LONDON – Puerto Rican actor Benicio del Toro is one of the new faces starring in the latest Star Wars sequel “The Last Jedi,” and during an interview on Wednesday with EFE in London he said that working in the iconic intergalactic saga is the culmination of his acting career.
The actor met EFE in a downtown hotel on the banks of the River Thames.
Dressed in black matching trousers, jacket and shirt, with a large ring on his left hand’s ring-finger, his greeting was in Spanish, his handshake firm and strong.
“It is the culmination of my acting career,” Del Toro said. “I was invited to join something very interesting, something spectacular and it is a true honor,” he added of his role as a DJ, one of the characters to look out for in the latest release of George Lucas’ cosmic brainchild.
Del Toro – born in San German, Puerto Rico, in 1967 – is now part of the science fiction franchise, although the thespian initially opted to take it in his stride as “just another job” as he considers that his attitude must never change, regardless of the film being a super production or an indie film, he said.
The Last Jedi arrives after two years in the making. The previous installment “The Force Awakens,” premiered in 2015, and four decades since the first movie, now called Episode IV, hit the silver screens in December 1977.
Christmas 2017 signals the arrival of the eighth episode out of nine originally promised by Lucas, which on this occasion was directed by Rian Johnson, who also made “Brick,” “Looper” and three episodes of “Breaking Bad.”
Del Toro’s character, shrouded in rumors and mystery, is a sort of intergalactic mercenary codebreaker with a talent for hacking.
“The director called me and offered me the role. I saw it as a challenge,” he said.
“I was being offered Star Wars, something he could have offered to hundreds of actors, Del Toro said, adding that he was surprised at the proposal.
“We agreed I would read the script and give him an answer, so the script arrived, someone gave it to me in-hand and waited outside until I had finished reading it, and I am a slow reader,” he said with a big smile.
“He waited outside four or five hours,” the actor said. “I liked everything, not only my character, so I immediately said yes,” he added.
Although the winner of an Oscar, a Golden Globe and Bafta for his role as Javier Rodriguez in “Traffic” (2000) and having previously worked in major-budget productions such as James Bond (“Licence to Kill “) or Marvel franchises (“Guardians of the Galaxy”), del Toro acknowledged he had never been involved in “something as big as Star Wars.”
“Once you are on the set is when the magnitude of all this hits you. Prince William and Prince Harry visited us and they aren’t just anyone,” Del Toro said.
The Last Jedi, the second installment of the third Stars wars trilogy has more action and comedy than the previous installment, “The Force Awakens,” and will premiere Dec. 15.
“We are going to like it,” the actor said, with a smile.