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Josh Andrés Rivera to Portray Aaron Hernandez In Ryan Murphy's American Sports Story Series

The casting for Ryan Murphy's anthology series American Sports Story is beginning to take shape.

Per Variety, the lead actors have been confirmed for American Sports Story season 1 after being cast but not announced prior to the ongoing Screen Actors Guild strike. Josh Andrés Rivera has been cast as Aaron Hernandez, the New England Patriots football player who was convicted of the murder of his friend, tight end Odin Lloyd. Patrick Schwarzenegger has also been cast as Tim Tebow, who began playing for the Patriots in 2013.

Rivera, who is taking on the lead role of the season, is an up-and-coming actor whose most prominent role to date was in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story cast. He played Chino, the fiancé of María (Rachel Zegler), the young woman who causes a rift between two of New York's gangs when she instead falls in love with rival leader Tony (Ansel Elgort). Rivera will also appear alongside Zegler in the upcoming prequel The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes as Sejanus Plinth, a Hunger Games mentor from District 2.

Schwarzenegger has had a somewhat longer career, which properly kicked off in 2012 after a minor role in 2006's The Benchwarmers. His biggest titles before the 2020s included the Bella Thorne romantic drama Midnight Sun and an episode of Ryan Murphy's Scream Queens, where he played the brother of Glen Powell's Chad Radwell. His star has risen even more since then with roles opposite Toni Collette in the true crime miniseries The Staircase and Chris Pratt in the action thriller The Terminal List, as well as playing the major character Golden Boy in this year's The Boys spinoff Gen V.

It seems that American Sports Story will continue Murphy's trend of helping bring bright young actors further into the public consciousness. The show will also continue his habit of casting characters from a consistent stable of actors who have worked with him before. While Schwarzenegger has only appeared in one previous Ryan Murphy project, he could potentially cement a place in that stable with this new role.

I'm here for a story digging into Aaron's life, especially all the gay rumors that may have ended up with Aaron going to jail for murder.

However, we can't ignore the fact that whenever we get a anthology series with Ryan Murphy's name attached the end result becomes a mixed bag. Quiet as it's kept the man has a track record of sensationalizing the lives of real people instead of telling a compelling story.

In my opinion, American Horror Story hasn't been watchable since Coven, and don't get me started with his Jeffrey Dahmer antholgy series on Netflix.

So while I am curious to see where he plans on going with this anthology series, I'll remain skeptical until I see the trailer and eventually the first episode.


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