Cassandro” to stream Friday, Sept 22.