From The Providence Journal – July 20, 2018
Richard Jenkins: ‘Shape of Water’ rekindled his love of movies
By Andy Smith / Journal Arts Writer
WESTERLY, R.I. — “It was like heaven to me to do that story,” said actor Richard Jenkins.
Jenkins spoke at the The United Theatre in Westerly on Friday night following a screening of the film “The Shape of Water.” The United is a former 1920s theater that’s being turned into an arts center in Westerly.
Jenkins, 71, earned an Oscar nomination for his role as Giles, a struggling artist — and closeted gay man — who is a neighbor and a friend to Eliza, played by Sally Hawkins. Eliza falls in love with an aquatic being who resembles a sexier version of The Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Although he’s been a Rhode Islander for 49 years, Jenkins said working on director Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” took him back to his childhood in DeKalb, Illinois, when he first fell in love with the movies.
“It was like being in a Hollywood classic,” he said. “Shot like a ’40s classic. I thought Spencer Tracy was going to come walking around the corner.” (It turns out Tracy is one of Jenkins’ heroes.)