When you become a celebrity, you paint a target on your back. That means you, your family, and your beloved pets all run the risk of some dastardly group coming after you for that sweet, sweet fame money. And when your life turns into an adrenaline-fueled tale with a family member in mortal danger, you know who's good to have in your corner? The guy from Avatar.
During the production of Mimic, a movie where Guillermo del Toro mimics a bad director ...
... the Mexican filmmaker received a ransom note for his father, Federico del Toro. He, like hundreds of people in Mexico every year, had been kidnapped on the streets of his native Guadalajara. The kidnappers villainously demanded one million dollars for the director's dad. There was only one problem: del Toro had poured all of his money into his Mimic boondoggle, and it's not like he could pay them off with an executive producer's credit.
Luckily, del Toro knew a man with a very particular set of skills -- blockbuster skills. For years, he and James Cameron had been each others' BFFs (Big Film Fans) and would turn to the other for cinematic advice. So when Cameron heard that a gang of thugs had kidnapped his buddy's father, he put on his sunglasses, racked his shotgun and … drove Del Toro to the bank. There, he withdrew a small fraction of his Alien$ money, a cool million, and shoved the cash into del Toro's hands. Going even further, he also recommended a good negotiator to handle the handoff.
After 72 grueling days, del Toro and Cameron managed to free Papa Federico from the clutches of the kidnappers, but most of them escaped with their prize of one week's worth of Terminator 2 royalties. Seeing no need to relive that real-life nightmare, the premier purveyor of fantastical nightmares moved his entire family to America. With one exception: del Toro's father, who decided to remain in Mexico safe in the knowledge that the country would run out of kidnappers long before James Cameron would run out of millions.
To be kidnapped by more of his weird tangents, do follow Cedric on Twitter.
Top Image: Wikimedia Commons