Meet Real Teacher Who Inspired John Leguizamo's 'Critical Thinking' Character
- Category: Interviews
- Created: Friday, 06 November 2020 16:40
- Published: Friday, 06 November 2020 16:45
- Written by Lupe R Haas
Based on a true story from 1998, John Leguizamo plays real-life teacher Mario Martinez in CRITICAL THINKING. The high school teacher coached and inspired five Latino and Black teenagers from a disadvantaged area of Miami to win the National Chess Championship. CineMovie talks to Mr. Martinez about the inspirational story along with executive producer Carla Berkowitz who fought for 23 years to bring the story to life with first-time director Leguizamo at the helm.
CRITICAL THINKING also stars Michael K. Williams, Rachel Bay Jones, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Jeffry Batista and Ramses Jimenez. Famed music producer Emilio Estefan is also one of the executive producers along with Leguizamo.
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Miami Jackson Senior High School chess team were the first inner city to win the National Championship. Martinez's unwavering belief in his students and the crew's friendship helped propel them to the top of the game.
Mr. Martinez tells CineMovie what it was like watching Leguizamo play him, while Ms. Berkowitz says she's working on a series to tell of the story of his other student's accomplishments.
Principal Cast: John Leguizamo, Michael K. Williams, Rachel Bay Jones, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Jeffry Batista, Ramses Jimenez
Director: John Leguizamo
Producers: Scott Rosenfelt, Jason Mandl
Executive Producers: Carla Berkowitz, Harvey Chaplin, Emilio Estefan, and John Leguizamo