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Elisa Esposito
Others N/A
Personal information
Species Human (later develops gills)
Gender Female
Place of origin Unknown (found in a river in Putnam as an infant)
Affiliation Occam Aerospace Research Center
Occupation Janitor
Current status Alive (turned into an aquatic person)
Body type Humanoid
Height 1,57 m
Diet Omnivorous
Abilities Water breathing (develops later)
Sentience Sentient
Sapience Sapient
Behind the Scenes
Universe The Shape of Water
Created by Guillermo del Toro
Performed by Sally Hawkins

Elisa Esposito is a woman who, with the help of the Amphibian Man, developed gills and the ability to live underwater.


As an infant, she was found in a river in Putnam and raised in Our Lady of Sorrows Orphanage. She was found to have scars on her neck which somewhat resembled gill slits, and were thought to be related to her muteness, as she was capable of hearing, but not speaking.

As an adult, in 1962, she lived in Baltimore and worked as a janitor at Occam Aerospace Research Center, a secret government facility to which the Amphibian Man was sent to be studied. Elisa went on to befriend, and later fall in love with the aquatic humanoid. She then managed to rescue him from captivity with the help of her friend and fellow janitor Zelda Fuller, an artist named Giles, and a scientist named Dimitri. After that, the Amphibian Man was briefly kept in a bathtub in her apartment, as Elisa planned to release him as soon as the rains flooded the canal.

Just as she was about to do so, however, Elisa and the Amphibian Man were both shot by Colonel Strickland, who had been ordered to retrieve the valuable specimen. Luckily, the Amphibian Man used his regenerating touch to heal them, killed Strickland and jumped into the water with Elisa. There, as he touched her neck, her scars actually became gills and they went on to live in the ocean together.


  • The Shape of Water (2017)