On Monday's (July 21) Television Critics Association press tour panel for "The Strain," Guillermo del Toro was asked about Bleak House, the supplementary residence he purchased to serve as a museum of sorts for his vast collection of toys, props, books and memorabilia mostly relating to his beloved horror, fantasy and sci-fi genres.
"Well, I have the same restraint collecting that I have eating," del Toro cracked.
The "Pan's Labyrinth" and "Blade II" director has always enjoyed joking about his appetites, which extend beyond eating and collecting into intellectual and conversational realms as well. If, for example, you want to talk fairy tales with del Toro, you have to be prepared to discuss varied international histories for certain stories, while bringing in Bruno Bettelheim as well.
Last week, I posted a brief-ish report from a day on the set of del Toro's "Crimson Peak," just a sampling from the nearly two hours the director took with a small group of reporters, practically having to be dragged away to make his 2015 gothic tale. He just loves what he does and he loves talking about it and since del Toro is typically attached to a dozen projects at a time, that leaves endless room for discussion.
I had 15 minutes with del Toro on Monday to talk about "The Strain," the new FX drama based on del Toro and Chuck Hogan's novel trilogy about a ruthless vampire invasion of New York City. Even knowing I could only concentrate on "The Strain," that time was always going to be woefully inadequate, so I had to choose a topic.
Mostly, that topic was vampires. And since this is Guillermo del Toro, that means the talks about "Kolchak" and John William Polidori's "The Vampyre" as much as his own blood-suckers. We also talked about his earnest love for genre, the origins of his interest in subterranean worlds and his interest in doing more TV in the future.
It's a short interview, but it's a fun interview.