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Denis Villeneuve: ‘Cinema Is About Creating Fiction in Reality’

Sicario director Denis Villeneuve talks to The Film Book about his new film, about an FBI agent (Emily Blunt) on a dangerous mission trying to take down drug cartels in Mexico.

“For me, cinema is about creating fiction in reality. And there are always forces that come to oppose you, to create pressure, and you have to work with those forces,” he says. “Sicario was also very inspired by the nature that surrounded us. There were some things we had no control over which we spontaneously embraced. For example, the sequence towards the end showing different characters drive towards the tunnel was supposed to be shot with a setting sun, and gradually diminishing light. But we shot during the worst weather period of the year, and every evening there were heavy skies with spectacular electrical storms. I have never seen so many lightning bolts. This wasn’t planned, but we embraced it. When we shot the Mexican police car driving towards the horizon, there were two ominous lightning bolts. When that happened, I told myself, ‘It’s too much, we can’t include that’. But at the same time, they happened.”