Benicio del Toro is so much more than an actor. The droopy-eyed Boricua is an international symbol of elegance, grace, and refinement, and now he’s the spokesman for Heineken beer. Maybe you didn’t expect that last part, and that would be perfectly understandable considering that the 49-year-old Sanjuanero has never endorsed a brand in his professional life. But you see, Heineken also views itself as an international symbol of elegance and refinement; so who better than Del Toro to make that point?
And keeping with the Benicio brand, the commercials are attractive and well-produced, and even give Del Toro the chance to show off some of his funny side. The first of two — released in both English and Spanish — finds Del Toro kicking back a beer with his fictional family when a group of Anglo tourists accosts him from outside, begging for a picture. Del Toro graciously obliges only to be met with cries of, “Oh my God, it’s Antonio Banderas.” Tell me that’s not funny.
What finally convinced the man to go corporate after nearly 30 years of TV and film acting is between him and his pocketbook, but it seems Heineken assuaged any concerns with this clever and wryly funny campaign. A behind-the-scenes video gives us a brief glimpse into the process and includes an interview with the Academy Award-winning actor — mixed in with shots that show off the neon-orange running shoes he’s wearing off-camera.
Over two minutes, Benicio hits all the promotional buttons needed to get Heineken’s point across, though we can’t help but notice the guy seems a little uncomfortable. It takes the normally eloquent thespian nearly 10 stuttering seconds to say, “I’ve always been a fan of the beer, and it was an honor to be part of this campaign.” Later on, after talking briefly about his role in the upcoming Star Wars: Episode 8, Del Toro even goes so far as to express doubt as to how the final commercials will come out.
Luckily Benny had nothing to worry about. The campaign does do justice to both his image and actorly endowments.