Javier Bardem plays Pablo Escobar without ‘glamour’ in new movie, ‘Loving Pablo’
Colombians asked Bardem not to play Escobar with ‘glamour’ or coolness. “They don’t want their kids to repeat their story,” said the acclaimed actor.
Many filmmakers and TV producers have taken on the legend that has become Pablo Escobar. The man who became synonymous with the Colombian drug wars of the ‘80s remains a polarizing figure who stirred up conflict wherever his business went, ultimately landing him in the crosshairs of the United States’ anti-drug efforts. Escobar created a new kind of class system in his country, one where poor men trafficked their way to riches and most likely an early, violent death.
But the legend of Escobar is not what captured Javier Bardem’sattention. It was his friend, director Fernando León de Aranoa, who approached the actor with the idea of adapting the memoir of one of the people closest to Escobar, journalist Virginia Vallejo, the woman who became his lover and eventually led the U.S. feds to him.
Their project would eventually become “Loving Pablo,” which opens in theaters Friday with Bardem playing the role of the infamous cartel leader and Bardem’s wife, acclaimed actress Penélope Cruz, playing Vallejo.
Bardem told NBC News over the phone that he was intrigued by the way Vallejo’s book deconstructed the myth surrounding the man.