TIME Magazine has announced its picks for the 100 most influential people in the world in 2018, and included among the group is this year’s Oscar winner for Best Director, Guillermo del Toro. “The Shape of Water” visionary is honored by fellow Oscar winner Jordan Peele in the magazine. The “Get Out” writer-director praises del Toro as the “auteur whom artists adore” in a short essay.
“To watch one of Guillermo’s masterpieces is an experience in escapism and wonder,” Peele writes. “To gnaw on the totality of his work reveals an obsession with the eternally forbidden romance between beauty and beast.”
“Guillermo is in love with monsters and lives to show us that we are too,” he continues. “With each fable he weaves, he pushes us closer to acceptance of a primal truth: that we each have a deep connection to the spectrum of otherness.”
Del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” was nominated for 13 Academy Awards and took home four prizes, including Best Picture. The filmmaker won directing honors for his first nomination in the category. In his essay, Peele reflects on del Toro’s history of making movies and puts his finger on what makes the director’s films so unique.
“Guillermo del Toro’s potion intoxicates,” Peele writes. “His brand of alchemy includes a pinch of macabre, a dash of melancholy and a few handfuls of stunning horror, but then he adds that perfect dollop of whimsy that keeps his audience gripped to the screen as close as Ola Ray clutches to Michael Jackson in the ‘Thriller’ video.”
Peele concludes by stating, “We look up to him because he doesn’t compromise in his mission to burrow down into the craggy pit of love and fear and invite us down there with him.”
Del Toro does not have any plans at the moment for his follow-up film to “The Shape of Water.” The director announced he’ll be taking the year off from directing and working on writing and producing projects. Peele, meanwhile, is expected to start production on his second directorial effort in the fall. He’s also a producer on CBS All Access’ “Twilight Zone” reboot and HBO’s “Lovecraft Country.”
Head over to the TIME 100 page to read Peele’s essay on del Toro in full. Other actors and directors named in this year’s TIME 100 include Tiffany Haddish, Greta Gerwig, Chadwick Boseman, Ryan Coogler, and Nicole Kidman.