Guillermo del Toro - RT's Dinner and the Movies Interview

The visionary director spends an hour talking to us about his career.

Guillermo del Toro - Jeff Vespa/WireImage.com
The Hellboy II posters rightly - and finally - tout Guillermo del Toro as the visionary director of Pan's Labyrinth, but his films have had a visionary streak since his first, Cronos, a decidedly different twist on a vampire movie.

All through his dabbles with Hollywood with the likes of Mimic, Blade 2 and Hellboy, del Toro has successfully managed to remain true to his roots, with the masterful Devil's Backbone and 2006's brilliant Pan's Labyrinth.

But it's his unwillingness to compromise that makes del Toro a powerful filmmaker, even if it often means he's had to turn down projects that would otherwise have been a good fit. And it's a talent learned, no doubt, from the bad experience he had with the brothers Weinstein on Mimic.

Now he faces his greatest challenges. Hellboy II has just been released in the US and he's already hard at work adapting JRR Tolkien's book The Hobbit with Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson. Can Hellboy II prove del Toro a master of audience moviemaking, and will he be able to make the same impact with The Hobbit as Jackson did with the Rings?

As part of our ongoing series of Dinner and the Movies conversations - which kicked off with a mammoth chat with Kevin Smith and continued with similarly-gargantuan catch-ups with Neil Gaiman and Edgar Wright - we visited del Toro last month at De Lane Lea post-production facility in London where he was hard at work putting the finishing touches to Hellboy II.

For an hour we talked about his career past, present and future, and for the first time in Dinner and the Movies' short history, we present the entire experience as video. With our apologies for some technical troubles with sound, over twelve parts which can be watched back-to-back for a full experience, our Dinner and the Movies conversation with Guillermo del Toro is about as comprehensive as it could be.

Dinner and the Movies
Left to Right: RT-UK Writer Orlando Parfitt, RT-UK Editor Joe Utichi and Guillermo del Toro.

The topics under discussion in each part include:

Part 1 - On finishing Hellboy II and where the character goes from here...
Part 2 - On the projects he's turned down over the years...
Part 3 - On a change of plans after being offered The Hobbit...
Part 4 - On the weight of expectation on his back for The Hobbit...
Part 5 - On the so-called "bridge" film and how it will be shaped...
Part 6 - On why characters like Bilbo appeal...
Part 7 - On his grand ambitions from early on in his career...
Part 8 - On learning when to say no...
Part 9 - On the Mimic experience, and talk of a special edition...
Part 10 - On critical and commercial success and balancing the two...
Part 11 - On his love of idiosyncrasy...
Part 12 - On the trouble with modern moviemaking...

On each page you can watch the segments in full and enjoy text highlights should you be so inclined. So get watching!

Comments

jokerboy1991

jack giroux

DEL TORO IS THE MAN!

Jul 10 - 10:26 AM

Some guy you dont know

Bruce Campbell

God bless this man.

Jul 10 - 01:22 PM

HappyBudda

Phillip Benavides

del Toro is slowly becoming one of my favorite directors.. i can't wait to see Hellboy II.

Jul 10 - 06:42 PM

smi1ey

Matt Dunn

I ditto the previous 3 comments. This guy is truly dedicated in heart mind and spirit to his work.

Jul 10 - 07:58 PM

TreeSapX

Tyler Runde

Add me to that list.

Jul 10 - 08:41 PM

Rafael28

Rafael Calzada

Greatest film director of our time, can't see anyone coming close.

Jul 11 - 01:09 AM

Cal7

Cal Webb

Christopher Nolan is def better than him

Jul 11 - 09:36 PM

agutierrez20

Agustin Gutierrez



I think Batman and Memento are good movies, but looking at the body of work of both directors i'll go with Del Toro, Nolan is good but not even close to GDT as far as inventive and original.

Jul 11 - 10:40 PM

jokerboy1991

jack giroux

What about Insomnia and The Following. They are both great directors to me though, besides Del Toro's Mimic he hasnt made a bad movie.

Jul 11 - 11:46 PM

Rafael28

Rafael Calzada

Insomnia could have been way better, it was so mediocre. I also thought Batman Begins was pretty over-rated.

GDT is a visionary.

Jul 12 - 01:25 PM

Acuna3

Miguel Acuna

Well lets be fair; GDT has done a lot more movies than Nolan has, therefore he has had more time to develop. And although I do agree that Insomnia wasn't as great as it could have been, GDT isn't perfect either, since he was responsible for the wretch that was Mimic. So although GDT might be better now, Nolan will eventually become a force to be reckoned with, and Memento/Following is proof of that.

Jul 14 - 01:34 AM

thetruebastard

bart barker

"Greatest film director of our time, can't see anyone coming close."

He is great, but I can see a lot of people coming close:

Alfonso Cuaron
Chanwook Park
P.T. Anderson
Alexander Payne
Wes Anderson
Bong Joon-ho
Etc.

Plus, you have guys like Cronenberg and Herzog still doing damn fine work.

Jul 16 - 09:55 AM

firecover098

fire you

He's hot. BTW, did you guys see his profile on 'Ri ch ki ss. c om'? Is he lonely? He has a nice profile with hot pics. And more he's a certified millionaire there. Is he looking for new dates seriously there?

Jul 11 - 06:14 AM

Rusty Broomhandle

Jaco Gerber

Haha... I was somewhat annoyed at the spammer above, but then it occurred to me how utterly hilarious it is.

Anyone here wanna see hot pics of Guillermo del Toro?

Jul 11 - 06:59 AM

TheIceGhost

Harry Myland

It's ashame he had to turn down Deathly Hallows, he would'a rocked the hell out of that (well, those) movie(s).

