Guillermo del Toro is a Mexican director and author best known in America for his two critically acclaimed fantasy films, Pan's Labyrinth and The Shape of Water. Throughout his career, he has directed both low-budget Spanish language films, as well as expensive Hollywood action films, including Cronos, Blade II, Hellboy, and Crimson Peak.
del Toro was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, and raised in a strict household. He took an early interest in film, and studied at the Centro de Investigacion y Estudios Cinematograficos at the University of Guadalajara. After spending 10 years as a special effects makeup designer, he directed the film Mimic, an American science-fiction horror film, in 1997. Throughout the 2000s, he directed a wide range of films, such as The Devil's Backbone, Blade II, Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Pacific Rim, Crimson Peak, The Shape of Water, and the upcoming Pinocchio.
del Toro is known for his treatment of supernatural and allegorical subjects, and his preoccupation with both fantasy and horror as genres. In an interview with Rüdiger Sturm for the website The Talks, he said, "I am in love with monsters in a way that is very intimate and spiritual. I am still moved by the creature of Frankenstein, by all the classical monsters in a way that is very close to religion," and called monsters "the patron saints of the outsiders." In 2018, del Toro won the Academy Award for Best Director for his direction of The Shape of Water.