In preparation for the release of Narcos season 3, Deadline is presenting a few excerpts from the film Loving Pablo starring Javier Bardem as Pablo Escobar and Penelope Cruz in the role of his mistress, Virginia Vallejo, a Colombian journalist who had an affair with the drug lord.
The two Spanish stars, who are married to each other in real life, are co-starring in their compatriot Fernando León de Aranoa's project that's so hush-hush, it seems to have come out of nowhere.
León de Aranoa is best known for his 2015 film A Perfect Day, and his new film is an adaptation of the book Loving Pablo, Hating Escobar by Virginia Vallejo. Peter Sarsgaard (Garden State, Blue Jasmine) has also joined the cast.
These two beautifully-arranged clips, in which we explore Virginia's love for the dangerous Pablo, are particularly moving. As Javier Bardem explained to Deadline:
“I was attracted to playing Pablo Escobar, for many years now. It was around 1998 that I started to be intrigued by this character as a person. And since then I’ve been offered other Escobar roles, but I always refused them because there wasn’t any feeling beyond a stereotype.”
And Penelope Cruz described her process taking on the character of Virginia Vallejo as follows:
"[I] studied about 800 hours of various interviews and shows that she did as a journalist and TV presenter. She is the one that trained Escobar and taught him how to use the media to communicate, how to deal with the press, how to address the public. In his political career, she became a significant figure."
The film is premiering at the Venice International Film Festival, which began on August 30, before screening at the Toronto International Film Festival. A theatrical release is expected in Brazil at the end of December.