Became a vegetarian after seeing The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) but only for four years. Currently, he's no longer a vegetarian.
Turned down a chance to direct Blade: Trinity (2004), Alien vs. Predator (2004) and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) to work on his dream project: Hellboy (2004).
Fought the film studios for almost seven years to get Ron Perlman for the title role in Hellboy (2004). The studio wanted a bigger name to ensure the success of the movie, but del Toro thought that Perlman was the perfect choice and wouldn't make the movie if he wasn't cast.
Friends with fellow successful Mexican directors Alfonso Cuarón and Alejandro G. Iñárritu. They often support each other.
Has a photographic memory.
Following his international breakthrough, his father was kidnapped for ransom in Mexico in 1997, and held for seventy-two days until the money was paid. Fellow filmmaker James Cameron helped secure the ransom money. Although del Toro still frequently works in Mexico, he has relocated his family to the United States out of fear of more kidnappings.
In a January 2007 interview on the radio program "Fresh Air with Terry Gross", said that his strictly Catholic grandmother was a "Piper Laurie in Carrie (1976)" figure in his childhood. He told Gross that his grandmother would require him to mortify himself in self-punishment, in one case placing metal bottle caps into his shoes so that the soles of his feet were bloodied while walking to school. She also tried to exorcise him twice because of his persistent interest in fantasy and drawing monsters from his imagination.
His favorite movie monsters are Frankenstein's Monster and the Creature of the Black Lagoon.
In 2007, he was one of 10 Mexican Oscar-nominees. The others were Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Guillermo Arriaga, Adriana Barraza, Alfonso Cuarón, Guillermo Navarro, Emmanuel Lubezki, Eugenio Caballero, Pilar Revuelta and Fernando Cámara.
Lost 45 lbs. while making Pan's Labyrinth (2006), which he admitted in the DVD's video prologue.
Turned down a chance to direct I Am Legend (2007), One Missed Call (2008), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009) and Halo to work on Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008).
Turned down the chance to direct Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996), which went to Kevin Yagher.
He regards Mimic (1997) as the weakest of his films and blames constant interference from the producers Bob Weinstein and Harvey Weinstein as the main reason, because they didn't respect his artistic vision. He later made peace with the film after creating a new Director's Cut.
Ranked #37 on EW's The 50 Smartest People in Hollywood. [December 2007]
Was asked to direct End of Days (1999), which he turned down. The task went to Peter Hyams.
His movie and comic book collection is so huge that he had to buy an extra home to accommodate this.
Good friends with director Robert Rodriguez.
His favorite albums are "The Wall" (1979) by the rock band Pink Floyd and "Security" (1982) by Peter Gabriel.
In an article in USA Today (August 22, 2011), del Toro listed his six favorite fright films: Freaks (1932), The Uninvited (1944), The Innocents (1961), Jaws (1975), Alien (1979) and The Shining (1980).
Inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame during their gala held on March 12, 2015 in Austin, Texas.
Has extensive knowledge and practical experience playing video-games, and is very good friends with Japanese video-game designer/director Hideo Kojima, with whom he shares many interests, including 1960s classic movies and Japanese television series, and rare toys.
Used to work as an orderly at a mental institution and would eat lunch in a morgue next to there.
Was attached to direct The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) but dropped out due to repeated delays in the production and the project stalling due to MGM declaring bankruptcy. He still received screenwriting credit on the film and its sequels: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013) and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014).
Has directed three Oscar nominated performances: Richard Jenkins, Sally Hawkins and Octavia Spencer.
The third Mexican nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director, after Alejandro G. Iñárritu and Alfonso Cuarón.
When casting his films, he looks first for interesting, engaging, eyes in a prospective actor or actress.
Maintains residences in Toronto and Los Angeles, and returns to Guadalajara ever six weeks to visit his family.
President of the 'Official Competition' Jury at the 75th Venice International Film Festival in 2018.
Member of the jury of the "Luigi De Laurentiis" Prize for a Debut Film at the 63rd Venice International Film Festival in 2006.
Member of the 'Official Competition' jury at the 68th Cannes International Film Festival in 2015.
Good friends with director James Cameron. Cameron helped him pay the ransom for his kidnapped father in 1997, and once revealed that he nearly got into a fight with Harvey Weinstein over the latter's treatment of del Toro during the filming of Mimic (1997).
In 2018, he became the fourth Mexican director to have won Best Director at the Academy Awards in the last five years.
As of 2018, is one of 10 directors to win the Golden Globe, Director's Guild, BAFTA, and Oscar for the same movie, winning for The Shape of Water (2017). The other directors to achieve this are Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire (2008), Mike Nichols for The Graduate (1967), Milos Forman for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), Richard Attenborough for Gandhi (1982), Oliver Stone for Platoon (1986), Steven Spielberg for Schindler's List (1993), Ang Lee for Brokeback Mountain (2005), Alfonso Cuarón for Gravity (2013), and Alejandro G. Iñárritu for The Revenant (2015).
He is one of 10 directors to win the Golden Globe, Director's Guild, BAFTA, and Oscar for the same film, winning for The Shape of Water (2017). The others to achieve this are Mike Nichols for The Graduate (1967), Milos Forman for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), Richard Attenborough for Gandhi (1982), Oliver Stone for Platoon (1986), Steven Spielberg for Schindler's List (1993), Ang Lee for Brokeback Mountain (2005), Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire (2008), Alfonso Cuarón for Roma (2018) and Gravity (2013), and Alejandro G. Iñárritu for The Revenant (2015).
His favorite movies include Nosferatu (1922), Freaks (1932), The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), The Seventh Seal (1957), Eyes Without a Face (1960), 8½ (1963) and Brazil (1985).
When asked what movies he would make given the proper budget, he said: At the Mountains of Madness and Frankenstein.
The Shape of Water (2017) is his personal favorite of his own movies.
Was going to direct Thor (2011) for Marvel Studios, as he was interested in exploring Norse Mythology, but dropped out because he couldn't commit to it long-term.
Is a huge lifelong fan of Hammer Horror films and has said he made The Devil's Backbone (2001) and Crimson Peak (2015) with their style in mind.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6918 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on August 6, 2019.
Roughly 16 years of his life have gone writing and co-writing screenplays for movies that never got made.
No relation to Oscar-winning actor Benicio Del Toro, despite a popular misconception.
His name translated into English is "William of the Bull".