The remake of the hit science fiction film Godzilla is set to hit theaters this May and fans of the franchise couldn’t be more excited. Thankfully for us, one of the film’s stars, the beautiful Elizabeth Olsen, gave GlobalGrind the exclusive 411 on what we can expect from the film.
Elizabeth plays Elle Brody, the wife of Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s character Ford, two young parents who get separated by the Godzilla mayhem. The fashionista and sister to Mary Kate and Ashley spoke about her career choices, working with a fake scary monster and more. Check it out below.
On Her Character’s Emotional Journey:
“I guess where we started was the experience of being a wife and mother with a usually absent father and partner, and what that relationship means when they’re together and whatever their struggle could be. Basically, I think the story we wanted to tell is that Elle is patient with Ford trying to get over his own demons about his own relationship with his father – the role that his father played in his own life and at the same time, she is angry that [Ford] has to go again. She needs him to be a better husband and father by going and being there for his own dad. Then the struggle, and worry and fear that something happens to someone and you can’t reach them. I think everyone’s experienced it at one time or another when their mom calls 12 times and they call back and they’re not answering and you’re like: ‘Why did you call me 12 times if nothing was wrong?’ at least that’s how I feel.”
On Why She Signed On To Do The Film:
“I’m not from a generation, I don’t think, that had a Godzilla experience and certainly I don’t think there was an American one that was such a classic that your parents show you – at least not my parents – and so I didn’t really have any history with it. And so what I learned about really from (director) Gareth’s interpretation – which is honoring the original story of human neglect, or it was really more about Hiroshima – but translating that to something modern today, with nature, controlling it and not being able to, and almost feeding the monster the way we have been. That made the story interesting and then for him to say: ‘It’s not really a fledged out story yet, but basically we need this family to be the core, we need them to separate and we need them to get back together and we need that relationship to be rooted and strong in order for anyone to care.’ Because you can always watch a story about aliens and monsters and still enjoy it, but you want there to be some sort of rooted, grounded connection as well.”
On Director Gareth Edwards’ Strengths:
“He does a lot of things really well, I think his two greatest strengths are the fact that he comes from a special effects background, so he is confident in that and he doesn’t have to worry about that when he’s on set. That’s something he knows that’s already been planned out, that he has in the bank, and so all his focus on set is the actor, and the story, and helping you out and making sure that you’re telling the story. And that’s what you always want to see when you’re seeing these films that seem so far away from our own everyday reality, you want to be able to have the fun and you want to be able to have the rooted story as well.”
On Working With A Fictional Character:
“[Gareth] showed me previews for any time I was working with special effects and so I basically just watched these cartoons that are reacting poorly or awkwardly to these monsters. So I would understand why the camera movement has to go here and then they would call my name for it to go down, and it’s all very technical. And then at first I was thinking: ‘Oh look, there’s a monster,’ and it was kind of fascinating, and then I was like: ‘Oh no, it’s scary,’ so you’re like: ‘Sniper.’ And basically you’re just having the same eye-line as 300 people and I don’t know, you just try and focus when you’re being drenched with cold, heavy movie rain.”
On Adjusting Her Acting Process From Film To Film:
“It’s starting to change more so for Avengers. For Godzilla, I had so much rooted family scene work that I only had a few times where things were reacting to, but even in Godzilla when I was reacting to something, you have all these extras who are doing the same thing, so you’re all kind of feeding off each other’s energy, or they are blasting you with smoke – which is kind of an uncomfortable situation – and so it’s not too far-fetched from other things I’ve had to do. But Avengers has been totally different, a totally different experience with special effects because you’re not just reacting to them, to your imagination, you’re interacting with your imagination, or the objects you’re pretending to look at. You’re not running away from them, you’re engaging them and so that’s different and it’s just like being a kid. I played make believe probably until it was an inappropriate age, and I still am, so yeah, it’s just going back to that person, that child.”
On Seeing Godzilla Story Boards/Diagrams Before The Film:
“Actually, I remember, I was there like a week for rehearsals with Gareth and he took me through the entire art room and all the diagrams, and so I actually got to see virtually everything that hopefully it was all going to look like, obviously not in 3-D or on-screen. But I got to see everything and so that was fun, that was like being a little kid in a workshop.”
On Working With Aaron Taylor-Johnson In Godzilla And The Avengers:
“It was such a funny coincidence, we just finished Godzilla and then we’re the two people approached for Avengers and it was pretty random, but we were like: ‘That sounds awesome, let’s do it again.’ And it’s easier, we have a much closer connection in Avengers actually, because we’re these brothers and sisters who never leave each other’s side, and in Godzilla the whole point is that we’re apart. So it’s totally different and nice to have known him, his family and him as a person, as well as an actor, before doing that.”
On Her Roles Defining The Rest Of Her Career:
“I don’t think that way just because they’re both ensemble. I don’t feel like it’s as much pressure when it’s an ensemble piece I guess, and I feel like I’m in great company. So maybe I’m ignorant, but I don’t know.”
On Feedback After Captain America:
“I didn’t really read any of the feedback, I just have like one friend who works at Bad Robot, so she’s on all these blogs all the time and she’ll send me her favorite ones, but she only sends me the good stuff. I just like that people were stoked about our characters and everyone’s like: ‘What are they? Who are they? What’s their excuse going to be?’ It’s just funny how much people care, and it’s awesome to try to create a role (for The Scarlet Witch) because she has not been human embodied yet – it’s been cartoons and comics and voice recordings or something – and it’s fun to take what we are doing, and the comics, and cartoons, and the fans and try and figure out where you’re going to play.”
On Doing A Godzilla Sequel:
“Yeah, it’s something I’d love to do. I don’t really know what the story would be, but I know what the world of the next Godzilla … I feel like you understand where the world is left when Godzilla walks back into the water. So I think whatever that world is left with, it’s a fun world to play in.”
On Audience Reaction To Her Films:
“I don’t know because no one’s seen it yet, so I just think it’s so crazy that I see a poster for Godzilla all the time and I’m in a trailer all the time, which is really cool! It’s still funny how people have seen Martha, Marcy, May, Marlene like two months ago or something. It has come up a lot recently for some reason, I don’t know why, but I feel like I’ve been probably approached three more times than usual in the last couple of weeks because of Martha. So I don’t know if they have some kind of good deal or something.”
Godzilla hits theaters May 16.
PHOTO CREDIT: Warner Bros.