×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Listen: Benicio Del Toro Was Initially Skeptical of Doing a ‘Sicario’ Sequel

PLAYBACK is a Variety / iHeartRadio podcast bringing you conversations with the talents behind many of today’s hottest films. New episodes air every Thursday.

Sequels to movies like “Sicario” are pretty rare, so it’s a gift for an actor like Benicio Del Toro to get a chance at expanding on a character such as Alejandro, the cold and broken hitman from Denis Villeneuve’s 2015 thriller. His performance in “Sicario: Day of the Soldado” is just as penetrating as his laureled work last time, and it’s part of a major moment for the actor, who also recently starred in massive blockbusters “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and “Avengers: Infinity War.”

Listen to the latest episode of PLAYBACK below.

Click here for more episodes.

“When we got the word they were planning to do a sequel, I was skeptical,” Del Toro says of the new film. “When I got Taylor [Sheridan]’s script, it was original, unpredictable and truthful. As I was reading it there were a lot of ‘oh s—‘ moments. The character evolves and this journey brings humanity back to the character. I thought that was an interesting way to make a character change. And it seemed believable. It’s also a throwback to the movies I grew up liking.”

Del Toro’s cinematic awakening came in the 1970s, when American cinema wasn’t afraid to showcase characters defined by their frailty, or themes about “the futility of effort,” as he puts it.

“I didn’t think about being an actor until I was in college. The first couple of days my first year, that’s when I first signed up for an acting class,” Del Toro says. “But growing up, my dad loved John Wayne movies. We saw a lot of westerns, Clint Eastwood movies. Later on, Eddie Murphy was someone that I really ran to see his films. But I remember seeing a movie called ‘At Close Range,’ Christopher Walken and Sean Penn. I remember watching Sean Penn in that movie and going, ‘That’s what I want to do.'”

Del Toro describes himself as an introvert, in contrast to his “Soldado” co-star Josh Brolin, who is the life of the set between “cut” and “action.” It’s an interesting quality given the eccentricity of many of the characters Del Toro has portrayed, from Fenster in “The Usual Suspects” to Dr. Gonzo in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” to his ongoing appearances as The Collector in Marvel Studios releases (most recently seen in “Avengers: Infinity War”).

“I’m shy to an extent,” Del Toro says. “One of the things I liked about acting when I first started was when I got up on the stage I had an excuse, that really, it’s not me. So I could explore. It’s some kind of shell of some sort. It’s complicated because I think you draw from your life and personal experiences. That’s the first thing you go to, like, ‘What would I do if I was in that position?’ So you bring who you are. It’s the combination of it being an out-of-body experience and being truthful to who you are. It’s a contradiction.”

Speaking of The Collector, what’s been the most surprising aspect of being a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

“Having a ride in Disneyland, my man,” Del Toro says. “That’s far out. I still don’t believe it!”

For more, including talk of how being a part of the “Star Wars” series is “the dream of the inner child” and what winning an Oscar for “Traffic” meant for his career, listen to the latest episode of “Playback” via the streaming link above.

iHeartRadio
Hear more episodes of “Playback” at iHeartRadio.
Subscribe via iTunes.

Benecio Del Toro photographed exclusively for the Variety Playback Podcast
Dan Doperalski for Variety

More Film

  • The Poison Rose

    Film Review: 'The Poison Rose'

    It is 1978 in the City of Angels and the hard-drinking washed-up sleuth Carson Phillips is having another boozy day through its atmospheric streets. There is a hint of innate coolness and self-deprecation in his elongated voiceover intro — you might even briefly mistake Carson, played by a one-note John Travolta, for a Philip Marlowe [...]

  • 'Chambre 212' Review: A Comedy More

    Cannes Film Review: 'Chambre 212'

    Most of us, in our romantic lives, meditate here and there on the other roads we might have traveled, and movies are uniquely equipped to channel those alternate-universe-of-love possibilities. That’s the idea at the (broken) heart of “Casablanca.” And the fantasy of getting to see the turns your life didn’t take play out right in [...]

  • Zach Galifianakis Jerry Seinfeld Netflix

    Film News Roundup: Zach Galifianakis' 'Between Two Ferns: The Movie' Coming to Netflix

    In today’s film news roundup, “Between Two Ferns: The Movie” is unveiled, “Friedkin Uncut” gets a fall release and Sony Classics buys “The Traitor” at Cannes. MOVIE RELEASES Netflix has set a Sept. 20 release date for Zach Galifianakis’ “Between Two Ferns: The Movie,” based on his 11-year-old talk show. Galifianakis made the announcement during [...]

  • Romanian Crime-Thriller 'The Whistlers' Bought for

    Romanian Crime-Thriller 'The Whistlers' Bought for North America

    Magnolia Pictures has bought North American rights to the Romanian crime thriller “The Whistlers” following its premiere in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. Written and directed by Corneliu Porumboiu, the film stars Vlad Ivanov, Catrinel Marlon, Rodica Lazar, Antonio Buil, Agustí Villaronga, Sabin Tambrea, Julieta Szonyi and George Pisterneanu. Magnolia is eyeing a theatrical [...]

  • Naomi Scott Talks Rebooting Princess Jasmine

    'Aladdin': Naomi Scott on Why Her Princess Jasmine Needed Nasim Pedrad's New Character

    Call Naomi Scott the queen of the reboot – or at least, the princess. The 26-year-old actress is taking on the role of Princess Jasmine in Disney’s live-action remake of “Aladdin,” but it’s not her first time jumping into a role that’s already been well-established. Audiences may recognize Scott from 2017’s “Power Rangers” update, where [...]

  • Moby Natalie Portman

    Moby Accuses Natalie Portman of Lying as the Two Spar Over Dating Claims

    In what’s become a he said/she said spat in multiple mediums, Moby, the elder statesman of electronic music, is now accusing actress Natalie Portman of lying and pleading to those on social media for his safety as “physical threats from complete strangers” emerge. To recap: this month, Moby released a new book, “Then It All [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content