Puerto Rican actor Benicio del Toro says people should judge the movie “Sicario” for themselves.
A week after the mayor of Ciudad Juarez called for a boycott of the movie and threatened to sue its producers because of the way it portrays his city, Del Toro shot back saying he understands that some people get sensitive about the way their city might be portrayed. But people should just give the movie a chance.
“Juarez is known for having a violent past, very violent,” he told Fox News Latino. “Movies borrow from reality. Trying to go after this film would be like the mayor of Baltimore asking people to boycott the TV show ‘The Wire’ or Italian-Americans boycotting ‘The Godfather.’ Our intention was not to talk bad about Juarez and I think that people should be able to judge for themselves.”
Del Toro, whose credits include “Traffic” and the Pablo Escobar flick “Paradise Lost,” is returning to the grim world of drug trafficking in Denis Villenueve’s thriller, “Sicario,” which opened nationwide last week.
“The thing that attracted me was a combination of the story, the script – which I thought was original in its content and original in its structure – the director, whose enthusiasm, vision and sensibility to the subject were clear to getting me involved,” del Toro told FNL on Wednesday.
“The cast, which always plays a role in getting an actor to play a role, and also the director of photography, Roger Deakins, who I was excited to work with [enticed me],” he added.
In “Sicario” – which means “hitman” – the 48-year-old plays Alejandro, who is part of a CIA task force chasing a Mexican drug lord. He works alongside Emily Blunt and Josh Brolin.
“We question the character – especially at the end – probably the same way we would question the covert operations that have been done by our government in history where the intention is good,” Del Toro said. “He’s someone who has been created by the drug cartels in a way. His rage, his motivation and revenge has been created by what happened to his family, his backstory, and it creates someone who is not going to stop at anything and perhaps be evil."
He added that as a character Alejandro is easy to understand, even if you don’t agree with him.
“Sicario” is told from the point of view of Blunt’s less experienced FBI agent Kate, who cannot seem to understand her role in the operation.
“I wasn’t sure when I read [the script] that it would work because usually once you establish the point of view, you cannot abandon it, but emotionally, it did something that instead of feeling pushed back – and I am talking as a spectator – I was pulled in,” he said.
“Sicario”, which made its debut at the Cannes Film Festival in May and had its North American premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, opened to rave reviews last week.
Lucia I. Suarez Sang is a Reporter for FoxNews.com.
Follow her on Twitter @luciasuarezsang