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Actor Sean Penn managed to snag the first and only interview with El Chapo after his escape from prison.
The Mexican drug kingpin was caught last week. It was the culmination of a search that had lasted nearly six months after his astounding escape that included about a mile of tunnel.
Although authorities had a tough time finding, locating El Chapo was relatively easy for Sean, who wrote about the experience in an 11,000-word piece for Rolling Stone.
“I take no pride in keeping secrets that may be perceived as protecting criminals, nor do I have any gloating arrogance at posing for selfies with unknowing security men,” Sean wrote. “But…this will be the first interview El Chapo had ever granted outside an interrogation room, leaving me no precedent by which to measure the hazards.”
According to Sean, the only reason that El Chapo ever agreed to meet him was because of his hope for chance at fame on the big sceen. Supposedly, he wanted a Hollywood heavyweight to make a movie about his drug cartel.
They were even able to get some video of El Chapo, which was published on Rolling Stone‘s website.
Sean gained access to the escaped convict late last year through a Mexican soap opera star, and he brought a few loosely identified producers along with him. With the prospect of a biopic about his drug business, El Chapo was supposedly happy to answer questions about his life and career. However, he did make sure the interview room in Northern Mexico was secured by a squad of his armed men who were ready to shoot at the drop of a hat.
The chat, which lasted a few hours, was a very surreal experience for the actor. “Had we really just been where we were? With whom we’d been?,” Sean recalled in his article. “It seemed such a strange dream. Somehow, with all the planning and the travel, I still hadn’t believed that we’d actually gotten to El Chapo.”
As it turns out, authorities in the area used Sean‘s interview to help them refine their search for the cartel boss, so they were better able to track him.