Actor John Leguizamo, set to play infamous Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar in "The King of Cocaine," spent $15,000 on a fat suit and makeup products to prepare himself for the role, according to The Huffington Post.
Leguizamo, who is of Colombian descent, recently accepted the role after denying it several times in the past. Oscar Lewis of "Inside Llewyn Davis" was originally cast as Escobar but eventually dropped the job.
The director of the film, Brad Furman, previously worked with Leguizamo in "The Take" and convinced movie executives to let him have the role. After they allowed for him to audition in a screentest, Leguizamo showed up in his most realistic Escobar ensemble - dressed in the fat suit and makeup - and stood next to a life-size image of the real drug lord. Furman says after the screentest he was certain that his former co-worker was a "dead ringer" for the role.
Earlier in July, he posted photos and videos on his Twitter account as he prepared for the screentest.
His age is also helpful for the role. When Escobar was killed in 1993, he was 44. Leguizamo is 49.
"The King of Cocaine" does not have a release date yet. Escobar will be depicted in another feature film, "Paradise Lost," by Benicio Del Toro.
Pablo Escobar was a drug king pin and former Colombian politician. At the height of his power, Forbes estimated his worth at $3 billion as he controlled 80 percent of the global cocaine market. He died on December 2, 1993 after Colombian authorities tracked him down and engaged in a fire fight with police.