Why Octavia Spencer Dove into The Shape of Water

Octavia Spencer from The Shape of Water
Octavia Spencer from The Shape of Water

Octavia Spencer had seen every movie that Guillermo del Toro had directed. “So I knew what he would be able to create,” she tells Made in Hollywood reporter Patrick Stinson. But there was nothing quite like the thrill of actually working with him in “The Shape of Water.”

“It’s an honor because I’m a huge fan of the filmmaker,” the Oscar-winning actress says. “Meeting him, I’ve become a huge fan of the man.”

In this genre-bending movie from the creator of “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “Hellboy,” a mute cleaning woman played by Sally Hawkins falls in love with a mysterious scaled aquatic creature being kept as a science experiment in a secret government lab. Spencer plays Elisa’s friend and coworker.

Del Toro calls “The Shape of Water” the “dream project I wanted to make, in a strange way the movie I’ve always wanted to make,” though one with considerable challenges.

“It was a very beautiful movie, but very hard to pull off,” he says. The two leads –Hawkins’ Elisa and the creature — don’t speak. “But they need to connect,” says the director. “So you use sign language and you use eyes and body and actions. Made it richer, it’s not easier. It’s a little harder.”