Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston Praise Guillermo del Toro’s "Profound" Approach to 'Crimson Peak'

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"There’s something about movies where we want to explore the darker aspects of human nature,” said Hiddleston.

As fall weather finally hits New York City with full force, the Halloween spirit was strong at the Wednesday night premiere of Crimson Peak at AMC Lincoln Square.

Fans in steampunk and gothic-noir outfits waited eagerly for stars Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska, as they stepped onto the red carpet to discuss Guillermo del Toro’s labor of love — a gothic romance set in a haunted house that was years in the making.

“I read the script and knew that he was the only man who could make this film in present day,” Hiddleston told The Hollywood Reporter. “His authority over gothic romance, and the representation of the supernatural is profound.”

Though Chastain previously worked with del Toro when he produced Mama, she reveled in her first experience with him as a director.

“If you think of classic gothic romances, of Shelley and Bronte, he really knows his stuff,” said Chastain. “He’s an encyclopedia of film knowledge and literature.”

Del Toro’s love for monsters was channeled into Allerdale Hall, the Crimson Peak mansion — it was a monster in itself. On set, the house was fully functional, from the cage elevator to the rattling faucets and roaring fireplaces. “It’s getting increasingly rare to be on a set that’s actually made,” said Wasikowska before the screening, received with applause, awe and even some laughter. “They built a three-story mansion on this soundstage in Toronto. It was just incredibly beautiful and detailed.”

Aside from the script and set, Hiddleston found his dabble in a darker role thrilling for another reason. “We all want our lives to be lovely, full of friendship and laughter and happiness and a good time, but there’s something about movies where we want to explore the darker aspects of human nature,” he explained. “All of the iconic characters in movies — Darth Vader, Hannibal Lecter, the Joker, Jack Nicholson in The Shining — there’s something very compelling about dark characters. Maybe as audiences, we need them to express the part of ourselves that we fear.”

Reveling continued at the Historical Society after party, where guests were given illustrated graphic novels as programs — an ode to del Toro’s love of comics. Kate Hawley’s intricate Victorian costumes, including Chastain’s maroon corset gown and Wasikowska’s billowing bridal garb, stood on display. A classical pianist filled the din in the red-lit room, accented with scarlet rose arrangements, chandeliers and crystal stemware. Hiddleston and Wasikowska mingled with friends while historical portraits looked down on the lively crowd.

Crimson Peak opens in theaters Oct. 16.

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