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Director Guillermo del Toro on "Pacific Rim"

Award-winning director Guillermo del Toro talks to Vanity Fair’s West Coast editor Krista Smith about monsters, friendship, and his newest film Pacific Rim.

Released on 07/12/2013


(chime music)

The talent I would most like to have is,

any musical talent.

I would love to be able to play piano, guitar, whatever.

I have zero musical talent, although I'm pretty good

at singing mariachi (mumbles).

(piano music)

My heroes are the Frankenstein preacher

and Charles Dickens.

(piano music)

[Man] We always thought alien life

would come from the stars.

But it came from deep beneath the Pacific.

Now you've said that this film is your baby.

Can you explain what makes Pacific Rim different

from the other films you've made?

For me these movies are very young movies.

It's a movie I made as a 48-year-old but with the heart

of a 12-year-old and is directed to families and kids

in many ways because the values that I think are

in the movie are profoundly humanistic,

profoundly beautiful and ultimately, what I want is,

I would love to be 12, sit down in a theater

and dream of driving a 25-story-high robot

and fighting a 25-story-high monster.

The great fortune is most guys we stay kids the whole

time, our entire life. (laughing)

I consider my greatest achievement to be my two daughters.

They are absolutely the greatest masterpiece anyone could

want and they never disappoint.

I didn't have a fantasy of driving a robot like that

but I have an appreciation for it and the wonder of it

and how you create it.

The thing about the four girls, I have two daughters.

One is 16, one is 12 and what I want to give them

is the role model that can be a real character.

I love the fact that we made a very choral movie

where we didn't just load the heaviness of the picture

on Charlie Hunnam.

We gave everyone a moment and we made a choice

as we processed the movie to go for a friendship story,

not a love story.

So girls can also dream about not just falling in love

with every guy that seems to share something with them.

It's a great story of friendship and respect and love.

But the love of a colleague, of a pilot to a pilot.

It's a really great choice for me.

(upbeat music)

My greatest extravagance is, at the age of 48, is pens.

I like pens.

I know what this says is very Freudian but I'm sorry,

I'm a cliché.

What about the genre, it spoke to you at such a young age

that you were already motivated?

I really, it's not a figure of speech, I was

connected with monsters from the crib.

You know, some people smile when they say cat whiskers

or poppies and this and that.

I smile when you say monsters.

What I responded to is the sharing of the minds

and the coming together and you're actually one

person and knowing someone's faults.

And in order to be together you have to accept each other.

The trust.

For who they are, trust.

These were thematic things that were layered.

They're very, very carefully. Well when you've seen

my movies I celebrated perfection.

I celebrate us being incomplete.

I celebrate that the fact that we wanna be complete,

we need each other.

In every movie I make that is the prevalent message.

The message that fragility is good, imperfection is good.

And I think that you learn very little

from perfection in life.

And you learn so much from imperfection

and monsters are the patron saints of imperfection.

Do you have a belief in another life out there?

I'm a Mexican so for good or for bad I've seen

one UFO and I heard two ghosts.

And in my country you can be having a lunch or dinner

and you say I saw a ghost and they go,

yeah, really, pass the sauce.

In Pacific Rim you do create this world that's like none

other I've ever seen.

Do you have something that you're working on now?

Yeah, I'm doing a TV series for effects called The Strain

which is based on the three books I co-wrote with

Chuck Hogan.

It's basically a very hard-core take on vampire mythology.

They won't take you to dinner, they won't sparkle,

they won't date you.

You'll be dinner and the date will be very short.

It was great sitting down with you.

Thank you so much.

My pleasure.

If I could change one thing about myself it would be,

I would like to learn how to realize that free time

is very important and more important than work.

But right now I have my priorities pretty scrambled.

That's it.

(soft piano music)

Starring: Guillermo del Toro , Krista Smith

Shot on Canon Cinema EOS