Josh Andrés Rivera is hitting the football field…
The 28-year-old Puerto Rican actor will star in the first installment of Ryan Murphy’s American Sports Story anthology series for FX.
Rivera’s co-star will be Patrick Schwarzenegger as fellow former NFL star Tim Tebow.
The first installment charts the rise and fall of NFL superstar Hernandez and explores the connections of the disparate strands of his identity, his family, his career, his suicide, and their legacy in sports and American culture.
Tebow and Hernandez were longtime friends going back before their time in the National Football League. They were onetime teammates at the University of Florida, where they won the 2008 SEC Championship and went on to beat Oklahoma for the BCS Championship title. Tebow was known for looking out for Hernandez while on the team, including protecting Hernandez from being kicked off over marijuana use and helping to diffuse a situation in a bar when Hernandez got into an altercation with the bar manager. The two first met when Tebow hosted Hernandez on a recruiting trip to UF before he graduated high school.
Both castings were completed in early 2023, prior to the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, but were never confirmed by FX.
“We have a fairly complete set of scripts for American Sports Story by Stu Zicherman,” FX chairman John Landgraf said back on January 12, noting at the time that the series is “heading toward production.”
That was delayed by the WGA strike, which started in May, and the SAG-AFTRA strike, which has been going on since July.
American Sports Story, one of two new offshoots in Murphy’s “American Story” franchise alongside American Love Story, is a scripted anthological limited series focusing on a prominent event involving a sports figure and re-examines it through the prism of today’s world, telling that story from multiple perspectives.
Rivera next stars in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. He recently played Chino in Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of West Side Story. He notably performed in the original company on the first national tour of Hamilton.