Benicio del Toro

BATD ON Feb 16, 2010 AT 5:09 pm

Benicio del Toro

Right now, there is a certain obsession with the supernatural, and Benicio del Toro has decided to grace the silver screen with yet another paranormal phenomenon, The Wolfman. As the producer and star, this project was close to his heart because of his love for horror films as a kid.

Del Toro has been known for excelling in dark roles, perhaps because of his childhood. Born in Puerto Rico, his mother died of hepatitis when he was 9 years old. He then began acting up in school, so his father sent him away to a boarding school in Pennsylvania at age 13. Upon graduation, he went to university in San Diego to follow in the family footsteps and become a lawyer. For an elective, he took an acting class and loved it; much to his father’s dismay, he then dropped out of college to pursue acting.

His first on-camera experience was dancing in the background of a Madonna music video. Then, at the ripe age of 21, he scored the role of Dario in License to Kill, making him the youngest actor to ever play a James Bond villain. Next was his breakthrough role as Fred Fenster in Usual Suspects, which established him as an actor.

Benicio del Toro

From then, del Toro was known as someone who could make drastic changes for a movie. He gained over 20 pounds for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which has become a cult classis, lost weight for the adaptation of the graphic novel Sin City, and changed his accent completely for Traffic. For this role, he mostly spoke Spanish, but was still won the Academy Award for best supporting actor, making him the third Puerto Rican to ever win an Academy Award.

He was ecstatic when Universal executives gave him the green light to remake The Wolfman. Lon Chaney’s original premiered 67 years ago, so he felt it was time to update the classic. Growing up with Wofman action figures, del Toro knew how important it was to make the new version as true to the first as possible. Instead of using computer graphics, makeup artists transformed the actor into a wolf the same way they did for the original. They also made sure the full moon and silver bullet play an equally important role in the new version, but they have also changed the script a bit to frame the father/son relationship more.

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