NEW YORK — Sean Penn says his article on Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman failed in its mission.

Speaking to CBS’ “60 Minutes,” the actor said his intention in tracking down the escaped drug kingpin and writing about him for Rolling Stone was to kick-start a discussion of the U.S. government’s policy in the war on drugs.

But the public’s attention has instead been focused on the fact that Penn found and met with Guzman for seven hours in a mountain hideout last October while he was still evading Mexican officials. He was apprehended only last week.

Excerpts from the interview with Penn were released Friday. The interview airs on “60 Minutes” on Sunday.

Penn has been drawn into a controversy over whether he may have assisted in the recapture effort, or, conversely, may have prolonged the search by keeping silent until the article was published last week.

Guzman’s reason for agreeing to meet with the Hollywood star was first explained as an interest in having a movie made about him. Then it seemed his interest was in a face-to-face encounter not with Penn, but with the contact who was bringing them together: Mexican actress Kate del Castillo.

For his part, Penn said he had only one true mission.

Guzman, he said, was someone through whom “I could begin a conversation about the policy of the war on drugs.”