The 2017 Toronto International Film Festival has come to a close. "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" took the coveted audience award, Lady Gaga performed for the premiere of her Netflix documentary, "Bodied" director Joseph Kahn kicked the Beyhive and Guillermo del Toro's "The Shape of Water" emerged as the season's festival darling.
Explore the L.A. Times' full coverage of the hits and misses, the rising stars and emerging trends.
Monster movie maker Guillermo del Toro has been cheering on his favorite creatures since he was a little boy.
“When I was about 6 I watched ‘Creature from the Black Lagoon,'" the director said. "I saw Julie Adams and the Gill-man swimming underneath her. At that age all I thought is, 'I hope they end up together'... they didn’t."
Determined to reset the scales in favor of the freaks, Del Toro made "The Shape of Water." Set during the Cold War, the love story actively roots for the star-crossed lovers separated by species, water and the American government.
The film is already making big waves on the festival circuit, landing the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and plenty of critical acclaim. Times critic Justin Chang described it as an "exquisite return to form" for Del Toro.
The cast (including Michael Shannon, Octavia Spencer, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones and Sally Hawkins) paused to talk a bit deeper about being a part of the director's notable, blue-hued imagination at the LA Times studio suite at the Toronto International Film Festival.
“I’ve been in the reality of 1960 three times now," Spencer said [alluding to her past work in "Hidden Figures," "The Help" and "Get On Up"]. "I love that Guillermo painted a very different world for us to exist in. Even though it’s set in the same era and the societal constraints are the same, my character gets to blossom in a way that I haven’t in period movies. So it was fun for me."
As for Del Toro, it appears he's hit a new high-water mark, which the director credits simply to trying something new, “At age 52 I say, if you don’t risk it, then you are effectively too old.