James Cameron helped free Guillermo del Toro's kidnapped dad

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Dec 14, 2012, 4:09 PM EST

Avatar director James Cameron once aided fellow filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, the Mexican-born Oscar winner whose father was kidnapped in 1998, by putting him in touch with a hostage negotiator and partly putting up ransom money in an incident right out of the movie Proof of Life.

That's one of the surprising facts revealed in the video interview below by AMC Entertainment with Rebecca Keegan, a journalist and author who's written a biography of Cameron. She delved a bit into the relationship between the Terminator 2: Judgment Day director and the creator of Pan's Labyrinth.

At the 7:17 minute mark in the interview, Keegan reveals:

"One of the people I interviewed about the book was Guillermo del Toro, who told me about when he first moved to the United States, he was broke. This was the early '90s. T2 had just come out. Cameron met him at a Fourth of July party. And Guillermo del Toro ended up living in Cameron's guest house for long stretches of time. When Guillermo del Toro's father was kidnapped in Mexico, Cameron helped him find the right hostage negotiators. He helped put up the money for it."

According to Biography Channel:

Del Toro also experienced turbulence in his private life at that time, with the kidnap of his father in Mexico in 1998 and subsequent release only following the payment of ransom. Together with his two brothers, del Toro participated in negotiations for his father's release. He has since said that his father's decision to continue living in Mexico is a testament to the fact that he is "an extraordinarily strong man."

Author and Time magazine writer Keegan's book, The Futurist: The Life and Films of James Cameron, is out now. Avatar opens in theaters on Dec. 18.