The producers that also went to meet the drug kingpin, Fernando Sulichin and Jose Ibáñez, also could not pinpoint when exactly Penn told del Castillo about the interview. One producer thought it was discussed on the flight to Guadalajara, while the other said it was discussed at their hotel in Guadalajara.
Del Castillo also said that Penn’s reference in the article for Rolling Stone about passing by a military checkpoint before meeting El Chapo was incorrect. The actress also claimed that she used her own money to book the flight that led her, Penn, and the producers to meet El Chapo.
— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) March 11, 2016
It all started with a tweet in which she wrote: “I believe more in El Chapo Guzmán than I do in the governments that hide truths from me.”
The post caught the drug lord’s attention and sent his lawyer to contact her by tracking down her parents. Del Castillo said El Chapo’s associate told her the kingpin wanted her to make a movie about his notorious life.
Del Castillo maintained in the interview that the meeting, which was after El Chapo’s second escape from prison, was entirely about the movie. She said she was unsure about whether the work would be a documentary or a movie. The actress said El Chapo was flexible about her decision about the film’s format and that he wanted her to have a starring role.
Del Castillo also told the New Yorker that she feared El Chapo would assault her during their meeting. She said she decided to say her last words to him at that moment: “You’re a very powerful man. And you can do a lot of good. There’s a good man inside of you. So let’s do it.”
The actress said he told her: “You’re not going to see me after this, because I don’t sleep where my guests are. It’s for their security.”
“Thanks for giving me one of the best days of my life,” he added.
El Chapo was captured shortly after the clandestine meeting. The Mexican authorities launched an investigation on Del Castillo, which she referred to as a “witch hunt.”
Meanwhile, one of El Chapo’s lawyers told the Associated Press last month: “I know that Kate is Mr. Joaquín Guzmán’s representative. … And he told me Monday that the movie has to go forward.”
The actress is known for her hit series “La Reina del Sur,” in which she plays a Mexican drug trafficker, and for her roles in the movie “Under the Same Moon,” and “The 33.”