Guillermo del Toro curses a bit — in Spanish and English — but his fan friendliness may know no bounds.
The director of the Academy Award-winning “Pan’s Labyrinth” and the well-received “Hellboy” films was on hand at midnight last night at Meltdown Comics in Hollywood to autograph copies of his new vampire book “The Strain,” co-written by Chuck Hogan. He stated that he would not leave until “every last geek” was satisfied — and he meant it. I didn’t get to record this bit of video until 3:30 a.m., when he signed his last book.
Throughout the night, the director remained animated and amiable while autographing, taking scores of photos, and giving advice to fans and up-and-coming filmmakers who stood in line. Some exchanges and words of wisdom from Del Toro included:
– “How come you haven’t read more vampire books? I have a list …”
– ” … you should go find that DVD. It’s in the Criterion Collection …”
– “Did you see ‘Drag Me to Hell’? No? Are you gonna go?”
– “Is your short still making the rounds?”
And so on. A person in line commented, “He seems to have something in common with everyone.” That was true, but with his banter, it was more that he found connections with the fans. Despite the popularity of his upcoming project, the director didn’t get an overabundance of questions about “The Hobbit.” He can think about that later. For now, on to New York, London, back to the States, then out to New Zealand to continue his three-year journey bringing J.R.R. Tolkien’s tome to the screen.
— Jevon Phillips