Guillermo del Toro Poster


Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (2)  | Family (3)  | Trade Mark (21)  | Trivia (43)  | Personal Quotes (30)

Overview (3)

Born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
Birth NameGuillermo del Toro Gómez
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (2)

Guillermo del Toro was born October 9, 1964 in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Raised by his Catholic grandmother, del Toro developed an interest in filmmaking in his early teens. Later, he learned about makeup and effects from the legendary Dick Smith (The Exorcist (1973)) and worked on making his own short films. At the age of 21, del Toro executive produced his first feature, Dona Herlinda and Her Son (1985). Del Toro spent almost 10 years as a makeup supervisor, and formed his own company, Necropia in the early 1980s. He also produced and directed Mexican television programs at this time, and taught film.

Del Toro got his first big break when Cronos (1993) won nine Ariel Awards (the Mexican equivalent of the Oscars), then went on to win the International Critics Week Prize at Cannes. Following this success, del Toro made his first Hollywood film, Mimic (1997), starring Mira Sorvino.

Del Toro had some unfortunate experiences working with a demanding Hollywood studio on Mimic (1997), and returned to Mexico to form his own production company, The Tequila Gang.

Next for del Toro, was The Devil's Backbone (2001), a Spanish Civil War ghost story. The film was hailed by critics and audiences alike, and del Toro decided to give Hollywood another try. In 2002, he directed the Wesley Snipes vampire sequel, Blade II (2002).

On a roll, Del Toro followed up Blade II (2002) with another successful comic-book inspired film, Hellboy (2004), starring one of Del Toro's favorite actors, Ron Perlman.

Del Toro is divorced, has a daughter and a son and lives in Los Angeles and Toronto.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: www.deltorofilms.com

Guillermo del Toro is a Mexican film director, screenwriter, producer, and novelist. In his filmmaking career, Del Toro has alternated between Spanish-language dark fantasy pieces, such as the gothic horror films El espinazo del diablo (2001), and El laberinto del fauno (2006), and more mainstream American action movies, such as the vampire superhero action film, Blade II (2002), the supernatural superhero film Hellboy (2004), its sequel Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008), science fiction monster film Pacific Rim (2013), and the gothic romance film, Crimson Peak (2015).

He is also a prolific producer, his producing works include acclaimed and successful films such as The Orphanage (2007), Los ojos de Julia (2010), Biutiful (2010), Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011), Puss in Boots (2011), and Mama (2013). He was originally chosen by Peter Jackson to direct The Hobbit films; he left the project due to production problems but was still credited as co-writer for his numerous contributions to the script.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Pedro Borges

Family (3)

Spouse Lorenza Newton (1986 - 2017)  (divorced)  (2 children)
Children Daniel del Toro
Marisa Del Toro
Parents del Toro, Guadalupe
Del Toro, Federico

Trade Mark (21)

Often uses insects or insect imagery
Uses a lot of religious relics and artifacts. Always mentions Catholicism
Archangels, symbols and other religious items
Many of his films have major scenes based in underground areas such as subways systems (Mimic (1997), Hellboy (2004)), sewers (Blade II (2002)), or large basements (The Devil's Backbone (2001)).
Likes to use amber as a dominant color in his movies. This is especially noticeable in Blade II (2002) and Hellboy (2004).
Clockwork designs and motifs (for example, Kroenen's lair in Hellboy (2004) and the captain's obsession with his father's watch in Pan's Labyrinth (2006)).
Frequently works with cinematographer Guillermo Navarro
One or more of his protagonists are often strongly and pivotally influenced by their father figures.
His works often feature horrifying but visually striking creatures with noticeably inhuman appearances.
His films often show an autopsy or have a scene set in a morgue. The autopsy is often performed on a non-human character.
Films often feature a portal that leads to different worlds
Often depicts disturbing and graphic face trauma in his films
Use of gothic architecture in his production designs
Monsters in his works are often sympathetic despite their nature and horrifying appearances.
Often casts non-American actors as American characters
Often works with Jonathan Hyde, Burn Gorman and Charlie Hunnam
His films often have sinister or outright evil parental figures
Has shot many of the films that he directed in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio.
Known for working on multiple projects at once
More often than not sports a beard

Trivia (43)

