After making its debut at the Cannes Film Festival in May and premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival just three days prior, Lionsgate’s edge-of-your-seat crime thriller “Sicario” had its New York premiere Monday night at the Museum of Modern Art leaving guests speechless and riveted by the suspense and action sequences. The film currently has a 94 percent positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes and the cast promised the reviews are accurate.
“It turned out to be a good film that I’m very proud of. I was just coming off of ‘Everest’ and I almost didn’t do the movie. Thank God I did,” Josh Brolin told Variety on the red carpet prior to the screening. “The result is incredible. Once I read the script and started to get into it, I was like, ‘Wow, this is something that I want to put my time and energy into!’ What attracted me to the movie is that it brings something into the consciousness. The drug cartel in Mexico is something that’s so close to us and I hope people will see this movie and start to talk about it as much as we talk about ISIS that’s halfway across the planet.”
“Sicario” (a slang word meaning hit man in Mexico) centers on a stoic FBI agent (Emily Blunt) who is recruited by a Homeland Security task force agent (Brolin) to take down a powerful Mexican drug lord supplying the U.S.
“Playing this role is certainly the most intense thing I’ve ever done,” said Blunt. “Although it was challenging, it’s was so appealing because I get to shed every layer of skin to play a part that is raw and gritty. It’s an actor’s dream to do this type of role and I’m so happy that I could do it.”
The British star, who became an American citizen last month, has topped a short list of actresses to portray action-heavy roles, especially after starring in “Edge of Tomorrow” with Tom Cruise. But don’t expect her entire career to be based on wielding guns.
“I don’t want to do it all the time,” she admitted. “If I did, that would mean I would have to be in the gym perpetually, which is something I do not enjoy. But I’m happy to contribute to the new wave of these very kick a– roles for women. I think it’s become less of an anomaly to have women in these parts, which is fantastic. We just saw Charlize [Theron] in ‘Mad Max’ and Rebecca Ferguson in ‘Mission: Impossible’ and all these amazing women showing that they can do a push up and capable of doing what the guys are doing. But we still need more women in these types of roles. We are just beginning and I am happy to contribute.”
Joining Blunt and Brolin at the premiere were costars Daniel Kaluuya, Maximiliano Hernández, Bernardo Saracino and Benicio Del Toro, who is no stranger to drug world movies. His performance in Steven Soderbergh’s “Traffic” earned him an Academy Award.
“I’m Hollywood’s go-to guy for the war on drugs,” joked Del Toro, who plays a mysterious Mexican operative. “I’ve played many characters that live in the drug world. I’ve been the guy who’s in charge of it, the cop going after the drug criminals and the guy addicted to it, but this one had a different angle. I knew there was something interesting for me to do. After this, I think it’s time for me to move on to do other things.”
Del Toro next film is 2017’s “Star Wars: Episode VIII.” He is rumored to play the villain in the highly secret project. “I’m very excited about it. I can’t talk too much about it,” he said. “I loved the original. It was a part of my childhood.”
Following the screening, the cast, director Villeneuve, Roger Deakins, the director of photography, and producers Basil Iwanyk, Edward McDonnell, Molly Smith, Thad Luckinbill and Trent Luckinbill all mingled at the after-party held at The Modern located inside the Museum of Modern Art. Blunt’s husband John Krasinski joined the bash and made his rounds socializing with guests including director Amy Heckerling and cracked jokes with Del Toro. Meanwhile Brolin shared a long conversation with Hilary Swank and Blunt chatted with director Julian Schnabel.
“Sicario” opens Friday and expands nationwide on Oct. 2.
(Pictured: Benicio Del Toro, Daniel Kaluuya, Emily Blunt and Josh Brolin at the “Sicario” after-party)