Benicio del Toro has said he thinks audiences get a thrill from watching stories about criminals and outlaws.
The Guardians Of The Galaxy star plays notorious Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar in his new film Escobar: Paradise Lost, which has premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.
The semi-fictional story co-stars Josh Hutcherson as a young surfer who falls in love while on holiday in Colombia, only to discover the object of his affections is Escobar's niece.
Del Toro said he wasn't sure why gangster movies have always proved so popular in cinema, but he thinks it has to do with the element of danger.
He said: "I think people have been attracted to characters that go against the law since the beginning of film, and if you even go back it starts with... Homer!
"I don't know why people are attracted to that, but it's a fact. Gangster movies - one of the most successful movies is Scarface, the Al Pacino version. You go anywhere still and it feels like the movie came out last year.
"I think part of it has to do with the fact that we get to experience vertigo without really standing on the edge of a building."
Josh added: "It's such a contradiction. He has this incredible love and care for his family, but he can also dispose of certain people in such a horrendous way, and I think that's intriguing to understand a mind like that, because it's hard to. It's an intriguing thing in human nature."
Del Toro confessed he believed the legalisation of drugs could help to reduce violence in society, but he did not feel playing a drugs lord really qualified him to answer the question.
He said: "Yes, I think it would. Maybe not every drug. It's a very complicated question, but personally I think that it would definitely reduce violence. But it's a very complicated question that I'm not qualified [to answer]."