TouChey, Touchey

Benicio Del Toro got a mite touchy when a reporter for the Washington Times suggested that the essence of Che Guevara's philosophy was not "love."

Del Toro was just out of his depth. Actors start to believe they've researched their parts well after they've read maybe an essay. I mean, c'mon. Asked why he wanted to take the part, he suggests it's for educational purposes:
Not knowing much about the history of Cuba, the history of Che, not being taught anything about it," Mr. del Toro says of his motivation for helping to bring the picture to fruition. "The image that I have or what has been told to me about this character is that he's kind of a cowboy - a bloodthirsty cowboy."

In doing research for the picture, Mr. del Toro was drawn to the writings of Guevara. "First, you start with what he wrote. What Che Guevara wrote. And he was a great writer, he wrote for years, so you start with that," he said.

So he read the whole corpus, which is about hate as the driver of the revolution, and comes up with "Che is love."

Dude, you're an actor! There is no shame in saying, "Because it's a damned juicy part, the stuff careers are made of." It's more honest and more interesting. And then you don't embarrass yourself by saying stuff like this:

Mr. del Toro doesn't deny that Guevara's persona had some darker aspects. "We have to omit a lot of stuff about his life," he said, "but we're not omitting the fact that he's for capital punishment, which is the essence of that."
Yes, support for capital punishment is the essence of evil. That was the problem with Che. Not this:
In his "Message to the Tricontinental," Guevara espoused "hatred as an element of struggle; unbending hatred for the enemy, which pushes a human being beyond his natural limitations, making him into an effective, violent, selective, and cold-blooded killing machine."
Not creating the Cuban gulag for those insufficiently revolutionary. (Snorts.)

Interestingly, director Steven Soderbergh is much more aware that Che was not a great guy.

"I don't know that there's any place for a person like me in the society that he was trying to make," the director said. "I'm the poster child for a lot of the [stuff] that he was trying to eradicate."