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Benicio Del Toro on ‘Avengers: Infinity War,’ ‘Sicario 2,’ and Laughing His Way Through the Cannes Jury

Del Toro didn't even realize Marvel would reunite him with buddy Josh Brolin until the "Sicario: Day of the Soldado" shoot was over.

Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin seen at Warner Bros Pictures' Premiere of "Inherent Vice", in Los AngelesWarner Bros Pictures' Premiere of "Inherent Vice", Hollywood, USA - 10 Dec 2014

Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin

Eric Charbonneau/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Deep in the catacombs of Caesar’s Palace, below the Colosseum Theatre, there’s a basement warren of dressing rooms littered with snack trays and makeup tables. That was home for Benicio del Toro, CinemaCon’s Male Star of the Year, as he waited his turn to tell thousands of exhibitors why his movie would make everyone millions.

Del Toro was star of the Sony presentation for Mexican drug cartel drama “Sicario: Day of the Soldado,” written by Taylor Sheridan and directed by Stefano Sollima, in which he reunites with frequent costar John Brolin. Of course, Brolin and Del Toro would also work together on the cinematic juggernaut known as “Avengers: Infinity War” — not that either of them had any idea while shooting “Soldado.”

Sicario 2: Soldado

“Sicario: Day of the Soldado”

Lionsgate

As they wrapped that film, Del Toro asked Brolin, “What are you doing?”

“I’m going to Atlanta.”

“I’m going to Atlanta, too.”

“What are you doing in Atlanta?”

“Well, I’m doing a Marvel movie.”

Marvel Studios' AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR..Thanos (Josh Brolin)..Photo: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2018

“Avengers: Infinity War”

Marvel Studios

“I’m doing the Marvel movie!”

This was Del Toro’s first visit to the Las Vegas convention of theater owners. “Yeah, you know, where would I be without them? They’re in danger in the numbers here in America,” he said. “I understand that they’re not in danger in the [entire] world. In some places, it’s booming. Me personally, I’m a movie guy. I grew up liking movies. I watch all movies. I watch movies from all over the world. I don’t think that movies can disappear. The two-hour, the three-hour format. I see very little TV.”

Jury Members Puerto Rican Actor Benicio Del Toro (r) and French Composer Alexandre Desplat (l) Arrive For the Screening of the Movie 'Biutiful' During the 63rd Cannes Film Festival in Cannes France 17 May 2010 the Movie by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is Presented in Competition at the Cannes Film Festival 2010 Running From 12 to 23 May France CannesFrance Cannes Film Festival 2010 - May 2010

2010 Cannes jury members Alexandre Desplat and Benicio Del Toro

Christophe Karaba/EPA/REX/Shutterstock

Next up: Del Toro presides over the 2018 Cannes Un Certain Regard jury. He wanted more after serving on the jury for the 2010 Cannes Competition with president Tim Burton, Kate Beckinsale, and composer Alexandre Desplat, among others

“I’ve heard stories,” he said, “from the ’70s and people got into fights.” But for his jury, “it was watching movies, talking about movies with people that know about movies, and hearing what they had to say. Out of the 18 movies, all were good. Some blew you away and a few were like, ‘Okay, I’ve seen that before.’ But for the most part, so much fun.”

Voting day was “intense,” he said. “You vote really early in the morning the day of the awards. It’s like, you get up at 8:00 and you go to this castle and they close the doors and you have to vote for everything in that day and then there’s a lot of like, back and forth: ‘We’ve got to vote again.'”

“Well, what about this movie?”

“No, not that movie.”

The jury laughed “quite a bit,” he said. “Not about the movie, but laughing about the process. We got to that point where even if you really care about a movie that was not getting any votes, you had to laugh. You go, ‘Okay, well I see the world a little bit different.'”

Del Toro “grew up at Cannes,” he said, with Bryan Singer’s “The Usual Suspects,” Terry Gilliam’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” and Steven Soderbergh’s “Che.”

“Gilliam is back,” I told him.

“Gilliam is back with … is it ‘Don Quixote’?”

“Yeah. It’s closing night.”

“He finally finished!”

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