Godzilla made his debut in 1954, and in his sixty-five years on the big screen, he has reinvented himself from a natural disaster to a savior, always an icon.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters tells a new story of the legendary creature. In it, the crypto-zoological agency Monarch and its members have to face off with some of the world’s most frightening monsters. These include Mothra, Rodan, the three-headed Ghidorah, and of course, Godzilla himself.
Dr Mark Russell (Kyle Chandler, Catch 22), an animal behavior specialist who used to work for Monarch, becomes involved when his daughter, Madison (Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things) and ex-wife, Emma (Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel) are kidnapped by an organization interested in the technology she and her husband created, called the Orca.
Directed by Michael Dougherty (Trick ‘r Treat), the movie opens on May 31st, 2019. Kyle Chandler and Millie Bobby Brown attended the press junket for the film to discuss their encounter with Godzilla.
Millie, can you talk about your affection or indifference to Godzilla as you were growing up?
Millie Bobby Brown: I’ll be honest. I was definitely not a fan of Godzilla, which is a good thing, because my character isn’t. She’s just a teenage girl who is learning about Godzilla and the Titans as she goes along. She doesn’t really know how she feels about him. Her love and affection toward him grows.
Kyle, your character is so angry and vengeance-seeking. Can you talk about that?
Kyle Chandler: When I was watching the movie last night, I can see where my guy comes off pretty strong at first. These are big movies, and these big scripts have to be cut down, so some of the things that you work for don’t necessarily work.
I’ll justify it for you. My backstory is I’ve been part of this group before, and I left it. I know there are bad things going on, I know my daughter has been kidnapped and taken by this group. I know my wife is going to cause problems, and she’s got, my daughter. I’m angry at this group, I’m angry at the world, I’m angry at the loss of my child. I don’t trust any of these people. But I have to go with them to find my daughter.
Millie, what was it like working alongside Vera?
Millie: Vera Farmiga is an incredibly talented woman. She has two amazing kids and she’s an incredible mother. She has this maternal instinct that comes extremely natural to her, so to play her daughter was a breeze.
You’re working alongside a seasoned, phenomenal actress. She was awesome. It was just believable.
You could tell we were a family unit, and that was one of the things we wanted to make sure happened on screen, and it did.
Kyle, what was it like working with Vera and Millie?
Kyle: We had a great time. With any film, the final results are important, but it’s the process and the people and the friendships that stick with you.
We had a great cast and amazing crew on this. I don’t think there was any time when we didn’t find the best in it.
Kyle, a lot of the work you do involves family. Is that something you look for in a script?
Kyle: It’s Godzilla, it’s not lost on me who the star of the movie is… other than Millie Bobby Brown, there’s Godzilla!
But there’s got to be heart to the story. If there’s no heart the monsters don’t mean anything. As far as playing family, I understand family. I have a family, and those dynamics are really nice to play. Millie Bobby Brown is a wonderful actress.
Millie: Kyle was amazing. I watched every episode of Friday Night Lights, so I’ve been a fan since I was like seven.
What was it like working with something that wasn’t there? I hear the first assistant director, Cliff Lanning, did a good job leading you through the action.
Millie: I’d be looking at a piece of tape or a tennis ball that’s supposed to be Godzilla’s mouth or something, and Cliff would shout: ‘Okay, Godzilla’s coming! You have to turn around!’
You just do it, you imagine something is there and you go (she gasps). And it came out pretty good.
Kyle: (Cliff would say), ‘All right, lean left, lean right. There’s Ghidorah! Ghidorah’s rising. Godzilla’s sizing him up and you’re scared!’
Millie, how was director Michael Dougherty to work with?
Millie: One of the things that I loved is he stayed true to the story. I think that it’s important, especially with such a legacy; you don’t want to just go AWOL with a story that people love, cherish and wait for.
From the very beginning, he knew what was going to happen. He didn’t change a thing about it, he knew what every monster was going to look like. He had everything planned, all the artwork. And he killed it.
What’s coming up on Stranger Things?
Millie: Season Three is coming out on July 4th, 2019 and we’re so excited for everyone to see it. We’ve worked really hard on it… Season Three is bigger, better and stranger.
For both of you, what’s your favorite monster in the movie?
Millie: I think Mothra because she’s the only girl and she’s such a hero. She’s great and so gorgeous.
Kyle: If there’s got to be one, it’s got to be the old man himself. It’s Godzilla – King of the monsters