The True Story Behind Cassandro

By Louie Fecou
Published: September 22, 2023 (Last updated: 4 weeks ago)
Cassandro Movie True Story
Cassandro (Credit - Amazon Prime Video)

Directed by Roger Ross Williams, the sports drama Cassandro is an engaging, often emotional true story that focuses on Saul Armendariz. Saul is a lucha libre wrestler from the 1980s competing in Mexico.

It follows his career from the early days, where he fought under the name El Topo before crossing paths with another wrestler, Sabrina, who would fight under the name Lady Anarquia. The meeting would resonate with Saul, who would be inspired to follow his path, embrace his homosexuality, and become an exotico wrestler named Cassandro. His extravagant persona would make him successful and pave the way for other queer wrestlers.

Cassandro is based on a true story

Saul Armendariz (Credit – IN Magazine)

Saul’s story is based on the real-life events surrounding wrestler Saul Armendariz. Saul was a competent and dedicated wrestler but stuck in a rut, competing in lowly venues and never really fulfilling his real ambitions.

Only when Saul changes his persona, becoming an exotico wrestler Cassandro, does he start to flourish in the industry. The film was co-written by Roger Ross Williams and David Teague, but Saul himself was on hand to consult on it, no doubt offering valuable insight into the wrestling world.

The titular character is based on a real person, to the point that Saul Armendariz himself would work on the project with the director. Saul has a very close relationship with his mother, as depicted in the film. Saul’s relationship with his father is also shown in the movie, and although it is strained, the two have reconnected in real life.

The luchador trainer Saul works in the film is loosely based on some real coaches who would help and encourage Saul in real life. Saul has stated that he was most heavily inspired by the now deceased exotico wrestler, baby Sharon.


Cassandro movie premise

The film is a biopic that explores the life of queer wrestler Saul Armendariz, who would find that his career as a wrestler was going nowhere until he adopted a new flamboyantly camp persona that would inspire others and lead to his success.

Saul becomes interested in wrestling after being taken to some fights by his father.

He follows his dream and tries to become a player in the ring, but despite his ability and dedication, he cannot get a break until a chance encounter convinces him to embrace his true self and become an exotico wrestler, exuding camp confidence and adopting a new persona.

The film shows his rise as a wrestler and exposes some obstacles he faced.

Related: Where was Cassandro filmed? Locations Explained

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