Director Eva Longoria says she is “absolutely” confident moving forward on Flamin’ Hot, the biopic on Richard Montañez, a former janitor at a Frito-Lay plant who has claimed for years that he is the inventor of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
“[Richard’s] story has always been the story we wanted to tell,” Longoria tells Remezcla by phone Tuesday morning (June 15). “We’ve never faltered or stepped away from it. I can’t wait for people to watch it. It’s inspirational [and] aspirational and nobody can take that away from Richard.”
Montañez’s claims were challenged by a report by the L.A. Times in May when they published a statement from Frito-Lay calling his story an “urban legend.”
“None of our records show that Richard was involved in any capacity in the Flamin’ Hot test market,” their statement read.
Montañez pushed back in an interview with Variety saying: “I was their greatest ambassador. But I will say this, you’re going to love your company more than they will ever love you, keep that in perspective.”
Although Longoria didn’t make an official public statement at that time, she wrote “the truth shall set you free” to her Instagram stories section in late May when PepsiCo, the owners of the Frito-Lay brand, said Montañez’s story was “far from being an urban legend” and that they “attribute the launch and success of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos…to several people…including Richard Montañez.”
Now, it’s safe to say that Longoria is backing Montañez with full support in their upcoming film project. “His accomplishments, his struggles and his life story is his story to tell, not the L.A. Times.”