Bradley Handwerger / WWLTV.com
NEW ORLEANS ― The movie industry has taken actor Andy Garcia to many locations, but never has he come to New Orleans.
Come the first week of March that will change.
Garcia was named Bacchus XLIII on Tuesday in an announcement ceremony at the World War II museum in homage to the theme of this year’s March 6 parade.
“The theme of the parade is a salute to the greatest generation,” Bacchus spokesman Allan Katz said. “The krewe is working closely with the museum to make sure the floats are authentic in telling the story of the greatest generation.”
“Our veterans, in our opinion, have never been honored nationwide in the scale that we want to honor them,” added Bacchus captain Pip Brennan, standing in front of the American flag as well as the flags of the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, U.S. Merchant Marines and state of Louisiana.
And according to the krewe’s brass, Garcia is the perfect emblem of what that generation begot.
Garcia and his family fled Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis, settling in Miami. He worked his way up as an actor and has been in "The Godfather III," "Ocean’s Eleven" and "Ocean’s Thirteen."
He was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe for his role in The Godfather III.
“He’s just the epitome of the American dream,” said Owen Brennan, executive director of Bacchus.
Garcia, 54, has never been to New Orleans, so he also has never been to Mardi Gras or the World War II. That will change when he’s crowned Bacchus the Friday night before the parade in a ceremony at the World War II museum.
There’s one more Bacchus connection for Garcia – he’s a regular golfer with Bacchus XLII, Drew Brees. Owen Brennan said the subject of a golf game and Brees came up in conversations between the two in the courting of Garcia to become the latest monarch.
Garcia’s son Andres, 9, will ride along in the parade. His three daughters – 28-year-old Dominik, 23-year-old Daniella and 19-year-old Alessandra – along with his wife Maria Victoria also will be in town for the parade.
This year’s parade will have 23 World War II-themed floats that Blaine Kern Studio's artists are working closely with staff members at the museum to develop and 32 total floats, according to Brennan.
Additionally, the krewe will bring in 150 World War II veterans and honor them as well as letting them watch the parade at Gallier Hall.