Here is Charlie Rose’s July 2, 2009 conversation with director Guillermo del Toro. Though the reason for the interview was del Toro’s new vampire novel The Strain co-written with Chuck Hogan (Prince of Thieves), the two covered a number of interesting topics over 30 minutes including monsters, Catholicism, the kidnapping of his father, the perils of New Zealand meringue desserts, his desire to adapt a Carson McCullers novel, and his rescue of Alejandro González Iñárritu’s first film.
It’s almost hard to believe such a gentle and jolly fellow is capable of making movies that are so dark.
Watch the interview above, and/or read some juicy quotes after the jump.
Guillermo del Toro on monsters:
I’m fertile only with monsters. I’m the Richard Attenborough of monsters. I love starting them, creating them, knowing how they work…Monsters are incredibly beautiful, frightened creatures because they need imagination to be sustained. What horrifies me is reality. The banality of this existence we’re starting to live which is like a…reality show existence, you know. I like monsters because they’re an absolute representation of something.
On Catholicism and the spiritual horror of his childhood:
The Catholic deal I got as a kid was really puzzling. You are 4 or 5 years old, 6 years old, and somebody tells you, “Look there is something we need to talk to you about which is called ‘Original Sin’ and we wanted you to know that you’re going to pay for it and atone for it the rest of your life” and I go “Oh, really?!”
On the 72-day kidnapping of his father in 1997:
There was one moment when he came back and he really was my father like I’ve never seen him since or before. He was completely open. He’s a very strong guy but he’s a very closed guy and I got a glimpse of him that I will never forget.
On whether he’d ever do a love story:
I would love to do Carson McCuller’s The Heart is a Lonely Hunter…I loved the old movie with Alan Arkin and Sandra Locke, but I think the book is so much more full of possibilities.
On collaborating with another author:
I enjoy it as long as – look, it’s really horrible to say, but as long as I’m the director (laughs) you know what I’m saying? It’s really democratic until it comes to the final moment and then it’s a dictatorship.
On saving Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Amores Perros by removing 20 minutes:
Alfonso [Cuarón] called me and said, “Look, there is this guy that is brilliant, but he is so stubborn that we think the only guy that is as stubborn as him is you.” It essentially was like sending King Kong versus Godzilla.