Benicio Del Toro's deepest secrets revealed, from eating sand to channeling John Belushi to escaping Tijuana

There are few actors as acclaimed as Benicio Del Toro, who has twice been nominated for an Academy Award, taking home a golden statuette for 2001’s Traffic. That doesn’t mean, however, that he’s not afraid to get his hands dirty for an action-oriented role, as he does in Sicario: Day of the Soldado (in theaters Friday) — almost to a dangerous extent, as he explains in the latest episode of Off Script, Jamie Foxx’s interview series presented exclusively on Yahoo Entertainment.

While the Oscar winner confesses that he doesn’t perform every single one of his stunts, he does like doing as many as possible, noting, “You get into it a little bit.” That habit led to some serious discomfort on the set of the Sicario sequel, since one scene demanded his character be hogtied and duct-taped while eating sand, which meant the experience was akin to being waterboarded. As Del Toro admits, “It was kind of rough.”

No matter how uncomfortable that particular moment may have been, Del Toro tells Foxx the reason he got into acting was that it was fun (“That’s the main thing”). Less enjoyable, however, was initially breaking the news that he wanted to work as an actor to his family, which had no background in the theatrical arts (his father was a lawyer, and his grandfather was a police officer). “When I decided to be an actor, they were not too happy,” he remembers. And even after his Oscar triumph, his grandmother’s response? Go back to college. (“She valued education, which was great”).

During their conversation, Del Toro reveals that one of his biggest cinematic influences was none other than Animal House, which he saw when he was 15, and which he claims was the basis for his performance in Terry Gilliam’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: “I’m doing my version of John Belushi in it.” Even more amusing is a story the actor recounts to Foxx about escaping Tijuana as a young man — an ordeal that necessitated hitching a ride with some girls who did not appreciate his presence in their taxi cab.

To hear all of Del Toro and Foxx’s interview, check out the video above. And stay tuned for more episodes of Off Script, coming soon to Yahoo Entertainment. Sicario: Day of the Soldado is in theaters June 29.

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