Became a vegetarian after seeing The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) but only for four years. Currently, he's no longer a vegetarian.
Turned down a chance to direct Blade: Trinity (2004), Alien vs. Predator (2004) and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) to work on his dream project: Hellboy (2004).
Fought the film studios for almost seven years to get Ron Perlman for the title role in Hellboy (2004). The studio wanted a bigger name to ensure the success of the movie, but del Toro thought that Perlman was the perfect choice and wouldn't make the movie if he wasn't cast.
Friends with fellow successful Mexican directors Alfonso Cuarón and Alejandro G. Iñárritu. They often support each other.
Has a photographic memory.
Following his international breakthrough, his father was kidnapped for ransom in Mexico in 1997, and held for seventy-two days until the money was paid. Fellow filmmaker James Cameron helped secure the ransom money. Although del Toro still frequently works in Mexico, he has relocated his family to the United States out of fear of more kidnappings.
In a January 2007 interview on the radio program "Fresh Air with Terry Gross", said that his strictly Catholic grandmother was a "Piper Laurie in Carrie (1976)" figure in his childhood. He told Gross that his grandmother would require him to mortify himself in self-punishment, in one case placing metal bottle caps into his shoes so that the soles of his feet were bloodied while walking to school. She also tried to exorcise him twice because of his persistent interest in fantasy and drawing monsters from his imagination.
His favorite movie monsters are Frankenstein's Monster and the Creature of the Black Lagoon.
Lost 45 lbs. while making Pan's Labyrinth (2006), which he admitted in the DVD's video prologue.
Turned down a chance to direct I Am Legend (2007), One Missed Call (2008), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009) and Halo to work on Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008).
Turned down the chance to direct Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996), which went to Kevin Yagher.
He regards Mimic (1997) as the weakest of his films and blames constant interference from the producers Bob Weinstein and Harvey Weinstein as the main reason, because they didn't respect his artistic vision. He later made peace with the film after creating a new Director's Cut.
Ranked #37 on EW's The 50 Smartest People in Hollywood. [December 2007]
Was asked to direct End of Days (1999), which he turned down. The task went to Peter Hyams.
His movie and comic book collection is so huge that he had to buy an extra home to accommodate this.
Good friends with director Robert Rodriguez.
His favorite albums are "The Wall" (1979) by the rock band Pink Floyd and "Security" (1982) by Peter Gabriel.
In an article in USA Today (August 22, 2011), del Toro listed his six favorite fright films: Freaks (1932), The Uninvited (1944), The Innocents (1961), Jaws (1975), Alien (1979) and The Shining (1980).
Inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame during their gala held on March 12, 2015 in Austin, Texas.
Has extensive knowledge and practical experience playing video-games, and is very good friends with Japanese video-game designer/director Hideo Kojima, with whom he shares many interests, including 1960s classic movies and Japanese television series, and rare toys.
Used to work as an orderly at a mental institution and would eat lunch in a morgue next to there.
Was attached to direct The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) but dropped out due to repeated delays in the production and the project stalling due to MGM declaring bankruptcy. He still received screenwriting credit on the film and its sequels: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013) and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014).
Has directed three Oscar nominated performances: Richard Jenkins, Sally Hawkins and Octavia Spencer.
The third Mexican nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director, after Alejandro G. Iñárritu and Alfonso Cuarón.
When casting his films, he looks first for interesting, engaging, eyes in a prospective actor or actress.
Maintains residences in Toronto and Los Angeles, and returns to Guadalajara ever six weeks to visit his family.
President of the 'Official Competition' Jury at the 75th Venice International Film Festival in 2018.
Member of the jury of the "Luigi De Laurentiis" Prize for a Debut Film at the 63rd Venice International Film Festival in 2006.
Member of the 'Official Competition' jury at the 68th Cannes International Film Festival in 2015.
Good friends with director James Cameron. Cameron helped him pay the ransom for his kidnapped father in 1997, and once revealed that he nearly got into a fight with Harvey Weinstein over the latter's treatment of del Toro during the filming of Mimic (1997).
In 2018, he became the fourth Mexican director to have won Best Director at the Academy Awards in the last five years.
As of 2018, is one of 10 directors to win the Golden Globe, Director's Guild, BAFTA, and Oscar for the same movie, winning for The Shape of Water (2017). The other directors to achieve this are Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire (2008), Mike Nichols for The Graduate (1967), Milos Forman for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), Richard Attenborough for Gandhi (1982), Oliver Stone for Platoon (1986), Steven Spielberg for Schindler's List (1993), Ang Lee for Brokeback Mountain (2005), Alfonso Cuarón for Gravity (2013), and Alejandro G. Iñárritu for The Revenant (2015).
He is one of 10 directors to win the Golden Globe, Director's Guild, BAFTA, and Oscar for the same film, winning for The Shape of Water (2017). The others to achieve this are Mike Nichols for The Graduate (1967), Milos Forman for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), Richard Attenborough for Gandhi (1982), Oliver Stone for Platoon (1986), Steven Spielberg for Schindler's List (1993), Ang Lee for Brokeback Mountain (2005), Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire (2008), Alfonso Cuarón for Roma (2018) and Gravity (2013), and Alejandro G. Iñárritu for The Revenant (2015).
His favorite movies include Nosferatu (1922), Freaks (1932), The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), The Seventh Seal (1957), Eyes Without a Face (1960), (1963) and Brazil (1985).
When asked what movies he would make given the proper budget, he said: At the Mountains of Madness and Frankenstein.
The Shape of Water (2017) is his personal favorite of his own movies.
Was going to direct Thor (2011) for Marvel Studios, as he was interested in exploring Norse Mythology, but dropped out because he couldn't commit to it long-term.
Is a huge lifelong fan of Hammer Horror films and has said he made The Devil's Backbone (2001) and Crimson Peak (2015) with their style in mind.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6918 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on August 6, 2019.
Roughly 16 years of his life have gone writing and co-writing screenplays for movies that never got made.
No relation to Oscar-winning actor Benicio Del Toro, despite a popular misconception.
His name translated into English is "William of the Bull".