I also think he should direct an adaptation of the graphic novel Three Shadows, by Cyril Pedrosa.. that would be a-w-e-s-o-m-e.

Oh well, at least we have The Hobbit to look forward to.

Jul 11 - 09:41 AM

ploox

Ryan MacDuff

this guy is a definite genius, can't wait to see what he does with the hobbit

Jul 11 - 03:31 PM

Cal7

Cal Webb

Christopher Nolan is def better than him

Jul 11 - 09:36 PM

agutierrez20

Agustin Gutierrez



I think Batman and Memento are good movies, but looking at the body of work of both directors i'll go with Del Toro, Nolan is good but not even close to GDT as far as inventive and original.

Jul 11 - 10:40 PM

jokerboy1991

jack giroux

What about Insomnia and The Following. They are both great directors to me though, besides Del Toro's Mimic he hasnt made a bad movie.

Jul 11 - 11:46 PM

Rafael28

Rafael Calzada

Insomnia could have been way better, it was so mediocre. I also thought Batman Begins was pretty over-rated.

GDT is a visionary.

Jul 12 - 01:25 PM

Acuna3

Miguel Acuna

Well lets be fair; GDT has done a lot more movies than Nolan has, therefore he has had more time to develop. And although I do agree that Insomnia wasn't as great as it could have been, GDT isn't perfect either, since he was responsible for the wretch that was Mimic. So although GDT might be better now, Nolan will eventually become a force to be reckoned with, and Memento/Following is proof of that.

Jul 14 - 01:34 AM

TheMrE

Randall Espinoza

Why don't you guys make a regular podcast out of this (and all) the interviews. I would love to watch them on the go.

Jul 11 - 09:52 PM

agutierrez20

Agustin Gutierrez



I think Batman and Memento are good movies, but looking at the body of work of both directors i'll go with Del Toro, Nolan is good but not even close to GDT as far as inventive and original.

Jul 11 - 10:40 PM

jokerboy1991

jack giroux

What about Insomnia and The Following. They are both great directors to me though, besides Del Toro's Mimic he hasnt made a bad movie.

Jul 11 - 11:46 PM

Rafael28

Rafael Calzada

Insomnia could have been way better, it was so mediocre. I also thought Batman Begins was pretty over-rated.

GDT is a visionary.

Jul 12 - 01:25 PM

Acuna3

Miguel Acuna

Well lets be fair; GDT has done a lot more movies than Nolan has, therefore he has had more time to develop. And although I do agree that Insomnia wasn't as great as it could have been, GDT isn't perfect either, since he was responsible for the wretch that was Mimic. So although GDT might be better now, Nolan will eventually become a force to be reckoned with, and Memento/Following is proof of that.

Jul 14 - 01:34 AM

jokerboy1991

jack giroux

What about Insomnia and The Following. They are both great directors to me though, besides Del Toro's Mimic he hasnt made a bad movie.

Jul 11 - 11:46 PM

Rafael28

Rafael Calzada

Insomnia could have been way better, it was so mediocre. I also thought Batman Begins was pretty over-rated.

GDT is a visionary.

Jul 12 - 01:25 PM

Acuna3

Miguel Acuna

Well lets be fair; GDT has done a lot more movies than Nolan has, therefore he has had more time to develop. And although I do agree that Insomnia wasn't as great as it could have been, GDT isn't perfect either, since he was responsible for the wretch that was Mimic. So although GDT might be better now, Nolan will eventually become a force to be reckoned with, and Memento/Following is proof of that.

Jul 14 - 01:34 AM

Rafael28

Rafael Calzada

Insomnia could have been way better, it was so mediocre. I also thought Batman Begins was pretty over-rated.

GDT is a visionary.

Jul 12 - 01:25 PM

Acuna3

Miguel Acuna

Well lets be fair; GDT has done a lot more movies than Nolan has, therefore he has had more time to develop. And although I do agree that Insomnia wasn't as great as it could have been, GDT isn't perfect either, since he was responsible for the wretch that was Mimic. So although GDT might be better now, Nolan will eventually become a force to be reckoned with, and Memento/Following is proof of that.

Jul 14 - 01:34 AM

mouveebuff99

sam chaires

GDT has been the most under rated Filmaker for the past few years. Devels Backbone was great. I seen that when it first came out to rent. I was blown away, I then have followed his career very closely. I am a young filmaker myself and watching these videos that RTs has on, has been like a class lecture. This guy is great.

Jul 12 - 05:17 PM

the train

Vinnie Oliveri

the mimic screenplay is available at http://sfy.ru/sfy.html?script=mimic, if anyone is interested in exploring the original third act. i thought it was a more believable ending than the one in the original movie. i would love to see what he could do with mimic if given the leeway to do it.

Jul 12 - 09:43 PM

tomwaitsjrHAPPYICONOCLAST

Greg Guro

One of the ten best directors working in the world.

Jul 13 - 09:02 PM

diskjokk

Mario McQuay

Del Toro is one of the best directors working today. When I first saw Pan's, I was riveted, captivated, and enthralled; it was such a nice surprise to see a good, original, and entertaining story. After watching Pan's, I made sure to watch every other film Del Toro directed.

Thank goodness for a director like Del Toro.

I also agree with another post made earlier that RT should make this series a podcast if possible.

Jul 13 - 09:26 PM

wordweaver12

Afrika welang

I love Del Toro and his visionary is to be respected. However, he tends to be a little over the top which is a good thing. My only fear is that, he might make "The Hobbit" too colorful and the movie could loose its flair

Jul 13 - 09:54 PM

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