The last time he played a drug thug on screen, he waltzed home with an Oscar, a Golden Globe, a SAG (Screen Actors Guild) Award and a BAFTA. Now, a decade on, Benicio Del Toro is back, again playing it mean and dirty on the Mexican border, in Oliver Stone's fast and furious actioner, Savages.
Stone's violent new romp is unlikely to offer Del Toro the same rewards as Steven Soderbergh's riveting thriller Traffic.Savages has been roundly dismissed by critics as loud, brash and misguided in its approach to the same drugs issue – but its star says he found working with the controversial director of Natural Born Killers and JFK both inspiring and revealing.
In Sydney this week, Del Toro sat down to share his views on America's war on drugs, working with Stone and the upcoming US presidential election. In our video interview, he also opens up for the first time about becoming a parent with Kimberly Stewart – daughter of veteran rocker Rod Stewart – and why, despite the pair no longer being together, he intends to be a hands-on father to baby Delilah.
The actor also offers some intriguing insight into Barack Obama's performance in the first of the pre-election presidential televised debates, in which Obama appeared to be floored by his opponent, Mitt Romney.
Savages is in cinemas from October 18.