Guillermo del Toro isn't just one of the great directors of horror and fantasy — he's also an uncompromising visionary, who calls it likes he sees it. We've been blown away by del Toro's words of wisdom before.
But at San Diego Comic-Con, we were lucky enough to attend several panels, in which del Toro dropped some knowledge. And a lot of F-bombs. Here are the ten most extreme — and inspirational — things del Toro said this past weekend.
Top image: Pan's Labyrinth fan art by Nicohitoride on Deviant Art.
Watch the Legendary Pictures panel here:
1) Stay a Freak. "I'm really a freak in every place I go. I don't quite fit in the independent scene, I don't quite fit in the art scene, and I don't fit in the Hollywood scene, so I'm a weird strange fat motherfucker. I'll tell you this: I plan to stay that way, because there is something to be said… I think when you get comfortable, you start growing old. You are doing something wrong." (In Conversation with Jon Favreau)
2) The Secret of Casting. "There are two ways to cast a movie: One is to make the comps and do the names, and go through that. And that is mostly bullshit. The other way is to say, 'Who are the perfect fucking actors for the role?'" (On the Legendary Pictures panel.)
3) Why Scale Matters. "There is something to having something really really large destroying a lot of little things." (In Conversation with Jon Favreau, talking about his kaiju movie Pacific Rim.) "There's something scary about something small not being afraid of you." (At the FilmDistrict panel, talking about how they fought the studio's desire to make the monsters in Don't Be Afraid bigger.)
"There are pieces of the cast that couldn't be here, mostly because they couldn't fucking fit. It is my duty to commit to commit to film the finest fucking monsters ever committed to the screen. And the second is, I made the pledge to create the greatest fucking robots ever committed to the screen. And that's a pledge." (Talking about Pacific Rim at the Legendary Pictures Panel.)
4) Don't Hate on CGI. "CGI gets a bad rap. I think it's a fantastical tool, but it gets a bad rap because a lot of people use it as a lazy tool, the lazy tool of filmmaking."
5) Why He Builds from Scratch. "I fabricate everything. There's not a single real thing in Pan's Labyrinth, 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."
6) The Right Reason to Tackle a Big-Budget Film. "A lot of people that tackle big properties tackle them for money or career, but they don't tackle them because they have a boner for it you know? I think you have to. You have to get a chubby to tackle that."
7) Always Applaud the Balls. "Let me start by talking about Legendary [Pictures] briefly — only because I am barren, otherwise I would bear Legendary's child. Really, finding a company that has the energy, the vision and the balls to make movies the way we want to make them. Applaud the balls. Always applaud the balls!" (On the Legendary Pictures panel.) "Thank God for people like Bob Berney. He has a gigantic ball sack. He needs a cart to carry it, and Jeanne, his wife, is there carrying it - She probably has an equal-sized ball sack. But these are guys that take risks. They distributed Pan's Labyrinth and they're distributing [Don't Be Afraid of the Dark.]" (On the FilmDistrict panel.)
8) On His Dream Home. "To me, if I could live anywhere, I would live in The Haunted Mansion, like all year long. It is for me the most beautiful piece of real-estate in the world and what I want to try and do is to try and make that feeling of a world that is incredibly attractive, even if it's scary." (Talking about the Haunted Mansion movie he's signed up to direct.)
9) On His Dream Role. "I'm a devoted fan of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I think it's the meanest, most delightful group of people ever put on screen in any format. What I asked Charlie [Day] as a favor — I said, you'll be cast in this movie [Pacific Rim] if you allow me to play the fat wino in the corner of the bar in one of the episodes."
10) Summing Up. My whole life and the way I've done the movies I've done has been a series of accidents that were completely unplanned, except for a couple of times. Mimic happened because I owed so much money from Cronos, and I was working to write something that was unique in America, but I didn't write the movie. And after the massacre of the production of that movie, I learned the one word that is common to most languages is "No." If they touch you in a place that feels wrong, you say "No." And it was an incredibly valuable lesson; because it's like you make movies with your friends, you need every good will you can muster, and it's very precarious. And from then on it's never been as bad as that first experience, and then the only two times I've made really commercial decisions was when they wanted me to shoot Blade II before I made The Devil's Backbone, and I said, "No fucking way. I'm going to shoot this movie first, and then I'm going to do your movie." And if I'm important for you, you'll wait for me, and if not, God bless. And the second was with Pan's Labyrinth. But it's an adventure that's worth having."