Benicio Del Toro Q&A: ‘Sicario’
Oscar-winner Benicio Del Toro says he was drawn to "Sicario" because of its originality. As he tells us during a recent webcam chat, it's an "unorthodox" film that "follows one character and then at the end it just changes POV … so that was interesting, perhaps dangerous."
Del Toro adds, "I didn't know whether the film was going to work or not. It wasn't until I saw it put together that I felt it did. I think you've got to give credit to [director] Denis Villeneuve." The actor stars in the crime thriller as Alejandro, a mysterious operative who works with Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) and Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) to take down a drug cartel on the Mexican-American border.
This isn't Del Toro's first film to address the war on drugs. Most notably, in 2000 he won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for "Traffic," in which he played a beleaguered Mexican cop who was also entangled in the drug war. But "there's something about 'Sicario' that, unlike 'Traffic,' there's a frustration from the characters," says Del Toro. "It's been 30 years of this war on drugs, and the productivity of drugs has not diminished, and the consumption of drugs has not diminished, so it's going in circles."
That frustration leads to extreme measures, or as Brolin's character describes their mission, "to overreact dramatically." "There's a sense of frustration, and going all out," says Del Toro, "pulling all the stops to make a difference in this war."