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Ivana Baquero on Panís Labyrinth

Published December 28, 2006 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Picturehouse.
Most child actors get to subject grown-ups to pain or act cute and cuddly. Not when you're working with Guillermo Del Toro. Pan's Labyrinth as 12-year-old Ivana Baquero running from monsters, witnessing military brutality and trying to figure out which is scarier.

Interview: Ivana Baquero on Pan's Labyrinth


"Guillermo has this amazing mind and I don’t think mine reaches to his," she said. "I guess, like any kid, I sometimes have my imaginary monsters. I’ve never really created one but sometimes I do have nightmares and goosebumps about weird Pans and big toads, that kind of stuff."

The film's big toad, one of Ofelia (Baquero)'s fantasy missions, was one of her most difficult sequences to film. "I remember it as my toughest sequence, especially the part where I come out of the fake tree after the toad. I was literally freezing because I was full of mud. I was in Madrid’s mountains, La Sierra and it was raining so I was really freezing."

Ofelia's real monster is Capitan Vidal, who marries her mother but really only wants a son for himself. Played by Sergi Lopez, Baquero said, "He was totally hilarious. He has nothing to do with the real Vidal. Every time we did a sequence, we’d have to get into our characters and be serious, like I’d be crying and he’d be like preparing to slap me, fake slap me, and five minutes later, we’d break out laughing and start joking all around again. He’s a really nice person and, as well as Guillermo, he taught me a lot during the whole filming and he was also one of the people who cheered me up and gave me advice during filming."


Pan's Labyrinth Pan's Labyrinth


Pan's Labyrinth Pan's Labyrinth

The adults in the film only see the real world. Only Ofelia gets to experience both the fantasy and harsh reality, and Baquero had no preference. "I like both of them. It’s really different. When I had to act in the real world, I was with Maribel [Verdu] and all the great actors who were cheering me up all the time and who give me advice. And, when I was in the fantasy world filming, I had Doug Jones and all these amazing creatures to film with so I guess I liked both a lot."

Though the film is very R-rated with bloody violence, Mr. and Mrs. Baquero had no problem with their daughter acting in it. "When you see the movie, you get into the movie, the movie is put together. You watch it and hear the music and you really get into it. You don’t realize that, when you are actually filming it, it’s not like that. It’s all hilarious. You do a scene and then Guillermo says ‘cut’ and then we’re doing jokes. You don’t feel it that much. And, when we see the movie, we didn’t any sort of problems because we already knew what was going on when we were filming. In a really brutal scene, we would remember that we were joking around so it wasn’t a problem at all."

Pan's Labyrinth will have a limited release on December 29th.

For more movie info, movie stills, posters, clips, early reviews and trailers, go to the Pan's Labyrinth Movie Page.

Stay tuned for updates.


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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Picturehouse.
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