Monday, October 5, 2015

Meet the Honorees of the 2015 HOLA Awards: BENICIO DEL TORO

Benicio del Toro (Raúl Juliá HOLA Founders Award) won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award and a BAFTA Award for his role as Javier Rodríguez in Traffic (2000). He is also known for his roles The Usual Suspects (1995), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), Franky Snatch (2000), 21 Grams (2003) Sin City (2005) and Che Guevara in Che (2008), a performance which garnered him the Best Actor Award both at the Cannes Film Festival in France, and at the Goya Awards in Spain. He portrayed The Collector in the Marvel Studios film Guardians of the Galaxy. 

His film debut was in Big Top Pee-Wee. He followed this up with the role of Darío in the 007 film Licence To Kill in which the then 21-year-old Del Toro held the distinction of being the youngest actor ever to play a Bond henchman. Del Toro continued to appear in movies including The Indian Runner, China Moon, Christopher Columbus:The Discovery, Money For Nothing, Fearless, and Swimming With Sharks. His career gained momentum in 1995 with his breakout performance in The Usual Suspects,where he played the mumbling, wisecracking Fred Fenster. The role won him an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actor and established him as a character actor. This led to more strong roles in independent and major studio films, including playing Gaspare in Abel Ferrara's The Funeral and winning a second consecutive Best Supporting Actor Independent Spirit Award for his work as Benny Dalmau in Basquiat. 

The film Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, the 1998 film adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson's famous book, directed by Terry Gilliam, has earned a cult following over the years. In 2000, he stood out among a first-rate ensemble cast in Steven Soderbergh's Traffic, a complex dissection of the North American drug wars. As Javier Rodriguez – a Mexican border cop struggling to remain honest amid the corruption and deception of illegal drug trafficking – del Toro, who spoke most of his lines in Spanish, gave a performance that dominated the film. His performance swept all of the major critics awards in 2001. He won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, becoming the fourth living Oscar winner whose winning role was a character who speaks predominantly in a foreign language. He is also the third Puerto Rican actor to win an Oscar, after José Ferrer and Rita Moreno. In addition to the Oscar, he also won the Golden Globe Award and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actor. This year, he can be seen in the films The Little Prince, Sicario, A Perfect Day, and Weightless. He is scheduled to play the main villain in Star Wars VIII, scheduled for release in 2017.

The 2015 HOLA Awards will be on Monday, October 12, 2015 at the Battery Gardens, in Battery Park at the southernmost tip of Manhattan, in New York City.

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