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Keith Thomas Interview: Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities

Two iconic H.P. Lovecraft tales are getting the small-screen treatment with Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities. The Netflix horror anthology features adaptations of both “Pickman’s Model” from The Vigil director Keith Thomas and “Dreams in the Witch House” from Lords of Dogtown‘s Catherine Hardwicke.

“Pickman’s Model” revolves around Will Thurber, an art student with a talented eye for others’ works who becomes enthralled by the grotesque paintings of his peer, Richard Pickman. However, as years progress and the two drift apart, Thurber begins to learn of a dark secret behind his old friend’s art that could destroy his life. As with any good Lovecraft tale, the episode of Guillermo del Toro‘s Cabinet of Curiosities skillfully mixes a gripping psychological thriller with the terrifying nature of the unknown.

Related: Every Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities Episode And Their Film Counterpar

Leading up to its premiere, Screen Rant spoke exclusively with director Keith Thomas to discuss Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities, his installment “Pickman’s Model,” what about Lovecraft’s source material attracted him to the project, and more.

Screen Rant: Cabinet of Curiosities, what a wonderful collection of horror, I’m going to call them mini-movies at this point.

I was reading that Guillermo del Toro had handpicked all of the filmmakers involved with this. How did it come about for you to be a part of this one?

I believe this is based on a Lovecraft short story, were you familiar with the source material prior to coming on for the episode?

What was your biggest goal in bringing this short story to life, especially in comparison to the prior adaptation?

I love that Videodrome reference. Speaking of Ben, this whole special was perfectly cast, but Ben and Crispin are the key to really selling this episode. How challenging was it for you to find the perfect two people to play these characters?

Well, that’s wonderful to hear, that’s always what you want from a collaborative experience. What was it like finding the look of this episode? I love the style, especially that one sequence of Ben nearly stabbing himself in the face as the shadows are setting such a haunting visual style. What was it like finding that look for it?

Near the end, I kept asking myself, “I wonder if this is any of this actually happening?” But that’s also the nature of a Lovecraft story, right?

Speaking of Lovecraft, you can’t have a story of his without some kind of elder being in there of some sort, and the creatures that are in this are horrifying to look at, in a great way. How did those designs come about, was that from the source material or was that you?

Practical is the best way to sell anything, especially in horror. I love Guillermo’s opening monologues for every episode, but I love that he also has little statues of you all. When did you first learn that was gonna happen, and what was your first reaction when you heard he was making little statues of everybody?

In CABINET OF CURIOSITIES, acclaimed Academy Award-winning filmmaker and creator, executive producer and co-showrunner Guillermo del Toro has curated a collection of unprecedented and genre-defining stories meant to challenge our traditional notions of horror. From macabre to magical, gothic to grotesque or classically creepy, these eight equally sophisticated and sinister tales (including two original stories by del Toro) are brought to life by a team of writers and directors personally chosen by del Toro.

GUILLERMO DEL TORO’S CABINET OF CURIOSITIES is created and executive produced by Guillermo del Toro; executive produced by Academy Award winner J. Miles Dale (The Shape of Water; Sex/Life), who also serves as co-showrunner; and executive produced by Gary Ungar. Regina Corrado serves as co-executive producer. Del Toro also serves as host.

Check out our other Cabinet of Curiosities interviews here:

Next: Cabinet Of Curiosities: Pickman’s Model Cast & Character GuideGuillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities is now streaming on Netflix.

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