Jesse Garcia from Quinceañera will play Richard Montanez, the architect of the Flamin’ Hot Cheeto, and Annie Gonzalez of Gentefied will portray his wife, Judy, in Eva Longoria feature directorial debut Flamin’ Hot from Searchlight Pictures and Franklin Entertainment.
As Deadline first told you about the movie, Flamin’ Hot tells the true life story of Richard Montanez, the Frito Lay janitor who took inspiration from his Mexican American heritage to create Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, the snack that disrupted the food industry and became a pop culture phenomenon. Desperate Housewives actress and Telenovela, Grand Hotel, and Devious Maids EP Longoria beat out several directors for the job after impressing Franklin and Searchlight with her authentic approach to the project.
Said Longoria in a statement, “It has been my biggest priority to make sure we are telling Richard Montañez’s story authentically. I am so happy to have two extremely talented and fellow Mexican-Americans on board in these pivotal roles. Jesse and Annie have a deep understanding of our community and will be able to help tell this story of great importance for our culture.”
Also new to Flamin’ Hot is scribe Linda Yvette Chavez who is aboard for revisions on the Lewis Colick (October Sky)-penned screenplay. Chavez is the creator of Netflix’s Gentefied and she’s also adapting I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter at the streamer for America Ferrera’s upcoming directorial debut. She is repped by WME and The Mission Entertainment.
Searchlight VP of Production Taylor Friedman and Director of Development Zahra Phillips are overseeing the DeVon Franklin production for a planned start of this summer in New Mexico.
Garcia appears in the Searchlight Pictures title Under the Same Moon, alongside Kate del Castillo and Ferrera. He has been widely recognized for his role in the highly acclaimed Quinceañera winner of the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. For his performance as Carlos, Garcia was nominated and won the prestigious ALMA Award (American Latino Media Arts) as Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture in 2007. Garcia can also be seen in The Avengers. He is repped by APA, Mosaic, and Offer-Weber-Dern.
Gonzalez is a Chicana actress and East Los Angeles native. She grew up singing with the band Quetzal, (which has been a noted force in the Chicano movement), was one of the original dancers on Jamm X Kids for the WB and has been appearing on TV since the age of 10. She is most known for her roles in Gentefied, Vida, Shameless, and Legion. She was recently cast in the ABC Pilot, Bucktown starring opposite Jane Lynch and Nicole Richie. Gonzalez also has a YouTube page with videos dedicated to her thoughts on spirituality, self-love, peace, positivity and living life as a Latina. She is represented by Smith & Hervey/Grimes Talent; Principle Entertainment; Granderson/Des Rochers.