HOLLYWOOD (KABC) — The new movie “A Million Miles Away” is based on the real-life story of California’s Jose Hernandez.
He was the first migrant farmworker to become an American astronaut. His journey was challenging, to say the least, but toss in determination, dedication and dreams and the result is one inspiring movie.
Actor Michael Peña plays Hernandez. From the time he was a little boy, he had big dreams to one day go into space.
The movie shows us what it took for Hernandez to make his dreams come true. To up his odds, he became a pilot, a certified scuba diver, and he even learned Russian!
What he didn’t learn was to accept rejection. The real Hernandez, who makes a cameo in the film, is excited to see his journey become a movie.
“I hope it inspires lots of people to reach their maximum potential, because I think it’s going to be an inspirational classic,” he said.
Filmmaker Alejandra Marquez Abella said Hernandez’s story spoke to her.
“When I knew about this project, I was so emotional,” she said. “I couldn’t deny, you know, the power of the story and the power that it was going to have in my life and, you know, in everyone who watches the film.”
Hernandez made it to space in 2009 on a 14-day mission. When it was time to land, the shuttle had to scrap Florida for California, landing about 80 miles from where he picked strawberries as a kid.
Hernandez took home a lot from his time in space, including one important thing.
“You see how thin our atmosphere is, and you see how delicately balanced it is that I tell you, I became an instant environmentalist,” he said.
“You don’t have to be someone else,” said Abella. “You don’t have to look like someone else. You can be yourself. Whatever you do, doesn’t matter the job that you do. There’s honor and there’s everything you need to turn that machinery in whatever what you want to become.”
“A Million Miles Away” is streaming now on Amazon Prime Video.