Guillermo Del Toro was a man on a mission. He’d been sent a tape of Amores Perros by a mutual friend, another up-and-coming Mexican auteur, Alfonso Cuaron, who [like Del Toro] thought the movie was an overlong chef d’oeuvre.
“Though Del Toro was ‘very broke’ at the time — he’d recently paid a hefty ransom to rescue his father from a kidnapping — he caught one of the first available flights to Mexico from Austin, Texas, where he was living then.
“‘Next day, or two days after, I opened the door and I see a fat man with the face of a kid, and with very intelligent blue eyes,’ Inarritu, 43, recalls. ‘And in the next three days he ate all the food in my refrigerator but he made me laugh like nobody, he made my life so happy. And he helped me, really toughly, to get those seven, eight minutes out of it.’
“For the record, Del Toro insists it was 20 minutes, and he swears that every time Inarritu tells the story the tally gets shorter. ‘Alejandro, come on!’ he says, laughing as he relates the anecdote. ‘Next time you’re going to say we took out four minutes!’ — from Reed Johnson‘s nicely detailed L.A. Times piece about Inarritu, Del Toro and Cuaron, obviously in the same vein of Anne Thompson’s 9.8 “Three Amigos” piece in the Hollywood Reporter, only longer and more lusciously written.