Personal Quotes (30)

When you have the intuition that there is something which is there, but out of the reach of your physical world, art and religion are the only means to get to it.
Aside from being a perfect Hellboy, he is a gentleman, a friend to die for, a great actor and - for the ladies - he has the sexiest male voice this side of Barry White. What more can one ask for? - On Ron Perlman, 2002.
I remember the worst experience of my life, even above the kidnapping of my father, was shooting Mimic (1997) [del Toro's first Hollywood feature, in 1997, which was severely compromised by producer interference]. Because what was happening to me and the movie was far more illogical than kidnapping, which is brutal, but at least there are rules. Now when I look at Mimic, what I see is the pain of a deeply flawed creature that could have been so beautiful.
It would be a cliché to say that, because I am a Mexican, I see death in a certain way. But I have seen more than my share of corpses, certainly more than the average First World guy. I worked for months next to a morgue that I had to go through to get to work. I've seen people being shot; I've had guns put to my head; I've seen people burnt alive, stabbed, decapitated ... because Mexico is still a very violent place. So I do think that some of that element in my films comes from a Mexican sensibility.
The sign of a true friendship is when you can forgive success.
These shots are not eye-candy, they are, to me, eye-protein. - regarding Pan's Labyrinth (2006).
My life is a suitcase. I am the traveling Mexican.
That's what I love about fairy tales; they tell the truth, not organized politics, religion or economics. Those things destroy the soul. That is the idea from Pan's Labyrinth (2006) and it surfaces in Hellboy (2004) and, to some degree, in all my films.
[on Stanley Kubrick] I admire Kubrick greatly. He is often accused of being a prodigious technician and rigid intellectual, which people say makes his films very cold. I don't agree. I think that Barry Lyndon (1975) or A Clockwork Orange (1971) are the most perfect marriages of personality and subject. But in fact, Full Metal Jacket (1987) is even more so. It looked at rigidity and brutality with an almost clinical eye. It is, for me, a singular film about the military, about war and its consequences. The famous scenes, like the induction with R. Lee Ermey where he renames the soldiers and reshapes them into sub-human maggots, had a particular impact on me. Also the suicide scene with Vincent D'Onofrio in the bathroom. And the sniper set-piece at the end. Those are absolutely virtuoso pieces of filmmaking.
I think that 50 percent of the narrative is in the audio/visual storytelling. I happened to think the screenplay is the basis of it all, but definitely doesn't tell the movie. It tells the story, but doesn't tell the whole movie. A lot of the narrative is in the details.
History is ultimately an inventory of ghosts.
If you're not operating on an instinctive level, you're not an artist.... Reason over emotion is bullshit, absolute bullshit... We suffocate ourselves in rules. I find fantasy liberating.
Do whatever the fuck you want, even if it's wrong, and then tell about it with honesty. That is filmmaking to me...Success is fucking up on your own terms.
[at San Diego Comic-Con]: I fabricate everything. There's not a single real thing in Pan's Labyrinth (2006), because ultimately I'm very specific about [those details]. Context is everything in a fable, because every story has already been told. So the only variations I find are the voice of the storyteller and the context in which it's told.
Stanley Kubrick's absolute control over the medium turns his rock-solid framing and tense timing into real weapons pointed directly at the unsuspecting audience of The Shining (1980). No one has ever used the Steadicam as perfectly as he did in the tracking shots behind Torrance, Danny's tricycle. He uses the soundtrack brilliantly, fusing concrete music with sound effects and score to unsettle and position the uber-mannered, hyper-real performances of his actors. And, refreshingly, Kubrick is not above moments of Grand Guignol: the elevator doors spilling blood, the axe on the chest, the Grady twins bathed in blood or the old undead crone festering in the bathtub. He proves that great horror can be both shocking and a highly artistic endeavor.
[on what scares him] (jokingly) Politicians -- a lot. They are so deranged, especially these days. And human pettiness. Oh my God that's scary. It's so horrifying. I've seen a UFO, and I've heard ghosts twice -- once in New Zealand and once in Mexico, but those are not the scariest things. The scary things are real things like every day.
