Exclusive Interviews with Antonio Banderas and the cast of The 33!

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

In 2010, the world was captivated by the story of the 33 trapped Chilean miners who survived 200 stories beneath the earth for over two months and lived to tell about it. Now their story is being told in grand fashion by Warner Bros. and director Patricia Riggen in THE 33, which documents their frightening ordeal and eventual rescue (sorry if that's a spoiler). I recently attended the junket for the film and was greeted by a wealth of interviews, all of which you'll see below. Let's get to it!

First we have Antonio Banderas, who portrays "Super" Mario Sepúlveda, the never-say-die de facto leader of The 33. As we saw in real life and in the film, Mario never let his spirits lag in the face of insurmountable odds, and even when controversy arose within his own group (he sold the book rights to his story while he was still underground, Mario was the ever-optimistic face of the fascinating experience.


Juliette Binoche is one of the most popular French actresses alive today, so who would have pegged her for a role in this Chilean drama? Indeed, Binoche is present – complete with flawless accent – playing the concerned sister of one of the trapped miners. Maria Segovia was one of the fixtures of "Camp Hope", the makeshift home of the families of the miners who refused to budge from the entrance to the mine. While she admittedly doesn't look anything like the real person, Binoche exudes the woman's fiery will and anger at the situation.


Rodrigo Santoro plays Laurence Golborne, who was Chile's minister of mining in 2010, when the accident happened; he became one of the faces of the government's negligence in the matter, but eventually emerged as one of the heroes of the ordeal when he helped immeasurably in retrieving the fallen workers. Golborne became an incredibly popular politician in Chile soon after, meaning Santoro has perhaps the most interesting challenge of the cast: portraying someone who is instantly recognizable to the target audience.


I'd always assumed Lou Diamond Phillips was going to be a genuinely awesome guy, and I wasn't disappointed. The veteran actor was, as you'll see, incredibly polite and fun to talk to as we discussed his role as Don Lucho, one of the trapped men who some might think is partially responsible for the situation since he knew the inherent danger in working in that particular mine.


THE 33 is by far the biggest film, just in terms of sheer scope, that Patricia Riggen has ever directed. The Mexican born helmer has worked on films like GIRL IN PROGRESS and UNDER THE SAME MOON, but this movie is a step upward in terms of the importance of its subject matter and the size of its (largely male) cast. Speaking to her and learning how seriously she took the responsibility, I found there was likely never any doubt that she'd be the right person for the job.


Source: JoBlo.com

About the Author

Eric Walkuski is a longtime writer, critic, and reporter for JoBlo.com. He's been a contributor for over 15 years, having written dozens of reviews and hundreds of news articles for the site. In addition, he's conducted almost 100 interviews as JoBlo's New York correspondent.