Telenovela actress is furious at Sean Penn over drug lord drama

Kate del Castillo interviewed by Diane Sawyer. (Screenshot: ABC/YouTube)
Kate del Castillo interviewed by Diane Sawyer. (Screenshot: ABC/YouTube)

Los Angeles - Mexican actress Kate del Castillo, who met with drug baron Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman alongside Sean Penn in October, said she is angry with the US star for using the opportunity for his own glory.

Del Castillo has been in the spotlight since it was revealed that she arranged the meeting between herself, Guzman and Penn, which occurred three months before the Sinaloa drug cartel leader's capture.

The 43-year-old actress, who has dual US-Mexican citizenship, shared her version of the events in an interview aired Friday on ABC News from her home in Los Angeles, in her first televised appearance since her link to the drug kingpin was revealed.

"El Chapo," one of the world's most wanted men, had long held the notion of making a film about himself and urged his lawyers to contact Del Castillo, whose performance as a drug lord in the telenovela La Reina del Sur (Queen of the South) had caught his attention.

Wanting to carry out the project, Del Castillo said that she thought adding a Hollywood star such as Oscar-winning Penn to the mix would give her "more credibility," but that in the end she felt betrayed.

"I think he was never interested in the movie," she said, but instead used the meeting as fodder for his article in Rolling Stone magazine, a much mocked 10 000 word piece about their adventure.

Angry at Sean Penn

Asked whether she was angry with Penn, Del Castillo responded: "Yes, a little bit, I am."

The actress said she had agreed to embark on the movie because "I'm not gonna wait for Steven Spielberg to call me, you know?"

"Life goes really fast and of course I'm in my 40s, so it doesn't get any easier. But I need to start with a big project so I can grab attention from the big people in Hollywood," she said.

Asked whether she or Guzman were trying to seduce each other - the two had exchanged text messages in which "El Chapo" promised to take good care of her -Del Castillo responded that he may have had a crush on her TV character.

"I think he's maybe an admirer? I don't know. I'm - okay, maybe, yes. I don't know, we'll have to ask him," she finally said.

Del Castillo said she had no intention to accept a penny from Guzman for the project.

Since the scandal broke, she has not set foot in Mexico but is still in touch with Guzman about the film project through lawyers, which she said he has agreed to go forward with.

"It will be my call and everything will be on my control, for sure," she said.

Mexican authorities said they tracked text messages between the actress and drug lord, which facilitated his eventual arrest at the beginning of the year.

Watch the full interview here: