Guillermo del Toro speaking at the 2014 San Diego Comic Con International photo by Gage Skidmore – Wikimedia commons

Top 10 Fascinating Facts about Guillermo del Toro


Guillermo del Toro, who is renowned for creating terrifying yet aesthetically stunning creatures with unnatural features, has amassed a flawless collection of feature films with a unique style and feel, winning him a devoted following and high praise from critics.

The writer-ability director seamlessly combines historical events with fairy tale motifs is more of a once-in-a-lifetime skill.

A tremendous and dreadful body of work has been amassed by Guillermo del Toro: He has always worked to obfuscate the hazy line between what is considered to be high and low art because he is attracted by the beauty of the odd, macabre, and horrible. As a result, he has amassed a large following and received praise from critics.

Guillermo del Toro Gomez was born 9th October 1964, to Guadalupe Gomez and Federico del Toro Torres. Del Toro was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, in Mexico.

Here are the top 10 fascinating facts about him.

1. Guillermo began experimenting with cameras at 8 years

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

Around the age of eight, del Toro started experimenting with his father’s Super 8 camera, creating short films with toys from the Planet of the Apes and other items. One short was about a “serial killer potato” who wanted to rule the entire globe and killed del Toro’s mother and brothers before going outdoors and getting hit by a car.

Before directing his debut movie, Del Toro created roughly ten short films, among them Matilde, although only the last two, Dona Lupe and Geometria, have been released.

Along with renowned Mexican directors including Emmanuel Lubezki and Alfonso Cuarón, he co-wrote four episodes and directed five episodes of the cult series La Hora Marcaida.

2. Guillermo’s Catholic grandmother attempted to exorcise him as a child

The fact that del Toro was raised in a Catholic home caused him to disagree with his grandmother. She was concerned about his penchant for sketching monsters, as well as his eventual fascination with horrific special effects makeup.

She twice attempted to exorcise the demon from her grandson to win back his soul. Another time, she made del Toro put metal bottle tops in his shoes as an atonement for his transgressions.

3. He studied filmmaking at the University of Guadalajara

The University of Guadalajara in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico photo by n75_dsc_p100 – Wikimedia commons

Del Toro was born in Guadalajara, the son of Guadalupe Gómez and automotive entrepreneur Federico del Toro Torres, both of Spanish, Irish and German descent. Raised in a strict Catholic  household, he studied at the Centro de Investigación y Estudios Cinematográficos, at the University of Guadalajara.

While there he published his first book, a biography of Alfred Hitchcock, a director he has long praised and admired.

Del Toro developed an interest in both film and horror stories as a child. He began making short films while in high school and later studied filmmaking at the University of Guadalajara.

4. Guillermo spent 10 years as a special-effects make-up artist

He subsequently learned the art of movie makeup from legendary film makeup artist Dick Smith. Del Toro spent much of the 1980s working as a special-effects makeup artist, and he cofounded Necropia.

He, with special effects artist Dick Smith, studied special effects and make-up and worked for 10 years as a special-effects make-up designer. He later formed his own company Necropia., A special effects company.

5. Guillermo del Toro began his filmmaking career in 1993

Baker and Perlman at the 2015 Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild Awards at the Paramount Theatre at the Paramount Studios Lot photo by RedCarpetReport – Wikimedia commons

Guillermo del Toro began his filmmaking career in 1993. Federico Luppi and Ron Perlman starred in Guillermo del Toro’s debut feature, the Spanish-language Mexican horror drama movie “Cronos,” which told the tale of an antique trader who transforms into a vampire.

Even though it didn’t receive a nomination, his debut movie was chosen as Mexico’s submission for the ‘Best Foreign Language Film category at the 66th Academy Awards.

6. He co-founded the Guadalajara International Film Festival

Guillermo co-founded the Guadalajara International film festival. The Guadalajara film festival is a week-long film festival held each March in the Mexican city of Guadalajara since 1986.

7. He traded his salary for better creature effects

Del Toro used his face as a canvas for special effects makeup as a child, turning himself into bloody grotesques. He also drew monsters. Del Toro obsessively worked on the creation of the creatures that would feature in his films as he pursued a career in filmmaking.

One of the director’s primary concerns was to physically realize del Toro’s vision, even if it necessitates returning some of his compensation to cover the cost of quality special effects.

In 2004, when del Toro brought Hell boy to the big screen, he insisted on seeing his vision executed flawlessly. He gave the studio half of his income in exchange for better special effects.

He turned down any remuneration so that the money could be used to create his creatures to ensure that the lavish and wonderfully constructed world of Pan’s Labyrinth from 2006 came to fruition completely.

8. He sees himself as a Hell Boy

Mike Mignola at WonderCon 2009 photo by BrokenSphere – Wikimedia commons

Hell boy, a complex half-demon created in 1993 by artist Mike Mignola, battles against the presumptive fate some people think he should embrace while working for the forces of good.

Del Toro, who attempted to pursue his interests in monsters and the macabre despite growing up in a Catholic family, had a strong affinity with the character when developing the Hellboy movie.

Hell boy represents the concept that you are who you want to be, according to del Toro in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Half-demon Hell boy decides to do good despite attempts to use him to herald the end of the world or help the Nazis in World War II.

Del Toro’s grandmother used exorcisms, punishment, and verbal expressions of dissatisfaction to try to steer him away from his hobbies.

The filmmaker elaborated on the comparison by noting, “In many respects, the connection between him and Professor Broom is still similar to that between me and my grandmother, you know? I replaced Hell boy’s comic book birthdate with my birthday, October 9.”

9. Guillermo won the Oscars for Best Director and Best picture

Guillermo directed the Academy Award-winning fantasy films pan’s Labyrinth (2006) and The Shape of Water (2017). The romantic dark fantasy film “The Shape of Water” won the “Best Picture” award and earned him the “Best Director” award at the 90th Academy Awards.

While the film also won two more awards and had a total of thirteen nominations, it was not his first film to win Oscars. He previously won three Oscars for another of his dark fantasy film, “Pan’s Labyrinth”. 

10. He moved abroad after his father’s kidnapping

In 1997, his father was taken hostage in Guadalajara, and the ransom demanded by the kidnappers was doubled. As soon as James Cameron learned about it, he withdrew $1 million and paid it to Del Toro as ransom.

Even months after the kidnapping, the perpetrators were never found, and the money was never recovered. His father was eventually freed when the ransom was paid. After that, his family relocated abroad.