Richard Jenkins: Guillermo del Toro is a unique director

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 11 October 2017
Richard Jenkins in London

Richard Jenkins in London

Richard Jenkins has praised his 'The Shape of Water' director Guillermo del Toro claiming he is like "nobody else" in cinema and is completely unique as a filmmaker

Richard Jenkins has praised his 'The Shape of Water' director Guillermo del Toro for having unique talents as a filmmaker.

The 70-year-old actor is one of the main stars of the romantic fantasy film which focuses on the improbable love story between a mute female janitor at a laboratory and a mysterious amphibious creature.

Jenkins admits it was like no other movie he has worked on and he has so much respect for del Toro's scope for cinematic storytelling.

Speaking exclusively to BANG Showbiz at a BFI London Film Festival screening of the film at the Odeon Cinema in London's Leicester Square on Tuesday (10.10.17), Jenkins said: "It was pretty great. He is like nobody else. He has his own way of working and understands cinema in the way that not many other people do. He knows what vision he has for a movie and we all just fit in with that world."

The plot is set in 1962 and shows Elsa as an isolated woman whose life changes when she discovers the secretive facility is holding a strange, water dwelling being known as The Asset.

The two develop a special bond before Elsa then learns of The Asset's fate and must decide what to do.

Jenkins admits it was the unusual story premise and the script by del Toro and Vanessa Taylor which drew him to the project.

He said: "The script was good and that's what drew me to it. I loved it immediately. I knew what we were shooting but didn't know really until I saw it, and then I was like, 'What? Really? It's that good.'

Jenkins stars as Giles the neighbour of mute janitor Elsa - played by Sally Hawkins.

Jenkins' alter ego is a gay man back in a time when it was illegal to be homosexual in the US and he admits it was an interesting premise to explore.

The actor - who played a homosexual man before in 'Flirting With Disaster' - said: "It was interesting, you know. I just look at it like a man who is gay, it's who he was and is. But back in 1962, it was illegal to be gay so he had to live a very secret life. He is a very lonely man but I loved playing the character."

'The Shape of Water' also stars Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon and Doug Jones and it is scheduled for release in December.

The Shape of Water

  • 5 stars
  • 2017
  • US
  • 1h 59min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Guillermo del Toro
  • Cast: Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones, Lauren Lee Smith, Michael Stuhlbarg, Octavia Spencer
  • UK release: 16 February 2018

In 1962 Baltimore, Eliza (Hawkins) is a mute who works as a cleaner in a secret government facility alongside the chatty Zelda (Spencer); there she makes a connection with a mysterious monster (Jones). A wondrous tale of underwater love, with an apt and refreshing approach to female sexuality; from screenplay through…

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