Flaming hot cheetos has become a cultural staple and an all time favorite on any list of snacks. How did this snack come to be? How did it become a cultural snack favorite? Many people don’t know the back story to their favorite snack is a Mexican American rags to riches one. The recent film, Flamin Hot, tells the story of the creation of flamin hot cheetos.
Directed by Eva Longoria and produced by Devon Franklin, Flamin Hot, shows Richard Montanez’s journey to creating the secret recipe to flamin hot cheetos. Raised by Mexican immigrants, Montanez fought past gang culture and bad influences to become a janitor at Frito Lay. After years of working as a janitor, Frito Lay was slowly losing its edge and letting go of their staff. Montanez knew the bland chips needed some spice to really cater to a bigger demographic, and save the factory jobs in his community. Montanez, alongside his wife Judy and his sons created the spicy, sweet seasoning that so many of us love today.
Montanez would later become a marketing executive for Frito Lay and earn the title of “Godfather of Hispanic Branding,” within his long career at Frito Lay. He would also become an author and public speaker, telling his flamin hot cheetos story to the world. The only issue being that many people believe Montanez story is fabricated and not completely truthful. The most “accurate” timeline was written in a Los Angeles Times article, where reporters claim Montanez created another seasoning, a “Sabrositas line, included Flamin’ Hot Popcorn, two types of Fritos — Flamin’ Hot and Lime and Chile Corn Chips — and a Doritos variety billed as buñuelito-style tortilla chips.” Not the actual flamin hot cheetos seasoning. Supposedly that recipe was already established before Montanez pitched his ideas.
The Reel Effect sat down with Franklin to discuss the claims and if he believes they will affect how viewers see the film. “I don’t think so. I think that when they see the film they’ll see that this is a true story,” Franklin stated. Continuing with, “I think anybody seeing this film is going to enjoy and appreciate the facts, appreciate his journey. And any former reporting prior to it, I don’t think will diminish an audiences point of view.”
During our interview Franklin revealed his favorite scenes from the film. Along with the reasons he wanted to be involved with this project and work alongside Eva Longoria.
Franklin ended the interview with advice he would give his younger self when it comes to navigating the television and film industry. One lesson being, he would suggest any person live life and truly experience what the world has to offer. So you can bring those experiences into your work and what you create.
Hear more on Flamin Hot and Franklin’s experience producing the film below, full interview also here! Do not forget to follow us for more entertainment news, advice, and production resources.
Watch Flamin Hot now on Hulu and Disney+.
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