Bryan Cranston joked with guests as they waited for the opening credits of “The Infiltrator” to begin during the film’s New York City premiere Monday night at Loews Lincoln Center. “It’s playing a little slow, Brad,” Cranston said to director Brad Furman.
Met with laughs, the filmmaker retorted, “Enjoy the journey” – a phrase he had been using throughout the red carpet and screening to touch on the dangerous, chilling and entertaining storyline of the film. The feature follows U.S. customs special agent Robert Mazur, who infiltrated Pablo Escobar’s notorious Medellin Cartel and collapsed one of the largest money-laundering banks in the world.
Differentiating itself from the Escobar-based Netflix series “Narcos,” Furman explained the film to be more of “an intimate portrayal of a man… an American hero” in contrast to the documentary-infused style of the television series.
“We try to get inside of [Mazur’s] soul and journey… it’s different in emotional depth,” Furman said before Benjamin Bratt, who plays Escobar’s top lieutenant Roberto Alcaino added, “I believe it delves deeper into the complexities of human relationships… The protagonist and antagonist are almost mirror images of one another.”
In order to keep the film as true to real-life as possible, Cranston told Variety that Mazur allowed the actor to dive into his private life.
“He opened up his files, his heart and home to me, he wanted me to get it right,” Cranston stated. “I’m deeply grateful for him and that he did that.”
The film indulges in its fair share of car crashes, gunfire and unnerving silence that should have audiences “sit[ting] on the edge of their seats … afraid for people’s lives,” according to John Leguizamo, who portrays comedic, street savvy agent Emir Abreu.
After the screening, Bratt and Furman laughed over glasses of Prosecco at LAVO. Other celebrity attendees included co-star Diane Kruger as well as Mickey Rourke, James Franco, Pauly Shore and Keegan-Michael Key.
“The Infiltrator” bows July 13.
(Pictured: Brad Furman, Bryan Cranston, Diane Kruger, Benjamin Bratt, John Leguizamo)