Entertainment

Penelope Cruz And Javier Bardem Play Pablo Escobar And Virginia Vallejo In One Crazy Love Story ‘Loving Pablo’

Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem’s new biopic “Loving Pablo” tells the story of nefarious Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. The movie, based on a book, chronicles his real-life affair at the height of his cartel days with broadcast journalist Virginia Vallejo.

Before you pick up your movie ticket and take bae out to grab some popcorn, here are some things you should know about the film’s muse, cast and crew.

Virginia Vallejo has had an esteemed career as an anchorwoman, radio broadcaster, columnist and writer.

View this post on Instagram

@virginiavallejogarcia

A post shared by Virginia Vallejo (@virginiavallejoofficial) on

After working as an English teacher and in public relations, Vallejo started her career in journalism as a television presenter in Colombia. Her career spanned TV, radio and newspaper and she even wrote a best-selling book, “Loving Pablo, Hating Escobar” in English and Spanish on her love affair with Pablo Escobar. The memoir inspired the film.  

She was in a relationship with Escobar for more than 5 years.

View this post on Instagram

#virginiavallejo

A post shared by Francisco Raposo (@franrap) on

Vallejo was 32 at the time she met Escobar and didn’t fall for him until he gave her a tour of a Medellín garbage dump. She said he wanted to help people living in that type of poverty. Their affair carried on for six years after that.

She realized he was a hardened criminal—but fell for him anyways.

View this post on Instagram

Desde que assisti @narcos fiquei fascinada pelas histórias sobre a vida de Pablo Escobar Gaviria, chefe do Cartel de Medelín e o maior narcotraficante da história da Colômbia. Em seguida assisti uma novela colombiana com quase 180 episódios – Pablo Escobar: el patrón del mal”, depois assisti outra que tem como protagonista um dos capangas de Pablo, “Alias JJ, sobrevivendo a Escobar”, e ontem “Escobar, a traição”, que conta a história da vida de Pablo sob a ótica de sua ex-amante, a jornalista @virginiavallejoofficial, inspirado no livro “Amando Pablo, odiando Escobar”. Como já se esperava o filme não supera o livro, mas vale o programa no fim de semana! #pabloescobar #escobaratraição #virginiavallejo #colombia #movies #cinema

A post shared by Thalita Braga (@thalitabraga04) on

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Vallejo said in order for her ex-husband to sign her divorce papers, Escobar put a gun to his head. Can you say d-r-a-m-a-t-i-c?

Penelope Cruz was not thrilled her husband got a little pudgier in order to play Escobar.

Bardem joked in an interview with PEOPLE that Cruz wasn’t happy a growing waistline was on the horizon for him. At least he got to enjoy his weight gain by eating pasta, chocolate and drinking beer. Pasta and chocolate? Sign us up for that job!

Spanish director Fernando León de Aranoa brought the film’s vision to the screen.

Screenwriter and director Fernando León de Aranoa is recognized for his 2002 Spanish drama, “Mondays in the Sun.”

The film has already received award nominations in Spain.

Cruz and Bardem have been nominated for Goya Awards for Best Actress and Actor. Bardem has also received an award nom for the Platino Best Actor Award.

Decades after their affair ended, Vallejo sees Escobar in a different light.

Vallejo told the Daily Mail “I loathe him” and that Escobar was nothing more than a “monster” and “fatty peasant.” Interesting choice of words for a woman who saw him 220 times according to her own account.


READ: Mexican Authorities Are Trying To Piece Together The Mysterious Death Of The ‘Narcos’ Location Scout Near Hidalgo

Are you interested in seeing the film? Let us know in the comments below!

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Pablo Escobar’s Opens Up About Being Rescued By An MI6 Agent During A Shootout That Killed His Mom

Things That Matter

Pablo Escobar’s Opens Up About Being Rescued By An MI6 Agent During A Shootout That Killed His Mom

BBC Newsnight / YouTube

Pablo Escobar is one of the most notorious drug lords to ever be. Years later, his story continues to unfold and this time it is because of his first-born son who was adopted by an MI6 agent.

A man in Europe has come forward as Pablo Escobar’s long-lost first-born son.

Roberto Sendoya Escobar, who lives in Mallorca, Spain under his adopted name of Phillip Witcomb, first found out that he was Pablo Escobar’s son in 1989. His adoptive father, an MI6 agent, told him when he was 24. Since then, Roberto Escobar has been trying to figure out how to absorb this identity into his life.