[on celebrating Halloween] I've been making myself up as a nasty zombie and playing the character really straight, never breaking and not giving out candy. I wander my neighbourhood with an eye socket gone, moaning and groaning, and the kids all freak out. But this year my wife and daughter begged me to go as a pirate, so that's what I'm doing. But I recommend everybody who has the option, to scare trick-or-treaters and freak out as many people as they can.
The horror story was birthed when we became sedentary cavemen and started telling scary stories to keep the children from wandering off into the night. Today, there's nothing more cathartic for a guy in a three-piece suit, someone super wound-up and super-tight, to get on a roller-coaster of a horror film and scream like a madman.
I like pictures that are perverse and intelligent, something that you actually take home with you. Black Sabbath (1963) might not make you jump every minute but Mario Bava makes indefatigable images and Jack Clayton's The Innocents (1961) is so creepy and powerful, he's going to outlive the filmmakers going for short-term scares.
[on what attracts him to genre films] The beauty and the horror. These directors have made great works of art in a genre that most people just throw in the garbage bin, that they don't think is important. But The Innocents (1961) is as powerful a film as you'll see in any genre. It towers above other films.
I hate Hollywood movies with children as happy, brainless creatures that spout one-liners. What I tried to put in The Devil's Backbone (2001) is how unsafe it is to be a child. Many times in my life I saw children almost kill each other.
[on whether he was thinking of directing a Star Wars sequel] It's like thinking if I want to date a supermodel. I don't think about these things.
Kaiju [monster] movies, by definition, bring a completely escapist fun. When you're a kid and you're watching Godzilla stomp a bunch of tanks or jets or through a city, the proportions of these things are so enormous that you cannot correlate them to anything real. What I do is I then bring in visually a very different sense of style from reality. I have these super-colored lights illuminating the rain, so it looks like a living comic-book or a living anime, you know? And the things that I do very, very consciously is I vacated all the streets so they would be empty of people. So you're never thinking 'Oh, the kaiju just crushed 600 people'. Because the streets are vacated and everybody's in a refuge, all they can destroy is buildings and vehicles when nobody's there.
You cannot aspire to do a movie that is as quirky as Pan's Labyrinth (2006) in the Hollywood machinery. It would get tested and noted by executives to death, and end up having a happy ending and all that bullshit, you know? And at the same time, you cannot end up with with a movie that is as spectacular and magnificent in showmanship as Pacific Rim (2013) if you do it in Mexico or Spain.
[on what's the scariest thing he's ever seen on a television show] When I was a kid, it's not a metaphor, but I actually soiled myself when I was a child watching Night Gallery (1969). There was an episode called The Doll. I remember when the doll smiles, I literally lost control of my sphincter.
The natural state of a movie is 'not-getting-made.'
[on Mimic (1997) and working with Miramax] I really hated the experience. My first American experience was almost my last because it was with the Weinsteins [producers Harvey Weinstein and Bob Weinstein] and Miramax. I have got to tell you, two horrible things happened in the late 90s, my father was kidnapped and I worked with the Weinsteins. I know which one was worse... the kidnapping made more sense, I knew what they wanted. (...) I lost casting battles, I lost story battles but the one thing "Mimic" is visually 100% exactly what I wanted. The movie is visually gorgeous and it has a couple of sequences I'm very proud of. [Oct. 2017]
[speech on receiving his first Golden Globe in 2018] For 25 years I have handcrafted very strange little tales made of motion, color, light and shadow. In three precise instances, these strange stories, these fables, have saved my life. Once with The Devil's Backbone (2001), once with Pan's Labyrinth (2006), and now with The Shape of Water (2017), because as directors, these things are not just entries in a filmography. We have made a deal with a particularly inefficient devil that trades three years of our lives for one entry on IMDb. And these things are biography and they are alive.
[on how many screenplays written for movies that never got made] I have written or co-written around 33 screenplay features. 2-3 made by others, 11 made by me (Pinocchio in progress) so- about 20 screenplays not filmed. Each takes 6-10 months of work, so, roughly 16 years gone. Just experience and skill improvement. (21 September 2021)
I would go to Catholic Church and the saints made no sense. But Frankenstein made sense, The Wolfman made sense, The Creature from the Black Lagoon made sense. So I chose that as my religion.

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