Jesse Garcia to Star in the Eva Longoria-Directed “Flamin’ Hot” Film

It’s a flamin’ hot time for Jesse Garcia.

The 38-year-old Mexican American actor and former Quinceañera star has landed the lead role in Eva Longoria’s feature directorial debut Flamin’ Hot from Searchlight Pictures and Franklin Entertainment.

Jesse Garcia

Garcia will play Richard Montanez, the architect of the Flamin’ Hot Cheeto, while Annie Gonzalez of Gentefied will portray his wife, Judy.

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 Hoteland Devious Maids EP Longoria beat out several directors for the job after impressing Franklin and Searchlight with her authentic approach to the project.

“It has been my biggest priority to make sure we are telling Richard Montañez’s story authentically,” said Longoria in a statement. “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 has come aboard for revisions on the Lewis Colick-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.

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.

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.

Bad Bunny Partners with Cheetos for “Deja Tu Huella” Campaign

Bad Bunny’s making his (orange) mark…

Over the weekend, videos of the 26-year-old Puerto Rican Latin trap and reggaeton singer filming in the streets of California’s Boyle Heights in flooded social media. He was spotted by fans doing various takes for an upcoming Cheetos commercial, and the cat was out of the bag. “I wasn’t expecting that,” he tells Billboard by phone. “The word got around and it was like a sold-out concert,” he jokes.

Bad Bunny x Cheetos

After teaming up with various brands this year including Crocs, Bad Bunny has now joined forces with Cheetos for its “Deja Tu Huella” campaign — a new multi-platform initiative designed to rally the next generation to leave their mark in their culture.

“This initiative is important because it’s the union of two brands, the commercials are amazing, and it’s an encouragement for the Latin community,” says Bad Bunny, whose real name is Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio. “I feel proud because we are using our tools and the motivation to invite Latinos to leave their mark in what they love and to reach their goals whether it’s in music, sports, or the arts.”

Through “Deja Tu Huella,” Cheetos wants to celebrate and help lift up the Latino community.

“I’m leaving my mark in many ways,” Bunny continues. “For me, it’s important to leave my mark with my creations in music but also as a human being. My music has traveled far around the world and 100 percent in Spanish with my Puerto Rican slang. Wherever I go, in every interview, I let everyone know that I am Latino and Puerto Rican and I think that I have left that mark well placed in the whole world.”

But the partnership is more than just a campaign.

Cheetos, in collaboration with the singer’s Good Bunny Foundation, is giving back to the Hispanic community with a $500,000 commitment. This complements the recently announced PepsiCo and PepsiCo Foundation commitment to the Latino community with $170 million in support over five years to further build on its long-standing efforts to address racial inequality and create opportunity, according to an official press statement.

“It’s undeniable that Hispanic culture has shaped American pop culture. And it’s that culture that has inspired much of Cheetos initiatives in food, fashion, and entertainment,” said Marissa Solis, svp of marketing, Frito-Lay North America, in a statement. “On the heels of Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re proud to kick off a campaign that pays tribute to the Latinos who are pushing boundaries and rewriting the rules. And, we’ll have a lot of fun along the way when we see what Mr. Bunny and Mr. Chester has a store for fans this November.”

The Bad Bunny and Cheetos collaboration will be unveiled on Sunday, November 22 during the 2020 American Music Awards, where he’s a four-time nominee. As part of the AMAs partnership, Cheetos is also sponsoring the expansion of the Latin award categories including favorite male artist, favorite female artist, favorite album, and favorite song.

As for the “Yo Perreo Sola” singer’s favorite Cheetos flavor? “I like the ‘Flamin’ Hot Limón’ the most,” he concludes.