With director Guillermo del Toro’s fairy tale The Shape of Water now playing in select theaters, I recently sat down with Michael Shannon and Michael Stuhlbarg for an exclusive video interview. They talked about how working with del Toro compared to their expectations, how the film is a love letter to old Hollywood, the way del Toro will create character backstories for all his actors and include secrets that only they know, and more.
If you haven’t seen any of The Shape of Water trailers, the film was written by del Toro and Vanessa Taylor and takes place in 1962 America against the backdrop of the Cold War. The fantastic film stars Sally Hawkins as Elisa, a lonely and mute cleaning woman who works in a high-security government laboratory, where a new specimen has just arrived: a mysterious Fish Man, played by Doug Jones in full makeup. Matters are complicated when Elisa strikes up a friendly relationship with the Fish Man, only to see Michael Shannon’s terrifying security expert treat the creature like a wild animal, abuse and all. The movie also stars Octavia Spencer and Richard Jenkins.
I’ve seen a lot of movies this year and The Shape of Water is one of the best. Strongly recommended. For more on the film you can read Brian Formo’s review.
Check out what Michael Shannon and Michael Stuhlbarg had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about.
Michael Shannon and Michael Stuhlbarg:
- What was it like working with del Toro on set?
- Michael Shannon talks about how he’s a perfectionist on set which led to some deep discussions with del Toro about what the scene was about.
How the film is a love letter to old Hollywood.
- Did del Toro create a character backstory for them and what secrets were included?
For more on The Shape of Water:
- Guillermo del Toro on How He Made ‘The Shape of Water’ for Under $20 Million
- Doug Jones on ‘The Shape of Water’, His Process with Guillermo del Toro, and More
- Michael Shannon on ‘The Shape of Water’ and Modernizing ‘Fahrenheit 451’ with Director Ramin Bahrani
- ‘The Shape of Water’ Editor Sidney Wolinsky on Collaborating with Guillermo del Toro
- Sally Hawkins & Octavia Spencer on How ‘Shape of Water’ Is a Love Letter to Old Hollywood