If you want to make a monster, Guillermo del Toro has some advice for you: Don’t look at monsters.
The director of the newly released “The Shape of Water” gave us a tour of his workspace in Los Angeles where he creates the magical characters in his films. “A lot of people, when they design creatures, they reference [other] creatures. And that’s the worst thing you can do,” he said. “Because then you’re going to regurgitate somebody else’s process and that’s it.”
Instead, del Toro maintains a massive, incredibly creepy library in his home, named Bleak House, that provides him with plenty of alternatives: mannequins, Chinese art books, diagrams of animals, and bizarre toys. All of these, somehow, provide inspiration for characters, like the amphibious creature that appears in his new movie.
del Toro told VICE News why he doesn’t like Google and the similarities he sees between Popeye and Jesus.
Check out VICE News Tonight’s full interview with Guillermo del Toro.
A version of this interview aired Dec. 1, 2017, on VICE News Tonight.