El Chapo Didn’t Know Who Sean Penn Was Prior to Rolling Stone Interview

Text messages between drug lord and his lawyer reveal that he needed to be briefed on Oscar winner’s films

Sean Penn‘s filmography has made him a huge star the world over, but apparently his films don’t often screen in Sinaloa, a free sovereign state in northwestern Mexico.

Newly uncovered text messages between drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán and his lawyer reveal that El Chapo had not heard of Penn prior to their now infamous meeting that the actor wrote about for Rolling Stone.

El Chapo is identified as “Papá” in the exchange and his lawyer is “M.” Read a portion of the conversation below, courtesy of Mexican publication Milenio:

M: Sean Penn. The one who made the movie “21 Grams.”

Papá: “21 Grams.” What year was that made?

M: I’m checking so I can give you the exact date.

Papá: OK.

M: “21 grams” came out in 2003. Apart from that he’s a political activist. He’s been very critical of the Bush administration.

Papá: That was his most recent film?

M: Nowadays he hardly does any acting. Now he produces. And he knows almost all the directors and producers in Hollywood.

Penn interviewed El Chapo, currently the most notorious drug lord in the world, while he was on the run from the Mexican government and many others.

In an incredible tale involving secret messages and blind trust, Penn ventured into the Mexican jungle with actress Kate del Castillo and emerged with an on-the-record account for Rolling Stone that is surely stranger than any fictional film he’s starred in.

The Associated Press reported from Mexico that the interview with Penn ultimately led federal authorities to recapture “El Chapo,” who was taken into custody Friday in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, after six months on the run.

“El Chapo” disappeared from Mexico’s highest security prison last summer, escaping via a mile-long tunnel that some said cost $1 million to build. Penn wrote in the article that the drug lord hired German engineers to build the tunnel.

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