At only 27 years old and over a decade of work already under her belt, Brie Larson came into the press junket for her new film, Free Fire just like you would expect her to; comfortable, confident, and ready for whatever questions I fire her way.
Q: How does it feel to be the only female in a sea of men in this movie? Did they all behave?
Yeah, story of my life. It happens to every woman. It’s this weird thing that keeps happening. I don’t know when it’s going to change. They were lovely. They were all gentlemen. This was like an ideal situation because every dude on this was married or engaged or has kids and so I was like everyone’s little sister. It was the safest I have ever felt in my life.
Q: What is the backstory to how you became involved in this project?
It’s not that interesting, I read the script and I really liked it. So I talked to Ben (Wheatkey, director) on the phone, it seemed like we both have similar ideas when it comes to the possibilities within film. So I did it. It’s not that magical.
Q: Did you have any previous experience working with guns or any firearm training prior to shooting the movie?
No. I didn’t, I had to just learn for safety reasons how to hold the gun when it has the little explosive that comes out. I haven’t really handled a gun and I don’t really want to. That’s not really my thing.
Q: Your character, Justine seems to have some kind of connection to everyone in the movie.
Whether she wants to be or not. She is kind of the quiet leader of that group in a way. Every other dude in that is peacocking and so much ego and they are all fighting for power and fighting to be the most amazing, the most interesting, the funniest, the coolest, the strongest in the room. And she is like, have fun, I’m out. I’m not playing that game. But in her head I think she’s like, but I’m the coolest and the smartest. She’s just not saying it out loud. She thinks she got them all fooled.
Q: What were some of the funny behind the scenes memories you had from shooting this film?
I feel like we were laughing all day at the ridiculousness of what it was that we were doing. One thing that made me laugh really hard early on was basically we did a walk-through of the warehouse talking about where everybody was going to go. As Ben was talking he realized that Babou (Babou Ceesay, played Martin) because he gets shot so early on and he falls in the center of the room that meant that for like a month in a half he was going to just lay there all day. Oh my gosh, that’s the worst. I can’t believe you are going to lay there all day for ten hours a day. That’s awful. So they ended up having to figure out how to hide his head behind a wall. So they can put some kind of manikin body thing there. But those are the things you don’t think about till you are at the space with your actors, and you’re like oh my gosh, that’s bad.
Q: Was keeping the continuity of the set/outfits difficult to keep track of?
It wasn’t because we shot in order. It was really easy actually. Part of it was when you put those squibs on and they explode, you don’t really know what it’s going to do to your costume. So we kind of had to (shoot in order). We couldn’t plan ahead and shoot something before we knew what was going to happen. Although Ben had really well thought out that whole plan of where everyone was running to. Like with Babou, there was a moment where I had to run from one part of the warehouse to the other and as I was doing it, Jack (Jack Reynor, played Harry) was like, I would shoot you. You’re totally right here, I would totally get you. And Ben was like, sorry you are getting shot again. Part of it was trying to finagle with Ben. Maybe I can go this way? I won’t get shot if I go that way. He was like no. We were all playing a really long game of laser tag. Trying to avoid it. It was really fun. It was very interesting. I remember at one point I was climbing and as I was crawling on the ground there was a piece of cardboard. I was like, oh that’s interesting. Maybe I can get on this cardboard and use it as a sled and I won’t have to drag my body across all of these rocks. Your brain starts changing and it gets really savvy as to like what you can use of those materials that are there to get you from one part to the other part.
Q: When I spoke to you at the Kong: Skull Island junket, you said you had a deep interest in mythology. What do you think attracts you so much to it?
My interest in mythology is kind of never ending because there is so much of it. The amazing part of your brain is that you are gaining and forgetting things and then relearning things over and over again. I’m always reading mythology and that’s kind of my roots to how I connect to material. For me, it goes back to that. What are those ancient stories? What did they mean and what were they trying to represent? How can I make movies that put a new face to those stories? I think my favorite films are those. Are the ones where I’m like, oh I recognize this, that’s Osiris, or that’s Onondaga, or Rapunzel. It doesn’t have to look like that. It’s just the metaphor that’s I there.
Q: I understand you have been to Japan a couple of times, one of which was for your engagement that happened in Tokyo. What is the attraction?
I was in Japan four days. It was my second trip. So I’ve had a little bit more time to explore that place. I just love it so much. It’s one of my favorite places in the world. Last year, when I was there, for some reason the cherry blossoms bloomed early and so it was special to be there for that. It was magnificent. I love exploring Japan I find it to be such an inspiring place.
Free Fire opens in theaters nationwide on April 21st.
For info on tickets and theatre locations, visit the film’s official website at, http://freefire-movie.com/
Interview by Izumi Hasegawa – @HNW_Izumi
Edited by: Jody Taylor – @RealJodyTaylor
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