Kate del Castillo talks about "El Chapo" and Penn

She is the target in a witch-hunt, she said in an interview for the New Yorker, about her recent life.

The interview as published on the New Yorker website. (Photo: Screen capture)
English 11/03/2016 12:39 Newsroom Actualizada 16:55

Mexican actress Kate del Castillo finally decided to talk in an interview about her liaison with drug kingpin Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán Loera, and said that she is in the target of a witch hunt.

Del Castillo pointed out that she was extremely concerned when Mexican Attorney General Arely Gómez announced at a press conference that the liaisons between Guzmán Loera and actors and movie producers were being investigated.

“I wanted to die.” All has happened after the newest detention of "El Chapo". The next morning, Gerardo Reyes, a reporter with Univision, called her, according to the New Yorker.

Reyes had learned from a source in the Mexican government that one of the actors the attorney general had referred to was del Castillo.

Del Castillo Tweeted the link to the interview, conducted by journalist Robert Draper.

The interview is accompanied by a picture of Del Castillo, Guzmán Loera, and actor Sean Penn, who published an interview with "El Chapo" for Rolling Stone.

On the subject of the biopic that Guzmán wanted to have made about his life, she said that she was undecided on whether it would be a documentary or not. “I was still deciding between a documentary or a movie,” she said, though his preference was clear: “He wanted a big movie, and he wanted me to star in it.”

She can apparently still count on the support of El Chapo. Last month, one of the trafficker’s lawyers told the Associated Press, “I know that Kate is Mr. Joaquín Guzmán’s representative. . . . And he told me Monday that the movie has to go forward.”


The interview also reproduces one of the controversial messages sent by Guzmán to Del Castillo, after her famous Tweet on which she appeared to be apologetical of the drug-lord.

"Thank you so much for what you did for me, because, 'paisana,' you did me the favor of speaking for me. Thanks, 'amiga,' I cannot pay you back for what you did for me. I’m letting you know that I’m O.K. . . . With respect to the rights, you and my lawyers should come to an agreement. With respect to the rights, I want it to be clear that you are the one that decides everything that is done, what you want and what you don’t want.

"El Chapo" also commented about “Visitantes,”  (Visitors) a Mexican horror film in which del Castillo played a doctor driven mad by apparitions:

"On another subject, some friends told me that they went to the movies to see a horror film you were in, amiga. They told me it’s really cool. Hopefully they’ll play it soon on some TV channel. . . . I love your acting, you really go for it. I congratulate you. I imagine acting can’t be so easy, amiga. I hope to say hello to you in person someday. Hopefully soon. Say hello to your dad, and your whole family, for me. I watch your father very often, because they show movies where he’s the main character. O.K., amiga, my respects to you. You’re a love. Thanks so much. Your friend, Joaquín Guzmán."

Del Castillo also described the contacts between her and Penn, and said that he was the one who proposed a meeting with “El Chapo”.

Penn, Argentinean producer Fernando Sulichin, and del Castillo met for lunch at Fig, a restaurant in Santa Monica’s Fairmont Hotel. Because del Castillo had an appointment at the U.S. consulate early that afternoon—she was about to take the oath to become an American citizen—she cut their discussion short. Penn did not indicate any interest in del Castillo’s movie project. Instead, referring to El Chapo, he asked, “Do you think we can go and see him?”

She says that she replied, “That sounds really dangerous. The guy’s on the run, you know. But I can try.”

“Ask him,” he said.

According to the interview, three days later, on September 25th, del Castillo flew to Guadalajara to attend a friend’s birthday. That evening, she met "El Chapo's" lawyers, Andrés Granados and Oscar Manuel Gómez. They handed her a BlackBerry and told her that their boss would like to hear from her directly. In these text messages, which were later leaked to the Mexican press—not by del Castillo, almost certainly not by the drug trafficker, and therefore likely by someone inside the Mexican government—El Chapo said that she could come to the Sinaloa resort town of Mazatlán and spend a day with him at a nearby ranch. Then he wrote, “Amiga, if you’ll bring the wine, I’ll also drink yours. . . . I’m not a drinker, but your presence will be a lovely thing and I very much want to get to know you and become very good friends. You are the best in this world. . . . I will take care of you more than I do my own eyes.”

Del Castillo replied, “It moves me so much that you say you’ll take care of me—nobody has ever taken care of me, thank you! And I’ll be free next weekend!”

Del Castillo then left to join her friends, while the lawyers stayed on the BlackBerry to tell "El Chapo" that she was planning to bring along the two producers as well as Sean Penn, “one of the most famous actors in Hollywood.” "El Chapo" had never heard of Penn. Gómez then explained that “he made the film ‘21 Grams’ ” and was a “political activist” who had been a critic of the Bush Administration. Guzmán Loera did not object.

The following day, the lawyers gave del Castillo a BlackBerry, so that she could contact "El Chapo." They began texting again just after 11 P.M. He told her that he would be glad to welcome her and her friends. She was effusive but also strategic: “Thanks to you I’ll get to meet you—you have no idea how emotional this makes me feel. Thanks for your confidence. I’ve been putting together an important team with people who are highly respected in Hollywood. I want you to hear them out.”}

“Amiga,” he replied, “have confidence that everything will be fine—otherwise I wouldn’t be inviting you. I’ll take care of you, you’ll see that when you come, I’ll get to drink your tequila with you. As I told you, I’m not a drinker, but with you I’ll drink to the feeling of being together. Thanks so much for being such a fine person. How beautiful you are, amiga, in every way.’’

Del Castillo pointed out that she had no idea that Penn wanted to interview Guzmán Loera since the beginning, and also said that they never went through a military checkpoint on the way to the interview, as Penn said in Rolling Stone.

Draper points out that the meeting with Del Castillo was in her house in Los Angeles, last month, and that she offered some Tequila of the Honor brand, which she owns.

As for the movie about "El Chapo," the interview indicates that the project is still in development and points out at the aftermath of the arrest of Guzmán Loera and the investigations against Del Castillo.

"Following the publication of Penn’s article in Rolling Stone, del Castillo spent two weeks sequestered in her house, in order to avoid reporters and photographers ... She was at times contrite, lamenting at one point, 'See, I just do things, and I never see the consequences.' She repeatedly emphasized that she condemned 'El Chapo’s' criminality. But she also echoed the affinity for him that she displayed in her initial tweet."

"Del Castillo told me, “I can relate to that. Because I should be in Mexico. I love Mexico and I’ve been an actress since I was nine. It’s been a heartbreak to me to leave my country to have to find something else because my country didn’t provide me with those opportunities.'”

Also, Del Castillo regarded the Mexican government’s investigation of her as “a witch hunt,” with elements of sexism and age discrimination.

“They always mention my age. They don’t talk about Sean’s age, or him being in love with or admiring El Chapo,” she said.