Michael Peña will soon be portraying the nation’s most recognized Latino labor leader and civil rights activist.
The 36-year-old Mexican American actor—who has appeared in such films as Crash, Battle: Los Angeles, Lincoln Lawyer and World Trade Center— has signed on to star as Cesar Chavez in a film about the Mexican American farm worker, labor leader and civil rights activist who co-founded the United Farmworkers Union (UFW).
Chavez led the largest nonviolent protest in U.S. history to achieve the UFW’s goal of obtaining basic human rights for more than 50,000 farm workers in California.
“This man inspired an entire community to see themselves as deserving of basic rights and to rise up against injustice,” said Mexican actor Diego Luna, who will direct the biopic. “The film will send the message that change is in our hands — Chavez did something everyone thought impossible with a fearless grace that magnetized an entire country.”
Rosario Dawson is on board to portray Dolores Huerta co-founder of the UFW; while Cesar’s wife will be played by America Ferrera.
In addition, Jacob Vargas has been cast as Chavez’s brother Richard and Yancey Arias as Gilbert Padilla.
The film is set to begin filming next month in Mexico.