In an interview with BBC Newsnight, Roberto admitted to never really knowing who Pablo was at first.

After his adoptive father told him the news, Roberto had to do some research to figure out who Pablo was. However, Roberto did spend time going back to Colombia with his dad and met Pablo. The reason was that his adoptive father was still trying to keep Pablo close for his own undercover work.

“I just remember the smell of the guy and I also remember, to be honest with you, a bit intimidated,” Roberto recalls. “I was quite a young child and I didn’t really understand what was going on.”

While he barely remembers, Roberto’s adoptive dad rescued him after a shoot out that killed his mom.

In his interview with BBC Newsnight, Roberto says he doesn’t remember the shoot out because he was an infant. However, he does have random moments of remembering big flashes of the gunfight but nothing of a coherent memory of the shooting.

It was during that shootout that Roberto’s adoptive father discovered him and adopted him. When Roberto was older he was sent to boarding school in the U.K. and grew up as part of the Witcomb family.

You can watch the rest of the interview and learn about the series of events leading to the revelation.

Realy goes to show that some people have a lot to learn about their own pasts. Some times things are not close to what they seem.

READ: Pablo Escobar Once Had Four Pet Hippos, Now There’s More Than 80 And They’re Destroying Colombia’s Ecosystem

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Pablo Escobar Once Had Four Pet Hippos, Now There’s More Than 80 And They’re Destroying Colombia’s Ecosystem

Things That Matter

Pablo Escobar Once Had Four Pet Hippos, Now There’s More Than 80 And They’re Destroying Colombia’s Ecosystem

James Breeden / TripAdvisor

Pablo Escobar is known for many things, among them being one of the world’s most prolific drug lords. His Medellín cartel basically invented the modern-day drug business model – which continues to plague communities around the world.

However, there’s one part of Escobar’s life that few know about – the drug kingpin also had a menagerie of exotic animals that he kept as pets, including four giant African hippos.

The former drug lord‘s pet hippos have exploded in population and are wreaking havoc on the environment.

Escobar kept a large number of exotic animals – including lions, rare birds, giraffes, and hippos – as pets at his Medellin compound. When he was killed in 1993, most of the animals were moved to zoos, however, the hippos were left to fend for themselves. And apparently they’ve thrived on their own.

It was not possible to move the hippos and the animals soon lived near the Magdalena River. Their number has grown over the years and is now nearly 80. According to a study published in the journal Ecology, the hippos have become an invasive species and are destroying the aquatic ecosystem.

The region’s water supply is under threat thanks to hippo waste.

A team of researchers from the University of California at San Diego and the Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Colombia investigated the water quality of the lakes where hippos live, and compared them to lakes where they are not.

According to the study, hippos separate large amounts of waste into the lakes, changing the chemistry and oxygen levels of the water. This is because the excreted waste fertilizes harmful algae and bacteria.

According to Jonathan Shurin, lead author of the study, the hippos have a major impact on the ecosystem in their native Africa. He said a similar impact was seen when they were imported into an entirely new continent.

The Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar was known for his love of exotic animals.

He was once the owner of a grand estate, Hacienda Nápoles, just under 100 miles east of Medellin. In the early 1980s, Escobar built an illegal zoo full of rhinos, giraffes, zebras and hippos on his estate.

After his death it was seized by the government and now acts as a safari theme park. Most of the exotic animals that he housed in the on site zoo were re-homed. Except the hippos. Now, scientists say, the four original hippos now number around 80 and are having a detrimental effect on Colombian waters. 

While some remain in the current theme park, some slipped through the flimsy gate and are now feral. 

Escobar bought the hippos from a zoo in California and flew them to his ranch in the early 1980s. Left to themselves on his Napoles Estate, they bred to become supposedly the biggest wild hippo herd outside Africa.

Escobar’s hippos have become feral, living in at least four lakes in the area and spreading into neighboring rivers – confounding the problem.

The crime lord’s hippos are also much more sexually active than their cousins in Africa because of the perfect conditions, shallow water and no drought. 

All the fertile females are reported to be giving birth to a calf every year, the BBC said in 2014. And this is a problem for the water, if not local farmers who risk their wrath while working.  

“If you plot out their population growth, we show that it tends to go exponentially skyward. In the next couple of decades there could be thousands of them,” according to Jonathan Shurin, of UCSD.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com