Wolfman: Interview with Del Toro

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Benicio Del Toro stars in "The Wolfman," a remake of the legendary classic from 1935. The film, directed by Joe Johnston, is being released by Universal on February 12.

Up for the Challenge

Del Toro was very interested in paying homage to the genre he’d loved since he was a boy. While he realized that would require him going deep into the makeup and prosthetics it would take to pull off the signature look of the creature, he was game for the challenge. “Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy… when I was a kid, I watched these movies,” Del Toro explains. “My earliest recollection of acting was watching Lon Chaney, Jr. play the Wolf Man. We wanted to honor this classic movie and the Henry Hull movie Werewolf of London. We knew it would be exciting to make it in the classic, handcrafted way.”

A Modern Remake

Del Toro didn’t want to remake the film frame by frame, but rather update it for modern audiences. He felt the story screenwriters Andrew Kevin Walker and David Self created “gave the movie some twists and turns and a modern edge, while still honoring the original story.”

Working with Sir Anthony Hopkins

For Del Toro, it was not difficult to slip into his role as the son of Sir Anthony Hopkins, as he was initially nervous to work with the performer. He laughs: “At first, I was more in awe working with him than enjoying it. By just watching him, he helped me and gave me notes here and there. It was nice to have another actor give you suggestions. He’s a straight shooter; he’s done in two takes and was great to work with.”


Though the makeup application took hours, Del Toro was excited to be involved in the process. “As a kid, I always wanted to have those big teeth,” laughs the actor. “It doesn’t matter how long you’re sitting on that chair, with Rick the magic is bit-by-bit. You close your eyes for five minutes, you open them up again and something is happening. It was easy to go for it when you have such a great team of guys working with you and doing a terrific job.”