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Brie Larson Vs. Kong: Skull Island

March 07, 2017

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By: Lynn Barker

In Kong: Skull Island, a group of humans confronts the big ape with very different agendas. Brie Larson, who won an Oscar playing a young mom kept by a maniac kidnapper in Room, struggled in bit parts and T.V. guest roles until her big break. In future you will see her join the Marvel Universe as Captain Marvel!

Brie as Mason fires a flareBrie as Mason fires a flareCourtesy of Warner Bros.

As photojournalist Mason Weaver in this new Kong film, Brie takes on a big popcorn blockbuster for the first time. It was fun, dirty, buggy and cold and she loved it. Check out what she says about Mother Nature, Hollywood glam and more.

Q: What was your relationship with Kong? Had you seen all the other King Kong films?

  • Brie: Well, I’ve known the films my whole life. I weirdly grew up with an original Kong poster that was in our living room. I’m a spooky girl. So I’ve been around it but when this film came along, it’s not like I went back and watched them and tried to study them. I was worried that I’d do something influenced by them. I was either going to do something because I’d seen that movie or not because I wanted to play against what I’d seen in those movies. I think what is beautiful about this film is that it’s different, not like those.

How many Kongs were there?How many Kongs were there?Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Q:  I like the story in this film. Humans drop the bomb on this island and don’t respect the planet, then Kong comes to get them. We are in an environmental crisis. Where do you stand on that when making film choices?

  • Brie: Well, I’ve always been really picky about the films that I make because I think there is such an incredible opportunity to bring up questions. In the bigger movies you have beautiful visuals on this screen that’s bigger than you and incredible sound design and 3-D glasses but when you walk away from it, it hits you as something deeper. It’s a great, fun way for people to bounce around some of these harder concepts in our heads.
  • I don’t really want to be a big, famous person so there’s a trade off in doing a big movie like this. It means less privacy and you give up something every time you do another film so I really question myself every time I do it. For (me doing this movie), it’s really bringing that message: Do we really need to control and dominate everything around us or can we let things be? Can we love something by giving it room to grow? That is exactly why I did this film.

Brie as Mason with camera ready stalking KongBrie as Mason with camera ready stalking KongCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Q: Did you like that there is no romance between you and Tom Hiddleston’s character? It’s two people just sharing this experience?

  • Brie: Yeah. I think the film goes against convention in a lot of ways. We do have the archetypes that you’ve seen in Kong films before but, at the same time, you have more complicated dynamics like the one I have with Tom in the film. It’s not a traditional romance. It’s two people who do care about each other, who would step in front of a bullet for the other but it’s not because there is anything more than a deep, human connection. Mason is also someone that, in big movies, and also the Kong films, I don’t think we’ve seen before.

Mason (Brie) and James (Tom) hear the story of KongMason (Brie) and James (Tom) hear the story of KongCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Q: Did winning the Oscar make a big difference in your career?

  • Brie: In my career, sure. It definitely changed the perception. I talked with Jennifer Lawrence about it and she said “It’s kind of like our version of getting a PHD”. That’s a good way of putting it. It’s not a thing you have to keep up. It’s a thing that you got, like a PHD at the end of your name and you move on. It changes some things in your career but I still question if I’m a good actor. I still wake up in the morning and go “Am I being the best person I can be? Am I doing as much good as I can in the world?” I never look at it and be like “Now, it’s all good. Now, I’m done for the rest of my life.”

Brie the night she won her OscarBrie the night she won her Oscar

Q: You were going through Hollywood awards season when you were making this film. Did that just freak you out? You would be in the jungle then, suddenly, all glammed up.

  • Brie: I think the closest thing I can try and describe it as is like that moment in “Cinderella” when she’s in the gown but she’s running away and slowly it’s falling away and the coach turns into a pumpkin. That’s kind of what it felt like. I’d spend my week where my whole routine of getting ready was not washing my hair, putting dirt under my fingernails and getting covered in cuts and bruises then when I’d go back (to Hollywood) on the weekends and it was getting a manicure to scrub out all the dirt that’s under my fingernails and wiping off weird remnants of fake, caked-on blood and trying to squeeze my feet into heels when I’d been wearing boots and running around in the dirt.

The concerned photojournalist on first arrivalThe concerned photojournalist on first arrivalCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Q: How did you cope?

  • Brie: I loved it because I find being in the dirt running around was way more natural to me than the other side of it. So, it felt like I had something that was very grounding, in nature in the jungle for week then have these weird drop offs in another world. Like “Now, I’m at the SAG awards and I’ve never been here before and the lights are really shiny”.

Q: How did you get through shooting in Vietnam because it was so cold there and you were wearing a tank top?

  • Brie: It was so cold. I was freaked out. I was scared because I knew it was our first couple of days in Vietnam and I knew I had to go back to do the Oscars and it was freezing and raining and I was wearing a tank top and thought “I’m gonna get the flu. I can feel it”.  It was freezing. But I didn’t get it. I was carrying a lot of Emergen-C and had a suitcase full of vitamins. I was so afraid to get sick. I was out of probiotics and John Goodman gave me some of his.

With James in the gorilla graveyardWith James in the gorilla graveyardCourtesy of Warner Bros.

 Q: You will play Captain Marvel and you’re working on this Kong movie with Marvel veterans, with Sam Jackson and Tom (Loki). Was it your ambition to be in a Marvel movie?

  • Brie: I’m not one of those ambition people. I don’t have specific goals. Being an actor’s actually quite passive. It’s the material that’s created at a specific period of time. I think you can get blinded by the concept of trying to check things off the list instead of seeing what’s actually available. So, I haven’t really thought about it in terms of that. I didn’t know I’d be doing those movies at all while making Kong.

There are more than giant apes to cope withThere are more than giant apes to cope withCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Q: What do you think about these big multi-movie franchises like the Marvel films?  

  • Brie: I always loved mythology since I was a kid. Greek mythology, I remember learning about that in 4th grade and Egypt as well. That clicked with me. I just thought they were so interesting and beautiful. (In Marvel films) we’re not talking about this world so much and it’s not about one country against another. We’re dealing with planets and a completely different set of terms and words so I think it becomes a safe place for people to bring up certain questions because it’s not about pitting anyone against another in the real world. It’s safe.

Kong: Skull Island Movie PosterKong: Skull Island Movie PosterCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Kong: Skull Island is in theaters Friday, March 10th!

 

Have Your Say

Have you seen any King Kong movies? Do you feel sorry for the “big ape”? Would you like to have adventures as a photojournalist? Talk about it below.