Mexican director Guillermo del Toro was honored Tuesday with a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, where he urged fellow immigrants to reject fear and division in the US.
The double Oscar-winning filmmaker, 54, is known for creating surreal worlds filled with fantastical monsters in movies such as Pan’s Labyrinth and The Shape of Water.
Speaking in the aftermath of the El Paso mass shootings, he told the crowd that “great fear” was being used to divide people, but “those divisions are complete fantasies”.
“When people say, ‘You dwell in fantasy,’ I say, ‘I don’t. Politicians do, churches do, I don’t. I deal with facts of the soul and the stories.'”
He added: “Do not believe the lies they tell about us. Believe in the stories you have inside and believe that we all can make a difference.”
Del Toro left Mexico in 1998 after his father was kidnapped for a $1 million ransom that he only managed to pay with the help of fellow director James Cameron.
He is now known as one of the “three amigos” of Mexican film along with fellow Oscar-winning directors Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Birdman, The Revenant) and Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity).
He told the crowd how searching Tinseltown’s sidewalk in the 1970s for the stars of horror legends Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney and Alfred Hitchcock had inspired him in creating his famed horror universes.
“What I felt with those stars is there were people that were as weird as me and they were here, so that gave me hope,” he said.
“This star is for you, all of you that feel weird to come over and sit for a moment.”
Star Wars filmmaker J.J. Abrams and singer Lana Del Rey attended the ceremony.
Del Ray provides a song for “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,” a horror film produced by Del Toro out Friday.