John Leguizamo Writing & Starring in Autobiographical Comedy 'Fugly'
by Ethan Anderton
February 7, 2013
With roles in Ridley Scott's The Counselor and Kick-Ass 2, actor John Leguizamo is getting some great work as a supporting star. But later this year we'll see him take on the lead role in an autobiographical comedy called Fugly! Like many stand-up comedians, most recently Mike Birbiglia and his directorial debut Sleepwalk with Me, the film will see Leguizamo playing a fictionalized version of himself named Jesse Sanchez, a Latino comic who has a near-death experience that forces him to revisit his personal and professional highs and lows. The film is based on his Broadway one-man show Ghetto Klown. More below!
A press release from 108 Media has announced the purchase of the film at the European Film Market with an eye towards release sometime in the third quarter of the year. It describes the film as blending past, present, fantasy, and reality to tell of one man's hilarious quest for fame, fortune, and fulfillment. Leguizamo's Nothing Like the Holidays director Alfredo de Villa is at the helm of the film which also features the talents of Rosie Perez, Radha Mitchell, Griffin Dunne, Yul Vasquez,Tomas Milian and Ally Sheedy. It definitely sounds like a promising comedy.
Leguizamo commented on the film:
"This is my first foray into screenwriting and in trying to up-end a format by making an ‘anti~romantic comedy.’ We went very sexual, very aggressive, and exposed some of my life through the character of Jesse. 'Fugly' was a term we used and invented in New York when i was a kid for anything truly abhorrent. It was used on me many a time in my hood. This time I'm appropriating it. This is my revenge through art!"
Though you might want to knock Leguizamo's work in Super Mario Bros, the guy is a stellar actor and has proven so in films like Moulin Rouge, Romeo + Juliet and The Lincoln Lawyer. And for anyone who has ever seen Leguizamo's fantastic HBO stand-up specials Freak and Sexaholix, this should be great news. His retelling of heart-breaking and hilarious stories from his personal life are so genuine and entertaining, it's a surprise it took this long for Leguizamo to bring those stories to the big screen. There aren't too many comedies that feature a Hispanic guy in the lead and focus on his family life and pursuit of success, so this should be a breath of fresh air. We'll keep you posted when a release date and trailer become available.