In 2001, Benecio won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture for Traffic.
Benecio has been nominated for three SAG Awards. In 2001, he won both Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role and Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Theatrical Motion Picture for Traffic. In 2004, he was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role for 21 Grams.
Benicio has just signed on for the movie, Things We Lost In The Fire. Also co-starring will be Halle Berry and David Duchovny. The film is about a woman whose husband dies suddenly.
He was originally cast as Darth Maul in the movie Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. After the majority of the character's lines were removed from the script by George Lucas, Benicio left the project.
He is the youngest person ever to portray a villain in a James Bond movie.
In 2001he became the fourth Oscar winner to play a character that mostly spoke in a foreign language. He spoke mostly Spanish in the movie Traffic.
Before moving to Pennsylvania, was a student at Academia del Perpetuo Socorro in Miramar, Puerto Rico.
He was engaged to Valeria Golino from 1988 to 1992.
Benny Dalmau's last name (his character in the movie Basquiat) came from Raymond Dalmau, a Puerto Rican basketball player in the 70s and early 80s. Raymond Dalmau wore the shirt Benicio wears in the film when he was in the Puerto Rican National Selection.
He is the third Puerto Rican Actor to win an Academy Award. Rita Moreno and José Ferrer were the other two.
He won the 2003 Audience Award for Best Actor at the Venice International Film Festival for his role in the movie 21 Grams.
Del Toro means of the bull in Spanish.
In college he was a basketball star.
When he went to college he studied Art not acting.
His cousin is Joshue Del Toro, who does special effects in movies.
He badly injured his wrist during a stunt fight during the filming of the movie The Hunted. He fell on his wrist as he dove for a knife and actor Tommy Lee Jones fell on top of him. He was injured so badly that he was out of work for months, even though the film was virtually completed. He required 3 hours of therapy daily and reportedly there is a question whether he will regain full use of the wrist.
He graduated from Mercersburg Academy in 1985.
He was offered the role of Reinaldo Arenas in the movie Before Night Falls that eventually went to Javier Bardem. He turned it down to be in friend Christopher McQuarrie's movie The Way of the Gun.
He reportedly turned down the role of Frida Kahlo's husband, Diego Rivera in the movie Frida because of the weight gain that would be required.
Benico burned himself with cigarettes repeatedly for the elevator scene in the movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas because the real Oscar Zeta Acosta did as well but the shots of the burn were cut in the end.
He gained 40 pounds for his role in the movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
He went to the college University of California - San Diego (UCSD).
He dated Chiara Mastroianni.
He went to the Stella Adler Conservatory of Acting on a scholarship.
Benico's family wanted him to become a lawyer because they thought there was no future in acting.
His mother died when he was nine.
His older brother named Gustavo, is a physician in the United States.
When Benico was 13, he was sent to boarding school in Pennsylvania.
He is passionate about oil painting.
Both of his parents are lawyers.
His parents names are Gustavo Del Toro and Fausta Sanchez-Del Toro.
Benico has a slurred, mumbling voice that has become one of his trademarks.
He is 6' 2" tall.
His nickname is Beno.
Benico: I see The Usual Suspects as the time where I was, quote unquote, discovered. It took me six, seven years to get to that place. And it was not easy. You're fighting with people who doubt you and your choice of career. There are a lot of doubts - and you have to stay focused with what you want. I never put a time limit on me being successful or not. I just cared about the work as an actor. But it wasn't easy because there were a lot of ups and downs. I don't know if you know much about baseball, but baseball is the game of failure. You deal with failure - strike, strike, strike - all the time. Acting is like that. You have to have a very thick skin in a way - your hair is too dark, you're too ugly for the part, your audition wasn't good.
Benico: My career went into the hole after Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. People might have seen what saw on screen and subconsciously, people in the business might have taken what they saw literally. I think people thought, he got fat. He got weird. His mumbling increased tenfold. I was trying to do an interpretation of a masterpiece of a book, and that's what the character was - an animal!
Benico: Before I was ever in high school, I had dark circles under my eyes. The rumor was I was a junkie. I have dark circles under my eyes, deal with it.
Benico: I like anything that's three-dimensional, anything I can believe in -even if it's fantastic, surreal or from another planet.
Benico: I do get more recognized now. If I go to dinner, people look at me more now and whisper. But as an actor I would be no one without the people who come and see me. So it would be ridiculous for it to bother me. It just bothers me when I'm intoxicated.
Benico: I'd like to do completely different roles - a romantic lead, for example. I'd like to be dressed up in a suit and get the girl at the end of the movie.
Benico: My goal as an actor has always been to reach a level where I can find a lot of interesting work, and I think I'm at that point now. The Oscar has given me a lot of recognition, but I think Traffic alone would have done a lot for me. It's the kind of role you die for because a lot of people are going to focus on your work. It gives you a very high profile.
Benico: I used to play basketball and I was pretty competitive, but I was never a bad loser. I never got angry. For me it was always about doing my best and devoting myself to a challenge. Sometimes that will cut it, other times it won't. But I'm someone who remains faithful to my dreams. That's how I looked at acting, even though I knew it would be tough going at first. I didn't think about the money, I've always lived simply. I just need my books and I can get by.
Benico: I like to take things very slowly. When you start to become a movie star it's easy to believe that you are Superman. That can fool you. That's why I prefer not to pay much attention to fame. The truth is that I don't give it much thought. I don't suffer. I don't hang my photographs on the wall. Without realizing it, you can enter a vicious circle and think that you really are a superhero. That's the moment when you get yourself in real trouble.
Benico: It's funny, but when I arrived in California to start college I was much more interested in becoming a surfer and cruise along in life from one beach to the next. I didn't plan out any huge career for myself. Now that I see that I have this career and it's worked out for me, it still feels like I'm surfing, only that it's on a different level. I feel very free and that's all that I've ever wanted out of life.