Benicio Del Toro - who more than passingly resembles Wolfman Jack these days, as he prepares for his role as Ernesto 'Che' Guevara - loves his music.
In fact, he loves it so much he'd rather discuss how he uses it for acting more than he'd like to talk about the process of acting itself. In a recent Esquire profile on the Puerto Rican-born actor, Del Toro - almost freaked out by the responsibility of playing Che - distracted himself by discussing his music picks and employed Rolling Stone album metaphors for the two back-to back Che films (presently titled "The Argentine" and "Guerrilla") he'll be filming with Steven Soderbergh (filming has already begun in Spain).
"We're trying not to do Che's greatest hits. If you're doing a greatest hits of the Rolling Stones, you probably open up with 'Satisfaction' and you finish the first side of the album with 'Sympathy for the Devil,' and then you open side two with 'Gimme Shelter' and you close with 'Start Me Up.' Well, we're trying to start with 'Blue Turns to Grey' [from December's Children (And Everybody's)] and finish with 'Stray Cat Blues,' [from Beggars Banquet] and then start the second side with 'Luxury' [from It's Only Rock 'n' Roll] and finish it with 'Infamy,' [from 2005's A Bigger Bang]something like that."
For his upcoming role as a struggling-to-stay-clean ex-heroin user in the film "Things We Lost in the Fire" (due in theaters October 19) Del Toro's personal mix tape skewed towards noirish music. He listened to the National's Alligator and went to see them in concert ("They were great, they were great, they were great," he chants), mixed in with Bob Dylan's Modern Times and R.E.M.'s Monster.
The equally dark, 2003 film, "21 Grams" was set in Memphis, so the Academy Award winning actor listened to Elvis Presley, Sun Records compilations, and Johnny Cash, mostly American IV: The Man Comes Around, and Cash's cover of Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt."
During his "Traffic" days (the role that won him his Best Supporting Oscar), his music picks were dominated by Los Lobos, to prepare himself for the Tex-Mex feeling, but careful balanced their uptempo pep with acoustic Bruce Springsteen, The Ghost of Tom Joad.
Watch: Dick and Dee Dee - "Blue Turns To Grey"
Watch: Johnny Cash - "Hurt"
Download: The National - "Daughter Of The Soho Riots"
Download: Bob Dylan - "Spirit on the Water"
Watch: Bruce Springsteen - "The Ghost of Tom Joad"