God I love Guillermo del Toro. If there’s a person in Hollywood with a heart as big as his, I haven’t seen it. Actually, fuck Hollywood – Guillermo is the kind of guy you almost never meet in general. He’s the kind of guy who makes you feel like you’re his favorite person, like there’s nothing he’d rather do than stand around and shoot the shit with you. After the premiere of Hellboy II: The Golden Army at the closing night of the LA Film Festival, a bunch of us were in the VIP party along with all of the cast… but no Guillermo. It was obvious where he was – he was talking with every single person lining the street outside his premiere. He was stopping and shaking every single hand. He was being the most generous, friendly person you can imagine.
I once sat with Guillermo in a hotel bar while he talked with Arnold Drake, the creator of Deadman, while his friend and fellow ‘Three Amigo’ Alejandro González Iñárritu hung out a couple of tables away with Sean Penn. It wasn’t even a contest for Guillermo – he wanted to spend his time with the comic book pioneer (who passed away not long after). That’s just the kind of guy he is.
And he’s a genius on top of all that. That’s the most mind-bending part – he could be a total dick and we’d all love him anyway because he is such a complete visionary. He could just walk past those fans on the sidewalk and wave and smile and they’d be just as happy because they got to see a real cinematic genius in person.
So here’s Guillermo del Toro, sitting down with me at the LA press junket for Hellboy II. This is probably my shortest interview with him (I once spent almost two hours on the phone with him in an interview), but it’s not the worst. There is no worst interview with Guillermo – every single one is great.