"I think that in the past, in the ‘50s and ‘60s, after the existentialists and beatniks and hippie movements, the big deal was, Don’t sell out. We live in a society that by virtue of the speed we communicate and sell, everything sells. The danger is buying in; that your concern becomes success, rather than fulfillment. They’re two different beasts, and my feeling is that you should seek fulfillment. You should not measure your worth in how much you have or how popular you are, but how happy you are with what you do."
In the case of the Marvel movies [Ed note: del Toro was offered to direct several high-profile Marvel films, likeThor], it was specifically because I didn't want to lose my notebook. I was thinking, 'Do I do Pan’s Labyrinth or do I do [Marvel]?' And I was thinking, 'If I do one more big movie and I postpone Pan’s, I’m going to get to like the money and the car picking me up in the morning and the first class tickets, all that stuff, and then I’m not going to make Pan’s Labyrinth ever,' and I didn’t want to do that.
I was [happy that I didn't win an Oscar for Pan's Labyrinth]. Pan’s Labyrinth was becoming such a landmark for me, and I wanted a little bit of freedom. I said, 'If it wins, it’s going to become the thing I have to keep trying to do again.' And I really was relieved. It’s a perfect metaphor. At the end of the night, I said to my wife, 'My shoes are too tight. My feet hurt.' And the great relief of that night was removing my shoes and walking in my socks to the car. So in a way, winning can become a shoe that’s too tight and you may not want it.
I think I’ve seen success become very disorienting; the world is full of stories of first filmmakers who didn’t do a second film, because they [were worried about failing] because their first film was such a success. I had the blessing of doing my first movie and then doing Mimic, so there was no doubt that I could fail."