| Of all the fantastical monsters in Pan's Labyrinth, the most evil villain is a human being. As Capitan Vidal, Lopez rules with an iron fist, keeps his ailing wife alive by a thread to produce a son and terrorizes his stepdaughter. In real life, Lopez is a sweetheart.
Interview: Sergi Lopez on Pan's Labyrinth
"It was particularly easy because of Guillermo Del Toro," said Lopez. "He was with us, so that was very easy for us. It was very easy to work with Guillermo because he doesn’t give you an option, That’s what it is. To play this evil character it was easy because Guillermo Del Toro gave me a lot of direction and guidance of what he wanted, so first I lost my Catalan accent to be from that area in Spain, and I had to lose weight, 14 kilos. I took up horse riding and also military training. When the role is very well written it’s very easy to find him and do it. And it’s very easy to work with Guillermo, he’s all the time with you and he helps you all the time."
All of Lopez's scenes are in the real world, and he was not jealous of young Ivana Baquero or Doug Jones at all. "Absolutely not. We’re happy because we are in the real history, not in the other side. I don’t know, I think for all the actors it’s better to play with somebody and not with nothing."
Pan's Labyrinth was a waiting game for Lopez because Del Toro secured his cast before even writing the script. "He comes to Barcelona to meet me one year and a half before we started shooting, and we ate together, and I eat and I [listen to] him and he ate and talked. For two hours and a half he explained to me all the movie, but with all the details, it was incredible, and when he finished I said, ‘You have a script?’ He said, ‘No, nothing is written.’ But he explained all the movie and all the history to me, and he said, ‘So, you’ll do the movie?’ And I said, ‘Yes, okay, I’ll wait for the script,’ and one year later he sent me the script. And it was exactly the same, it was incredible. In his little head he had all the history with a lot of little detail, a lot of characters, like now when you look at the movie, it was exactly what he had in his head."
The dinner presentation was complete with visual aids. "Yes, he kept his little book with him all the time where he writes something. Even when he was with me, he would write something and showed me some of his drawings."
Pan's Labyrinth is currently on limited release.
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