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Meet GDT’s biggest fans

October 3rd, 2017

What would you do for a chance to meet Guillermo del Toro? For about 400 fans in Toronto last week, an opportunity to meet the director face-to-face (who was in town for the opening of Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters) at the AGO’s 4 pm book signing meant hours spent in line in eager anticipation. We asked a few of these devoted fans who showed up to the AGO first thing in the morning (they even beat the staff) what motivated them to brave the heat to meet their hero.

Stephanie Landriault, 26

How did you hear about the book signing?
It was sent to me by one of my friends who knew I was interested in going to the exhibition. It was an article that was on the AGO website.

What time did you get here?
6 o’clock in the morning. I wanted to be first. (Editor’s note: She was!)

What did you bring?
I brought a Death Stranding poster, the Kojima game. One of the characters is modelled after him.

What do you like about Guillermo del Toro?
Just every movie he’s ever made. Pan’s Labyrinth is my favourite, it’s dark and fantastical at the same time.

What are you excited to see in the exhibition?
Kind of the whole thing. I’ve tried really hard to avoid spoilers so I just want to go in and see.


Martin Lis, 24

How did you hear about the book signing?
When I was at Fan Expo I took a poster nonchalantly, but when I got home I realized “Oh, there’s an exhibit!” And then I realized there was a book signing and I went “Oh, I have to be there!”

What time did you get here?
7 o’clock in the morning. My brother drove me in from Mississauga.

What did you bring?
I brought the Pacific Rim art book, that’s definitely one of my favourites by him. I’m a big Transformers fan and I’ve been disappointed by those films, so to see him do something so spectacular with that form was amazing.

What are you excited to see in the exhibition?
All the lifelike statues and portraits. I was a huge fan of Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth, all the ones that use practical effects. He’s just such a visionary with dark fantasy, I absolutely love his work.

Magda Uculmana-Falcon, 19

How did you hear about the book signing?
My friend is the daughter of [the exhibition’s curator] Jim Shedden, so I heard through him.

What time did you get here?
I got here at 9 am. But I had to go to the shop to get the catalogue first.

What else did you bring?
I brought my sketchbook. I went to TIFF and I saw The Shape of Water and it was so beautiful. Visually, with the creatures that he creates, but also the story, I found it really beautiful. That’s why I wanted to get his book and learn more about him. I don’t know much about Guillermo del Toro, but I’m a Latina, I’m Peruvian, and he’s Mexican so that’s interesting as well.

What are you excited to see in the exhibition?
I’m open to seeing whatever is in there. I want to be surprised. I just think it’s so interesting he has all of these things in his house.

Cindy Hollander, 44
Natasha Kitts, 21

How did you hear about the book signing?
Natasha: I was online and saw a note that he would be doing a book signing.
Cindy: At Fan Expo, and I have him on Twitter.

What time did you get here?
Both: 9 am.

What did you bring or buy from shopAGO?
Natasha: I bought this sketchbook, and I ended up getting the catalogue and the poster as well.
Cindy: I also have a sketchbook, and I bought a postcard and brought some of my own art to show him if there’s time.

Why did you want to meet him in person?
Cindy: Because he’s brilliant. I love his movies. He’s just a genius.
Natasha: When I was 11 years old, my dad put on Pan’s Labyrinth and he was like, I don’t know if you should be watching this, you’re kind of little. And I said no, I love it, and ever since I’ve been obsessed with Guillermo del Toro.

What are you excited to see in the exhibition?
Natasha: I’m going to see it on First Thursday. I’m really excited to see the characters from Pan’s Labyrinth. I’m normally not into horror or scary things, but I love his work so much.
Cindy: Everything!

You can see for yourself why they’re so excited. Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters is on now until January 7, 2018.

Join the conversation at #GDTAGO.

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