Can you believe that the character of James Bond might have been based on a Dominican man, Porfiro Rubirosa? Rubirosa was not your average dude. He was a diplomat, international polo champion, pilot, race car driver, lived a Playboy lifestyle and spoke 5 languages. Rubirosa twice became the richest man in the world, and his story supposedly inspired the character of Bond from Ian Fleming’s franchise.
Through uncovering Rubirosa’s story, Rivas, a Dominican-American multi-hyphenate in his own regard, examines how his life may have been different if his childhood hero looked like him. Rubirosa is a story about love, success, family, Hollywood, code-switching, white-washing, and the roller coaster of finding one’s true self in a world not made for Brown folks.
In a statement, Rivas said: “As a kid, I didn’t have heroes who looked like me in the movies and on TV. They didn’t have my skin, my hair, my nose, my history. So finding out that one of the most successful characters and franchises of all time was based on a Afro-Latino Dominican man was earth shattering to me. This docu-series is me taking back our stories and letting our people shine.”
In the podcast, you will hear the full narrative, from how Rivas first learned about Rubirosa from a Vanity Fair article. All episodes average less than 45 minutes, with new episodes released over the coming weeks.
Through the different episodes, you will learn about Rubirosa’s upbringing in Paris, his relationship with one of history’s most dangerous figures, and how he worked for one of the bloodiest dictators in Latin American history. You will also, hear about some of Rubirosa’s interactions, why he was being watched by the FBI and would randomly disappear for long periods of time and Rivas investigates whether this character actually set the stage for James Bond.
In the series, Rivas talks about his roots, life experiences with old friends, and talks with those who knew Rubirosa. Rivas does a great job investigating and connecting the past to the present with some cultural analysis as well.
You can tune it using your favorite podcast platform. Apple, Stitcher, Spotify,. etc