Benicio Monserrate La Rafael Isla Del Toro Bonita Sanchez
Yep, that’s his full name. Honest.
Puerto Rican superstar Benicio Del Toro came to prominence with his Oscar winning, starring role in the mega-hit movie ‘Traffic‘. This most versatile of actors has been widely praised for his acting talent and his on-screen magnetism in hit movies such as ‘Basquiat’, ‘Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas‘ and ‘Sin City‘.
His connection to all things Madonna, however, have stretches over 15 years!
As a 20 year old, one of his first paying jobs was an extra in the flamenco-inspired music video for Madonna’s 1987 smash hit single ‘La Isla Bonita‘ where as an extra he caught Madonna’s eye. Playing a young street kid lounging about on a car, he featured as a smouldering young man who, with a cigarette trailing from his lips, turned the superstar’s head in the street…
Un-noticed by most until his rise to prominence, the cameo stands as one of his earliest screen appearances, but certainly one of his most widely seen, with the single going on to top the UK charts and receiving heavy video-play right the way through the summer of 1987 and ever since…
Many years later Benicio would finally break into Hollywood and onto the A list of megastardom, and one of his big breakthrough roles was in the 2000 film ‘Snatch‘, directed by none other than current Mr Madonna, Guy Ritchie
Playing Frankie ‘Four Fingers’, Del Toro drew rave reviews, together with those for the movie in general. Dubbed the ‘Spanish Brad Pitt‘ movie fans got to see the Spanish version acting alongside the real deal in a flick celebrated by fans and critics alike. “I’ve liked most of the films that I’ve been in and those are the kinds of films I like to see” said Benicio, and the movie-goers of the world agreed, making Snatch a worldwide hit.
Not content with collaborating with the current Mr Madonna, Benicio also found himself working with the first Mr Madonna when he teamed up with director Sean Penn the following year for ‘The Pledge’, later going on to star alongside Penn in 2003’s ’21 Grams’ for which he was again nominated for an Academy Award.
Benicio is quoted as saying ‘there are a lot of good actresses out there‘. This, clearly, must have been prompted by his 1987 appearance with our Mads, right?