Sally Hawkins & Octavia Spencer on How ‘Shape of Water’ Is a Love Letter to Old Hollywood

     December 24, 2017


With director Guillermo del Toro’s fairy tale The Shape of Water now playing in select theaters, I recently sat down with Sally Hawkins and Octavia Spencer for an exclusive video interview. They talked about how working with del Toro compared to their expectations, how the film is a love letter to old Hollywood, if they had a favorite set (the production design on the film is fantastic), and more. In addition, Hawkins shared a great story about del Toro coming up to her at a party where he told her that he was writing her a movie where she would fall in love with a fish creature.


Image via Fox Searchlight

If you haven’t seen any of The Shape of Water trailers, the film was written by del Toro and Vanessa Taylor and takes place in 1962 America against the backdrop of the Cold War. The fantastic film stars Sally Hawkins as Elisa, a lonely and mute cleaning woman who works in a high-security government laboratory, where a new specimen has just arrived: a mysterious Fish Man, played by Doug Jones in full makeup. Matters are complicated when Elisa strikes up a friendly relationship with the Fish Man, only to see Michael Shannon’s terrifying security expert treat the creature like a wild animal, abuse and all. The movie also stars Richard Jenkins, and Michael Stuhlbarg.

I’ve seen a lot of movies this year and The Shape of Water is one of the best. Strongly recommended. For more on the film you can read Brian Formo’s review.

Check out what Sally Hawkins and Octavia Spencer had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about.


Image via Fox Searchlight

Sally Hawkins and Octavia Spencer:

  • Is it true that del Toro was drunk at a party and went up to Sally Hawkins and said he was writing her a movie where she would fall in love with a fish creature?
  • How did working with del Toro compare to what they expected?
  • Did they have a favorite set on the film?
  • How the film is a love letter to old Hollywood.

For more on The Shape of Water:

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