Remember that time a few months ago when you dropped your favorite coffee mug at work because the white dude from accounting came up to you to talk about Kate del Castillo and El Chapo? I know! We were all shocked. For a brief moment in time, worlds collided and del Castillo became known to white America. La Reina del Sur was hanging with a real-life cartel boss – the most elusive and wanted of them all – and brought Oscar winner and self-proclaimed radical thinker Sean Penn along for the ride. You can’t make this kind of thing up.
Capitalizing on the media storm she faced on both sides of the border, and which has forced her to stay away from her native Mexico for safety reasons, Kate del Castillo partnered with Netflix for the docu-series The Day I Met El Chapo. The upcoming intimate look at her public friendship with the drug lord aims to reveal new details about the resulting illicit encounter. All episodes will available on October 20.
Judging by the newly released trailer, the series is comprised of personal confessionals in which del Castillo speaks directly to the camera, as well as talking-head interviews with people in the periphery: from her industry friends, to Don Francisco, to experts on the complex subject of organized crime. Photos, text messages, and even handwritten letters between El Chapo and Kate are used to construct this intriguing non-fiction narrative in which the actress became trapped between a wanted criminal and corrupt government institutions.
In the clip, del Castillo claims that having a camera on her is a form of protection. She subtly implies that making her story public is a way to try to scare off those who might want to retaliate with violence. Beyond the political connotations of her actions, and Penn’s for that matter, what’s most compelling is to learn about the motivations and moral implications of taking such a huge risk and having to confront the aftermath.
Now go and tell the dude from accounting that this series looks more interesting that Sean Penn’s wretched Rolling Stone article, which you know he read.
The Day I Met El Chapo hits Netflix on October 20, 2017.