Guillermo del Toro is an Academy Award-nominated Mexican filmmaker, producer, and author. Del Toro's first experience as an executive producer was in 1986 at the age of 21. Before that he spent nearly 10 years as a make-up designer, and formed his own company, Necropia, in the early 80s. He also co-founded the Guadalajara-based Mexican film festival. Later on in his directing career, he formed his own production company, the Tequila Gang.
Del Toro has directed a wide variety of films, from comic book adaptations “Hellboy” and “Blade II,” to historical fantasy and horror films, two of which are set in Spain during or in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War under the Fascist dictatorship of Francisco Franco. These two films, “The Devil’s Backbone” and “Pan’s Labyrinth,” are among his most critically acclaimed works. Del Toro was nominated for best screenplay for “Pan's Labyrinth,” and the movie was nominated for five more Oscars.
Del Toro is also the co-author of vampire fiction trilogy "The Strain." "The Fall," book two of the trilogy, was published in 2010 by William Morris.
Question: What monsters scare you?
Guillermo del Toro: You know, I’m not scared by any monsters. I don’t think... I think the only monster that ever scared me as a kid, the only one as a monster, I think was “Alien,” when I was a kid, and “Phantom of the Opera.” You know, the first, the Lon Chaney one. Not the musical. The musical scares me in a different way.
Question: What scares you in real life?
Guillermo del Toro: I hate politicians. I hate most everything organized. I hate organized movie making, like institutions. I hate big churches, whatever denomination, they scare me. When you go to a church and they have their own giant palace or fortress, it’s for me like walking to the Death Star, you know. I don’t care if Darth Vader is wearing nice robes or not.
I am mortally afraid of cops. The Los Angeles police scares the crap out of me. They have these black and white mobile sharks on the freeway. And they are like these machines out of a horror movie.
So I like everything to be liberty and individual, but, you know, if you get great individuals, you get a great society. So to counteract the cop cars in L.A., I am right now in a product that is very freaky and personal. I’m hand-making, from scratch, the most brutal car I ever saw, which was in a “B” movie I saw as a kid in the '70s called “The Car,” with James Brolin. And I fell in love with that car and I am making it expressively to drive on the freeways looking at the cops.
But I have a hard time... I mean I think that when people talk about the collapse of society, there an anarchist inside of me that kind of digs it. You know, I really... I’m very afraid of institutions. And especially the ones that do anything but what they were supposed to do. You know, like politicians were meant to be there for the people, you know, serve the people. And I think that if you really made a scan of their brain, it would be like 50% sex, 45% power, I don’t know, but it would be like .000 something, caring about the public. Really, it would be a very discouraging scan.
Recorded on September 22, 2010
Interviewed by Max Miller