*At the JW Marriott Essex House in New York City, the city last visited by the stomping “Godzilla” in 1998, Aaron Taylor-Johnson said he did not see that disappointing film, or the other 27 for that matter.
However, he was hell-bent on the Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures rebirth of the international leviathan icon.
“I was pretty gung-ho, as you say,” he admitted.
“I sat down with Gareth Edwards (director) the first time and we just didn’t stop talking for six hours,” he explained, “about our love for film and how he wanted to shoot it and where he wanted to take the character. I came out of that meeting thinking 100% that I want to be on this journey with him and everyone involved. I had a whole other perspective on what Godzilla meant. I never really saw any of the movies except to go see the original, which I saw, because he wanted to embrace the 1954 version.”
As excited as he is about “Godzilla,” Taylor-Johnson says he would not want to be pigeon holed into any particular genre.
“I literally just go on the back of the filmmaker and the character,” he told The Film Strip. “I have to feel that character. I have to believe that character. Relate to him. And the filmmaker is hugely important; at the end of the day it is their vision. You’re going to spend three to six months in that kind of world.
“What Gareth said in that very first meeting almost two years ago, what he kind of envisioned, and showed me with footage that he filmed a year before was fantastic. I am proud of the film and I think it is a brilliant, emotional journey in what feels like a natural disaster. It all feels pretty believable to me, like it could happen. That’s always great. Everything Gareth said seems to have be conveying in words what I’ve seen. It’s so weird that directors say one thing and by the end it’s f*cking nothing like it.”
Last seen in “Captain America: the Winter Soldier” and “Kick-Ass 2,” Taylor-Johnson was extraordinary as John Lennon in the exceptional film, “Nowhere Boy.” He will next be seen in “Avengers—Age of Ultron.”
The last time I spoke with Elizabeth Olsen, who plays Taylor-Johnson’s wife, was for Spike Lee’s “Old Boy.” She has appeared in a number of indie films but has branched out to action blockbusters. Describing the difference, she says:
“The reason why I thought of doing a movie like this or any of these kinds of big special effects kind of movies is the child-like imagination you get to have in rooting it in reality but from a child’s point of view, almost. Because amazingly it is part history, we are being supported by Toho Studios and the original production company. It has been collaborative and we are respecting the whole origin of the reason why it was made to begin with. So I feel our film is empowered with that knowledge.”
Asked if she had certain guidelines or rules when selecting roles, Olsen told The Film Strip it was a developing process.
“Can’t speak of one right now, maybe I’m developing them. I think they’re slowing coming together. I think right now I just want to make sure that the character I’m playing has a rooted, fully flushed out story and something that I’m always going to learn from. I think it is also important to have a director who you know you’ll learn from and trust, and simultaneous a production company who knows what they’re doing. I think that’s my new strategy.”
Also last seen in “Captain America: the Winter Soldier,” she too will appear next in “Avengers—Age of Ultron.”
Syndicated Entertainment journalist Marie Moore reports on film and TV from her New York City base. Contact her at [email protected]