The intense action crime drama SICARIO: Day of the Soldado, directed by Italian director Stefano Sollima and written by Taylor Sheridan, is in theaters now. The film follows the events of Sicario (2015), in the drug war, there are no rules – and as the cartels have begun trafficking terrorists across the US border, federal agent Matt Graver, played by Josh Brolin, calls on the mysterious Alejandro, played by Benicio Del Toro, whose family was murdered by a cartel kingpin, to escalate the war in nefarious ways. Alejandro kidnaps the kingpin’s daughter to inflame the conflict – but when the girl is seen as collateral damage, her fate will come between the two men as they question everything they are fighting for.
Aside from them, the film also stars actors Jefferey Donovan, Matthew Modine, Catherine Keener, Isabela Moner, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, and more. I had the opportunity to speak with Mexican actor Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, who portrays Gallo, a smuggler at the border. Let’s check it out some parts of the interview I did yesterday over the phone.
What was it about your character Gallo that got your attention?
Manuel Garcia-Rulfo – Gallo is a powerful and interesting character. He is a piece of art…. If you know what I mean. I know in acting you’re not supposed to judge your character, but this guy I cannot defend. I’ve been trying to defend him but I can’t. But no, I mean, honestly, it’s just, Gallo is a smuggler. He smuggles anything he can grab, put in his hands, whatever, drugs or humans or whatever he can smuggle, to the States. And he works for one of the cartel. And he has a lot of people who work for him, most of them kids, so he’s kind of like a father to these kids who they’re lost. They’re looking for a better opportunity, looking for money or whatever so he’s a very bad example and yeah, that’s what Gallo is.
Did you do any research?
Manuel – Yes! I watched a lot of videos on the internet… it was torturing and disturbing.
How was it working with Benicio del Toro?
Manuel – It’s a pleasure. I know it sounds like everybody says that but Benicio is amazing. He’s such a nice, he’s a teddy bear, and I know it seems like, you know. He’s such a nice guy and he’s full of talent and energy and passion for his work. And for the purpose of this story he holds so much passion. He wants the whole movie to be great, not just his work. And yeah, he was amazing to work with.
And what about with Isabela Moner?
Manuel – She was hysterical, she’s so funny, full of life. I saw her movie yesterday and after that she go to the premier and man, she’s good! She’s beautiful and good and attractive and I don’t know, she’s one of those actresses that you can see through her, you can see her soul, you know? Huge eyes, beautiful eyes, but one of those actors that you cannot take your eyes off, you know what I mean? But gorgeous in a sense of, of course, of beauty. The, you know, attractive like, energy, you know what I mean?
Being Mexican, how do you feel about Sicario?
Manuel – That was my only issue on portraying Gallo. Because, like I said, I feel so close to this reality because we live in nowadays. You hear these things in Mexico happening. But then I think it, the way, Stefano and the script, and the way they tell this story, I think it’s a reality of how things work out there. Because in the movie, they don’t put you, like, oh this is the bad side or the good side. They put you at their reality of things and it’s a system that is corrupt on both sides of the border. I think for us Mexicans, we have to watch it. It sucks because it’s a reality but sometimes you just have to, you know in Mexico what’s happened is that we’ve become numb against violence and with coming up it’s like normal, all this happened is normal. So maybe this thing will get you more aware of things.
Which scene was it challenging?
Manuel – I think it was the first one I did with Benicio, the one we were in the bus. It’s just because he was Benicio and you’re nervous because he’s a guy that you admire. I hold such respect for him and I think, so that was for me the more challenging for that.