13 Surprising Facts About the Master of Horror, Guillermo del Toro

IMAGE CREDIT: Portrait of Guillermo del Toro at Bleak House. Photo © Josh White/ JWPictures.com

Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters runs through January 7, 2018
at the Art Gallery of Ontario

TORONTO – With Friday the 13th coming up, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) presents 13 fun facts about the master of horror and sci-fi, Guillermo del Toro. One of the most imaginative filmmakers of his generation, del Toro has reinvented the genres of horror, fantasy and science fiction through his various film, television and book projects.

On now until January 7, 2018, the AGO is the only Canadian stop of Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters, an exhibition comprised of approximately 4,150 objects that offer a rare glimpse into the creative process of this famed filmmaker.

Did you know…

1) … despite loving horror, he can’t stand the sight of real blood or witnessing pain?

2) … del Toro refers to his creative process as “eye-protein” because “the content is not only beautiful, but it tells a story”?

3) … his favourite mythological beasts are dragons?

4) … when he was a child, del Toro wrote a letter to his hero Forrest Ackerman (editor of Famous Monsters of Filmland) asking to be adopted? Del Toro’s dad found the letter before he could send it.

5) … as a child, del Toro was frightened by the thought of monsters and deadly creatures coming after him? He claims he made a pact with these beings so that they would leave him alone, and today he is devoted to bringing these monsters back to life through his films.

6) … Frankenstein’s monster, Godzilla, the Alien, Gillman and The Thing are some of his favourite monsters in film?

7) … del Toro’s influences are varied and genre-bending, ranging from Edgar Allan Poe to Disney to the Brontë sisters?

8) …while del Toro has been a film and TV creator for more than 20 years, his start in filmmaking goes back to the short films he made as a child? One childhood short features a “serial killer potato” who dreams of world domination and murders del Toro’s mother and brothers.

9) … Dick Smith, the legendary make-up artist behind The Exorcist, taught him the art of special effects make-up?

10) … he believes fairy tales and horror films are inherently political?

11) … del Toro purchased a second home with the sole purpose of housing his beloved literature and art collections? Known as “Bleak House,” this house is filled with over 100 skulls (most of which are fake) and contains roughly 50,000 comic books and magazines, and much more.

12) … he’s currently directing what he calls a “strange and disturbing” animated version of Pinocchio? Set between World War I and World War II, this project will share a few themes with Frankenstein.

13) … del Toro is a massive Hellboy fan? In order to direct it, he turned down other directing opportunities, including Blade: Trinity (2004), Alien vs. Predator (2004) and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004).