Academy Award winner Benicio del Toro plays the leader of one of the world’s most powerful criminal organisations in “Escobar: Paradise Lost”, which hits U.S. cinemas at the weekend.

Pablo Escobar was once Colombia’s most-wanted fugitive and his Medellin Cartel shipped cocaine to the United States and Europe. He was shot dead by security forces in 1993. Del Toro is no stranger to playing big personalities, having portrayed Argentine guerrilla Ernesto “Che” Guevara in the 2008 biopic “Che”.

“For me investigating things is very interesting because you can learn a lot about the character that you’re interpreting,” del Toro said on the red carpet for the film’s Los Angeles premiere on Monday night.

The plotline sees young Canadian Nick, portrayed by “The Hunger Games” actor Josh Hutcherson, in Colombia where he falls in love with Maria, Escobar’s niece, played by Claudia Traisac.