Josh Andrés Rivera (West Side Story) has been cast to portray late NFL football player and convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez in the upcoming FX anthology series by Ryan Murphy, American Sports Story.
According to Variety, the limited series will “examine the rise and fall of Hernandez, including looking into his identity, his family, his career, his death and his legacy.” After three years playing college football at the University of Florida, Hernandez was drafted by the New England Patriots in 2010 where he played tight end for the team for three seasons.
In 2013, Hernandez was charged with the first-degree murder of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd. Two years later, he was found guilty and given a life sentence for the crime. Two years after that, Hernandez took his own life in prison. Following his death, it was found during an autopsy that Hernandez suffered from severe chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
American Sports Story was originally greenlit by FX back in 2021. The first season will be based on the six-part podcast series, Gladiator: Aaron Hernandez and Football Inc. Joining Rivera in the cast is Broadway star Lindsay Mendez, who will play Tanya Singleton, Hernandez’s cousin who pleaded guilty to a contempt charge during his case.
Rivera, who is of Puerto Rican descent, made his big screen debut in Steven Spielberg’s 2021 remake of West Side Story. He will be seen later this month in the prequel, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes. Rivera is currently dating West Side Story and Songbirds & Snakes co-star Rachel Zegler.