The Mexican actress spoke to the New Yorker about brokering the meeting between the drug lord and the actor. Del Castillo said Penn’s claims that she was aware of his intention to write an article about the meeting were “total and complete bulls—.” The actress said she was not aware of Penn’s plans until they were both in front of El Chapo at his hideout.
“This was not how I was expecting the night to be,” del Castillo said in the interview. “But at the moment I thought, maybe we can base the movie on this article.”
The aforementioned film led the actress to be in contact with El Chapo in the first place. Nearly two and a half years after the actress tweeted about El Chapo, she was contacted by his lawyers and was flown to Mexico City to meet the drug lord and be given the rights to his life story. She explained lawyers said they entrusted her with the film rights “because you’re very brave. Because you’re outspoken. Because you always tell the truth, even when it’s about the government. Because you come from a great family. And because he’s a fan of yours from ‘La Reina del Sur.’” (Del Castillo caught El Chapo’s attention playing a drug trafficker in “La Reina del Sur.”)
Del Castillo had been put into contact with Penn by Argentine producer Fernando Sulichin. Once she and El Chapo had established contact, she and Penn met to discuss setting up a possible meeting. Once that was set, Penn emailed Del Castillo 22 questions to translate and ask the trafficker, accompanied by a note saying, “After this article, we’ll begin with the movie.”
After reading the final draft of Penn’s now infamous article, she realized he had no interest in the movie project. She also had a problem with the way Penn portrayed her in the article.
In January, El Chapo was captured again. When del Castillo found out the government was looking into her interactions with him, she “wanted to die.” The Mexican government is currently investigating whether the actress was laundering money for El Chapo.
She plans to continue moving forward on the El Chapo film.