(Andy Garcia in the role of General Gorostieta, who lead the Cristero Army to victory in 1920s Mexico. Photo courtesy Estee Grier)

Andy Garcia talks new role in epic film based on Mexico’s secret civil war

Academy Award nominee Andy Garcia’s newest role doesn’t have to do with mob families, Woody Allen, or comedy. Unlike the other films that the Cuban-American has starred in, his role as General Enrique Gorostieta in “For Greater Glory,” captures a story that very few know of:  the Cristero War in Mexico. A civil war for religious freedom that cost 90,000 dead over three years, the Cristero War began in 1926 when President Plutarco Calles signed a law restricting the Catholic Church and religious practice in the country.[[MORE]]

“There was a fascinating story that I knew nothing about there, and as it turned out, none of my Mexican friends knew anything about it,” said Garcia, whose character was recruited to lead the Cristeros army. “I asked some Mexican friends who live in Mexico about it, who only had very vague knowledge about it and thought that this was a very curious, taboo subject matter. The adventure of the whole thing, and epic style …just made joining the film a very simple decision.”

The film, which opens in the United States on June 1st, has already opened in Mexico and has broken box office records as the second highest grossing film since “Titanic.”  The film stars an array of Latino luminaries like Eva Longoria, Catalina Sandino Moreno and Ruben Blades alongside Garcia and 14-year-old newcomer Mauricio Kuri, and its dramatic story line captures a struggle for freedom that Garcia is very familiar with.

“The concept of absolute freedom is an easy thing to fight for, as a human being,” shared the 56-year-old. “Cubans are still struggling for that freedom and so the film does bring that close to home.”

Garcia says the Spanglish action-heavy flick is close in style to classics like “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Braveheart,” comparisons Mexican co-star Eduardo Verastegui agrees with.

“This film is all about facts and I hope we can learn from it about the mistakes we’ve made in history,” says the heart throb, who plays lawyer-turned-activist Anacleto Gonzalez Flores. “My hope is that people will be entertained and inspired to do the right thing, to fight something bigger than themselves.”

For Garcia, whose next project is a movie based on writer Ernest Hemingway’s last years spent in Cuba, the film represents a pivotal point in his career.

“The fact that we’re telling a story about this time period is important …it represents our culture and its artists well,” says the acting veteran.

“It’s a movie I’m very proud of and wanted to make.”


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  3. […] based in Miami, Eduardo Verastegui, shared the screen with Eva Longoria in his most recent film, “For Greater Glory,” but he does not share the same […]

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