BE­NI­CIO DEL TO­RO IN HIS OWN WORDS

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“When I got to Hollywo­od, the­re we­re only two La­tin Ame­ri­can ac­tors doing ci­ne­ma, and la­ter on Andy Gar­cía joi­ned in. I was the fourth. Then ca­me the Spa­nish wa­ve with An­to­nio Ban­de­ras, Pe­né­lo­pe Cruz and Ja­vi­er Bar­dem. I told my­self: “you are going to work in Hollywo­od and per­form as a la­ti­no.” I was lucky enough the­re was a strong mo­ve­ment of in­de­pen­dent ci­ne­ma when I got the­re and was able to do this in­si­de the in­dustry. I was of­fe­red the op­por­tu­nity to work in so­me mo­vi­es, but that is com­pli­ca­ted be­cau­se the­re are just too few scripts about the ex­pe­ri­en­ce of la­ti­nos eit­her in the US or in their own coun­tri­es.

“(…) The pro­ject of doing so­met­hing about Hernán Cor­tés has not be­en do­ne nor has it writ­ten yet, but we are working on it. The idea is to make a se­ri­es not only about him but about the Con­quest of Me­xi­co as well, and the cul­tu­ral clash betwe­en Az­tecs and Spa­ni­ards that re­flects all the ma­ni­pu­la­ti­on on both si­des. That re­qui­res a gre­at de­al of re­se­arch and it´s gon­na take so­me time. We are li­ving anot­her age,

anot­her men­ta­lity. It´s hard work, you ha­ve to pre­pa­re well. We ha­ve the con­cept, the idea, so­me cha­rac­ters ha­ve be­en al­re­ady out­li­ned, but not­hing el­se.

“(…) The fact that so­me di­rec­tors and pro­du­cers try to ty­pe­cast me do­es not chan­ge my way of working on a cha­rac­ter, eit­her ba­sed on so­me­o­ne who re­ally exis­ted or a fic­ti­ti­ous cha­rac­ter. With so­mew­hat ag­gres­si­ve­ness, I go against the ste­re­oty­pes of the cha­rac­ters I am of­fe­red and even against ot­hers pre­sent in the script».

“(…) When the pro­ject on Che ca­me up, the­re was a gre­at num­ber of bi­o­grap­hi­es of his li­fe, and so we told our­sel­ves we had to go and me­et the pe­o­ple who ma­de him what he was. It was Ge­or­ge W. Bush´s ad­mi­nis­tra­ti­on by then, and tra­ve­ling to Cu­ba was ex­tre­mely com­pli­ca­ted. So, we had to re­quest a lot of aut­ho­ri­za­ti­ons. We met many pe­o­ple who had a re­la­ti­ons­hip with Che: colle­a­gues, fri­ends, re­la­ti­ves…and what mo­ti­va­ted me the most was to make a mo­vie from the vi­ew­point of Cu­bans”.

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