The Shape of Water's Morgan Kelly talks joining Guillermo Del Toro's talented team
Morgan Kelly wasn’t even auditioning when he first impressed director Guillermo del Toro.
“I met Guillermo del Toro when he was in Toronto casting Pacific Rim,” says Kelly on the line from his Toronto home. “I was working with Robin Cook, who’s a casting director, as a reader, meaning actors would audition and I’d be on the other side of the camera reading the lines with them. And Guillermo came in to test a couple of the actors and I guess he took a liking to me. So he kind of kept me in mind when this role came around in The Shape of Water.”
The Shape of Water, which, like many of del Toro’s films, was shot in Toronto, is set in 1962 and stars Sally Hawkins as Eliza, a mute cleaning lady who falls in love with an amphibious creature (Doug Jones) being held in a government facility. Her best friend, Giles (Richard Jenkins), is a closeted gay man who has a crush on the “Pie Guy,” who serves him pie at the local diner. Kelly plays the Pie Guy, whose charm hides a dark side.
The 41-year-old actor, who you may recognize from his stint on "Being Erica" or the sci-fi series "The Killjoys", says del Toro lived up to his reputation as one of Hollywood’s most gracious directors.
“When I went in for the read-through before we started shooting, my wife was two weeks overdue so we were on baby watch,” says Kelly. “And there was Sally Hawkins and Richard Jenkins and all these Oscar-nominated actors and he goes, ‘Listen guys, Morgan’s about to have a baby. Do you mind if we just skip ahead and get to his part?’
“And they’re like, ‘Oh yeah, that’s great.’ He’s always been so kind to me. I run into him at Loblaws and Harvey’s and, you know, he’ll give me a big hug and ask how my wife’s doing, and I didn’t have a huge role in the movie, but he’s always just taken the time, he’s so passionate, kind and respectful.” —Ingrid Randoja
Photo by John Bregar
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