Based on the true story of the titular character, ‘Cassandro’ is a biographical drama movie that focuses on Saúl Armendáriz, a gay wrestler who is determined to participate in the lucha libre wrestling matches. Initially, he gets into the ring with his opponents as El Topo. But when he crosses paths with a new trainer, Sabrina, she suggests that he should compete as an exótico. This suggestion leads him to come up with the character Cassandro, the “Liberace of Lucha Libre,” after which he rises to international stardom.
Besides upending the macho wrestling world, Cassandro also manages to upend his own life. Co-written and directed by Roger Ross Williams, the sports movie takes place in the 1980s in El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, including dusty El Paso neighborhoods and crowded auto shops that are turned into wrestling rings. So, many of you are bound to wonder where ‘Cassandro’ was filmed. In that case, allow us to fill you in on all the details about the same!
Cassandro Filming Locations
‘Cassandro’ was filmed in Mexico, Texas, and New Mexico, especially in Mexico City, Ciudad Juárez, and El Paso. As per reports, production on the biopic got underway in early May 2021 and wrapped up in more than a couple of months or so, in July of the same year. Now, without further ado, let’s traverse through all the specific locations where the titular character navigates his wrestling career in the sports drama film!
Mexico City, Mexico
A major chunk of ‘Cassandro’ was lensed in Mexico City, the capital of Mexico situated in the Valley of Mexico within the high Mexican central plateau. It seems that many scenes were recorded across the city in different neighborhoods and streets as the filming unit redecorated certain aspects of the city to match the timeline of the story. In a September 2023 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the director Roger Ross Williams was asked about his approach when shooting the fighting sequences in the movie.
Williams responded, “It was important that each fight tell a story. Each fight has an emotional arc to it, whether it’s winning over the audience, gaining confidence, the humiliation of his first fight. It was all beautifully and carefully choreographed by our (Mexican wrestler) Chessman, who was our choreographer and trainer.”
Ciudad Juárez, Mexico
For the scenes set in Ciudad Juárez, the production team of ‘Cassandro’ supposedly set up camp on location in El Paso del Norte itself. Situated on the Rio Grande River in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, Ciudad Juárez consists of a blend of modern and historical architecture surrounded by mountain ranges. Thus, in the exterior shots, you are bound to notice these features and certain landmarks in the backdrop, such as Ciudad Juárez Cathedral, Benito Juárez Monument, and Museum of the Revolution on the Border.
El Paso, Texas
For shooting purposes, the filming unit of ‘Cassandro’ traveled to El Paso, another one of the locations where a significant portion of the story is set in. In particular, to shoot the scene where Bernal is seen admiring a mural of Cassandro, the cast and crew utilized the locales around Stanton and First Streets in Downtown El Paso. They even recorded some scenes near the Mexico-United States border wall in El Paso.
Additional portions of ‘Cassandro’ were also lensed in the state of New Mexico, which lies in the southwestern region of the country. During the later stages of production, the director and his team were spotted taping several key portions on the Alkali Flat Trail, a part of the White Sands National Park. Located near the city of Alamogordo, the National Park comprises glistening white sands and wave-like dunes of gypsum sand, making the world’s largest gypsum dune field.
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