Benicio del Toro was actually pursuing a business degree when he realized that his heart was more into drama. Eventually he dropped out of school before finishing his degree and made a play at being an actor, which as you can see today was the right choice since he’s been tearing it up on the big and small screen ever since. When he first started out he was playing small roles that typecast him as a thug or drug dealer, but he eventually moved up to becoming a serious actor that took on very influential and even forceful manner at times in some of his movies. Those films he’s in that he’s present but quiet however are some of the most menacing he’s ever done since he doesn’t need to be the loud, mad-dog killer to be frightening. Sometimes he just needs to look at a person in a certain way to chill the blood in their veins.
Here are some of his best movies at this point.
5. The Hunted
This is one of those instances when his character is just a frightening individual that makes him seem absolutely cold-blooded and without remorse. The opening of the movie actually pits his character, a trained military veteran that’s a certified killer, up against two trained agents in the middle of the forest. Despite their gear and training he makes them look like little boys out for a hunt with their daddy’s rifles, outwitting them and using just a knife and his training to subdue and then carve the men to pieces. At that moment you get the feeling that it will take someone that is just as fierce as he is to bring him down. Of course the guy that trained him is a good choice too.
4. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
This entire movie is one long trip as the two main characters, Duke and Gonzo, are constantly getting high and freaking out as Duke attempts to do what he came to Las Vegas to do, which is report on a motorbike race. You would think it’d be easy enough to focus long enough for something like this but if you’re already high and don’t want to come down then the temptation must seem awful and not at all easy to resist. However the lengths that both men go through to cause as much mayhem while they’re high is something to behold since it’s a bigger acid trip than anything that many people could imagine.
In this movie he gets to be the guy that actually has a heart and simply wants to better his community, though to do so he has to go through a little hell to get there. As an officer that sees the corruption and crime that are ruining his city Javier is more than willing to find a way to make it stop, though he also knows the futility of attempting to rid his area of crime since the pervasive nature of it is sure to make certain that it will always return in one form or another. But when he sees the chance he does what he has to in order to make certain that some of those in his neighborhood will at least have a chance at fulfilling life.
2. The Usual Suspects
The funny part about this role is that del Toro’s character wasn’t meant to do much more than act as fodder for the film, he was just supposed to show up and die at the appointed time. But seeing this del Toro decided to make the character someone that would be remembered and so this is why his voice seems so garbled, it was an attempt to make him known. Kevin Spacey was actually the one that recommended del Toro for this role, as the original thought was to hire on someone that was quite different. In fact Benicio almost didn’t want to audition for this film since he didn’t really care to go through the process.
Who does the government go to when they need someone that can handle the dirtiest work with the cartels and not be directly tied to them? They go to someone that has every reason to hate the cartels and doesn’t care if they go down in flames. This movie was something uniquely brutal in that it wasn’t shy about showing just what was going to happen to the criminals that were apprehended and it made no apologies for what the operatives were trying to do when it came to getting the job done. Emily Blunt’s character was perhaps the only one with a well-defined conscience since she was way out of her depth and it showed. By the end however she was beginning to realize just how far down the rabbit hole she’d gone.
Benicio del Toro is a scary kind of good sometimes when it comes to acting.