Just yesterday, theatres saw the release of A Perfect Day starring Benicio Del Toro. Speaking with HitFix over the phone, Del Toro opened up a bit about the manner in which playing The Collector in Guardians of the Galaxy actually helped him perform in other films such as A Perfect Day.
“I’m lucky that I did that movie Guardians of the Galaxy, and I’m able to do independent movies like A Perfect Day and movies in between. That really gives me freedom, and I’m gonna be part of the Star Wars franchise. I’m to travel to England to shoot sometime in the spring.”
While Guardians of the Galaxy may have done a lot for his ability to act in more films, Del Toro himself has put a great deal of work into getting his parts. During the interview, he also talked a lot about his acting style. According to him, success in the acting world is a lot like success in any other field—it all comes down to how much time you’re willing to invest.
“You gotta practice a lot. Meaning I’ve got 20-some years of me doing this in front of the camera, and I think I’m starting to understand it in a way…doing it for this long, you’re a little bit more comfortable in front of that camera. I don’t think it’s something that I work at, you know? That I really actually sit down or meditate or anything like that, but it’s something that over the years…you’ve been there, done that in a way, and you feel a little bit more comfortable. And it takes time to do that in film. It takes time to start feeling comfortable.”
While it may take time to start feeling comfortable, Del Toro—who has credited certain aspects of his performance as The Collector to inspiration derived from the recently departed David Bowie—gets a lot of help in finding comfort by listening to music. In fact, it is one of his greatest hobbies when he is not needed on the set.
“I’m an addict. I’ve been listening to music since I was a kid and still do, and it does pump me up sometimes or relaxes me or helps me get through something. While we were doing [A Perfect Day], the director [Fernando León de Aranoa] was a big fan of Bruce Springsteen and knew him well. So…I was listening to The River and also we were shooting in the south of Spain, and the south of Spain has [a lot of] flamenco, but also kind of like the lead singer of the Clash, Joe Strummer, lived and played down in Grenada, and lived in Spain and Grenada, and was there, so, you know, [we played] some Clash. The soundtrack [in the film] was great, I like that last song [near the end of the film]…with Marlene Dietrich doing that Pete Seeger song [‘Where Have All the Flowers Gone?’].”
If his time spent listening to music is responsible for his comfort as an actor, then this time has certainly paid off. Del Toro seems to disappear into his roles quite well, and The Collector would have been an easy role to overdo. He may not play a huge part in Guardians of the Galaxy, but Del Toro says that The Collector appears to be an absolute favorite with many of the fans he runs into.
“What I’ve noticed is if I get accosted by some of these memorabilia collectors, they pull out a lot of pictures of The Collector for me to sign. That’s a difference that I’ve seen. The Collector kind of comes out and dominates some of the other film memorabilia that the people want me to sign.”
A Perfect Day is currently in theaters. We’ll also be seeing more of Benicio’s fine acting when Star Wars: Episode VIII hits theaters on May 26, 2017.