When Rolling Stone ran their infamous interview of the then-at-large El Chapo by the actor Sean Penn, little was mentioned of Kate Del Castillo. Though it was the Mexican actress who had engineered the clandestine meeting because of her unusual friendship with the drug lord. Ironically, after the interview, it was Del Castillo alone who was under investigation by the Mexican government. Now, almost two years after the ordeal, Del Castillo is revealing never-heard-before details of the encounter in her new Netflix documentary, The Day I Met El Chapo, airing today.
Del Castillo chatted with Latina about her relationship with El Chapo, Sean Penn, and why it's time to share her side of the story.
How important was it for you to share your truth about the meeting with El Chapo?
Many people only know half the story. It's not about "the truth." It's mainly for myself and for my own piece of mind. It's cathartic to say the truth. I couldn’t say it before because it was an ongoing investigation. I feel free to talk.
Did you admire El Chapo?
Admire isn’t the word. He has a fascinating story, and as a Mexican there are many things I wanted to know. It's fantastic the way he got to where he is.
He was born in this little pueblito in Sinaloa. How did he become the world's number one drug lord? Who helped him? It's an appealing story.
Did it bother you that Sean Penn seemed to get (or take) all the credit and attention around this meeting, though it was you and your relationship with El Chapo that made it all possible?
It didn’t bother me. I told him (Sean) to put my name on the story. I helped him translate so I could show it to Mr Guzman. Though not the last version, which he never saw.
Sean Penn is furiously trying to block this documentary, any comments?
We called him with the opportunity to be in The Day I Met El Chapo, and we never got a response. He can now say whatever he wants, just not in my documentary. It’s a little too late. He can have his own series, but not this time, not with us.
What can people expect to see in the film?
People that know me know I have no filter. Mexicans know that. The American audience will see a woman in her truth. I have no filters at all in the film. I accept any blame, if that’s the case. I’m straightforward. I share texts and footage no one has seen. It's a whole recollection of who I am. Where I come from and what led me to do what I did.
Why did you do what you did? It was a dangerous endeavor.
I’m a woman, its not easy to get stories made in Hollywood. I'm a Latina, I'm over 40. I have an accent. I have to go and seek new stories, new roles. I risked my life to tell this story.