FX's new vampire series "The Strain" has just begun its first season, but co-creator
The Mexican director of "Pan's Labyrinth" and "Pacific Rim" joined his co-creator Chuck Hogan and show runner Carlton Cuse on stage with 10 members of their cast. And while there was much discussion about Del Toro's memorabilia-packed houses, it was an innocent question about leading man
In the series, Stoll plays Ephraim Goodweather, the head of a
But Del Toro revealed that the addition of hair to the character was key for the development of the show.
"If you know where it's heading, the character needed to be able to change his look so he could blend into the population and not be seen," del Toro said. "Unless he grows a beard or has an eyepatch, we needed somewhere to go."
But how does being bald help someone blend into the population? Well, does it clarify matters to know that the vampires in their final state are completely hairless? So it looks as if Goodweather's attempts to get a handle on the vampire menace will go south pretty quickly.
"I was skeptical [of the wig] at first," Stoll said. "The assumption was that I needed to fit a mold. But it was the opposite."
The series is based on a trilogy of books co-authored by del Toro and Hogan, but Cuse cautioned that anyone familiar with the books should not automatically assume they knew every twist of the show.
"The way things happen and the fate of the characters is not completely determined by the books," he said.
Del Toro elaborated, "We wanted to hit highlights of the books. Sometimes we hit them early; sometimes we hit them much later."
The director said he first pitched the project back in 2006, but executives at the time couldn't wrap their head around the idea of horrific, monster-like vampires. They could only think of them as sexy. One suggested he do it as a comedy. Del Toro wisely kept the project to himself until the time was right.
"Vampires are truly revolting parasites," he said. "They drink you like a Capri Sun. They don't hold you and say, 'Now I give you my life.' No, they crush you and throw you away."
In that regard, Del Toro himself is very un-vampire-like. To kick off the panel, he was asked to describe his house, which is actually two houses, side-by-side, filled to overflowing with the director's vast collection of toys, books and other ephemera. It's 11,000 square feet, with 11 different libraries and shelves all constructed by the director himself. He also has his first toy from the age of 4 all the way up to his latest toy, which he had just picked up the morning of his TCA panel.
"It's my own research library," Del Toro said.
"It took me six weeks to escape," Cuse said.