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Movie Reviews

Ben Barnes Interview: Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities

How much influence can one piece of art hold over a person? This is the question at the heart of “Pickman’s Model” in Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities. Based on H.P. Lovecraft’s short story of the same name, the plot chronicles the life of a young artist as he encounters the titular tortured artist and find his world upended multiple times in his life by his grotesque art.

Ben Barnes and Crispin Glover lead the cast of “Pickman’s Model” in Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities, with The Vigil director Keith Thomas at the helm of the installment. Much like the other shorts in the Netflix horror anthology, “Pickman’s Model” proves to be an unnerving and thoroughly haunting tale for horror genre fans.

Related: Cabinet Of Curiosities: Pickman’s Model Cast & Character Guide

In honor of the show’s premiere, Screen Rant spoke exclusively with star Ben Barnes to discuss Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities, his installment “Pickman’s Model,” his initial hesitation to join the Netflix horror anthology, how his director scared him on set, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and more.

Screen Rant: I loved Cabinet of Curiosities, and “Pickman’s Model” was a wonderful installment. What about the material really caught your interest?

And that’s what I love about Lovecraft, as well as del Toro. They both find those layers in those stories to really terrify the reader or the audience. With this one specifically, I love that the art is such a huge external factor in Thurber’s descent into madness, and the art itself is pretty horrifying to look at. What was your first reaction when you saw some of the artwork?

How often did they work? Were they very effective?

I guess that that helps, since that’s what you wanted.

What was it like developing a rapport with Crispin Glover for this? Because the dynamic between your characters is very important for the story.

Do I see Marty and the DeLorean back there on the shelf?

I’m glad it worked out the way it did, because it plays so well on screen.

That’s what I keep hearing for everybody is, “I haven’t seen it yet,” and I’m like, “Oh, you are in for a treat.” We’ve lately been able to see a lot of the Netflix Marvel characters coming back. I know Jigsaw met his end in The Punisher season 2, but now that we are seeing Charlie Cox and others coming back, is there a small part of you that’s a bit jealous that you can’t be part of the bigger MCU?

I guess there’s the multiverse!

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: Every Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities Episode And Their Film CounterpartGuillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities is now streaming on Netflix.

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