Benicio Del Toro has worked with a lot of directors over the years. In addition to co-starring in “X-Men” mastermind Bryan Singer’s 1995 crime thriller “The Usual Suspects”, Del Toro has appeared in motion pictures from such notable talent as Abel Ferrara (“The Funeral”), Terry Gilliam (“Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”), Alejandro González Iñárritu (“21 Grams”), and Robert Rodriguez (“Sin City”). In short, he’s no stranger to working with cinematic giants, which may explain why he was at ease on the set of Oliver Stone’s “Savage”.
“The main reason for me doing this was Oliver Stone, as a filmmaker,” Del Toro explained. “Yeah, he allowed improvisation. He wants you to think and he wants you to make sure that you commit to it, so he might present some questions that make you think about your choices. Sometimes you have to be on your toes.”
In the latest offering from the man responsible for crafting “Natural Born Killers”, “Platoon”, and “Wall Street”, Del Toro stars as Lado, a drug dealer who kidnaps the girlfriend (Blake Lively) of two low-rent pot growers (Aaron Johnson and Taylor Kitsch). Although such subjects are always darker when you’re dealing with Oliver Stone, Del Toro is certainly no stranger to playing the heavy. In fact, he’s pretty much built his career on it.
“I don’t think so. I’ve played drug dealers, all my life. I’ve made a career of killing people and playing all kinds of killers. As a Latino, you think about the portrait of the Latino, but it’s not one-handed, necessarily,” he said. “There are not a lot of issues that get explored, on the other side. There is some sort of balance. It’s not blaming one person. When you blame just one group, it’s a problem. But here, in the way that I look at it, it’s a bigger issue. The violence and drugs is portrayed in exaggeration. This is fiction. That is how I looked at it. It’s more complex. And, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. Just open a newspaper.”
In addition to playing a drug lord in Oliver Stone’s “Savages”, Del Toro will appear in director Adam Hashemi’s “Agent: Century 21”, a film about a real estate agent who gets caught up in a Mexican drug lord’s kidnapping plot. Considering the only other star currently on-deck is Cameron Diaz, I think it’s pretty safe to say which role Del Toro has signed on for.