He may have embodied the infamous Argentine revolutionary in Steven Soderbergh’s “Che” (2008), but Benicio del Toro’s Lado was whipped into shape by cartel Queen Elena (Salma Hayek) in Oliver Stone’s “Savages.” Luckily, he lived to tell the tale.
While promoting the film at the San Sebastian International Film Festival this week, del Toro recalled the sting of having the Mexican actress give him some tough love on set.
“Receiving 17 slaps from Salma, a woman that comes from the same country as so many great boxers, was not very pleasant,” the Puerto Rican actor joked during an interview with the Spanish-edition of Vanity Fair.
Fortunately for his face, producer Laura Bickford announced at the same event that del Toro would star in a new romantic-comedy, playing a love-struck Chilean novelist living in Paris.
"Benicio and I have a long creative partnership. We started developing “Che” before “Traffic.” I really wanted to develop something where he could be funny and romantic," Bickford told Variety.
The film, titled “How The Light Gets In,” is set at four hotels -- in New York, London, Paris, and Berlin. And if he plays his cards right with the leading lady, perhaps Benicio can avoid that eighteenth slap.