Allison Williams doesn’t consider herself a horror buff — in fact, she can just peek through her fingers and watch “Annabelle.” Yet, after the runaway success of 2017’s “Get Out,” he found himself with yet another devastating hit: “M3GAN.”
In the Blumhouse film, which slayed its way to a $30 million opening weekend, Williams’ honest but misguided roboticist Gemma faces a dilemma when niece Caddy (Violet McGrath) is placed in her custody after a family tragedy. Struggling to connect with the grieving young woman, Gemma introduces Caddy to her revolutionary new invention — the Model 3 Generative Android, aka M3GAN — to provide companionship.
The creepy (but oh-so-cool) AI doll quickly became an unexpected social media sensation, much to the delight of Williams, who also serves as an executive producer on the project. “I love anything that elevates original IP and risky genre-mixing. Not to be weirdly meta and self-deprecating, but I’m not Tom Cruise. It’s not like just my face on the poster can guarantee a certain amount of exposure,” she says. “The fact that this kind of cinema will be seen and enjoyed by audiences bodes well for others, and it’s a very exciting version of our art: one that’s experimental and doesn’t rely on being part of a pre. Existing franchisees can expect success.”
In an interview with Dr diversityWilliams opens up about what drew him to the role of Gemma, his thoughts on a potential sequel and what makes M3GAN a gay icon.
Gemma obviously means well, but her methods of caring for Cady are unorthodox to say the least. What attracted you to him?
Surprisingly, Gemma was one of the most difficult characters I’ve ever played, partly because she exists on a very, very specific tightrope to make the movie work. You need someone who is responsible enough that this mother, who we see has very good intentions and is focused on her child’s well-being, will leave Caddy with her if something catastrophic happens to her and her husband.
You also have to believe that he’s someone who, presented with a child, is so useless that he’s going to enlist the help of a robot he’s building. We can’t help but think that, in the end, he is telling us that to be a good mother, you have to get rid of all your life’s work and focus only on being a mother. That she doesn’t believe.
We also want the audience to root against him, and at certain points, you’re rooting for M3GAN to be Cady’s guardian — until the last second where the more grown-up, human parts of you are like, “Yeah, I guess It’s a good idea for his aunt to take care of him.” But we want people to cheer for M3GAN for the rest.
It was difficult for me to know that someone loves children and would take it so seriously if I was given this responsibility. I find Gemma attractive. I find that these nuances make her someone I love to play, because she feels so three-dimensional and contradictory and real and strange. It’s hard for me to put him in a box, which I always like in a character.
“M3GAN” had an expected opening weekend. how do you feel
I feel so fulfilled and excited and just really grateful. I understand that going to the movies is expensive and time consuming and we are still living in a pandemic. I get all the barriers to entry. So it thrills me that people are going out and picking up our movies. Everything is within reach in our house now. It makes it all the more tempting to just say, “Screw it. I don’t want to leave home. We’ll see something where I want to pee!” But it’s really something that gets better the more people you see it with, so I’m thrilled to know that people are going to see it.
You became a mother in real life after shooting this film. How did it change your approach to the story?
It’s interesting because we’ve been working on it for so long. From the time I was working on it, I was by no means a mother, until now, I have a full-on child! The fact that I lived through that full spectrum allowed me to see Gemma from all these different perspectives. I think it really strengthened my connection with him along all those different paths. Granted, we are very different — especially in the way we view parenting. I can’t even begin to list the ways we deviate from each other!
But it’s something that obviously helped me see him differently and empathize with his various positions along the way. From a macro perspective, looking at the movie, seeing what it’s saying, looking at the questions it’s asking and the concerns it’s raising, it’s allowed me to understand it from different perspectives as well. It gets more personal as we finish.
M3GAN has become somewhat of a gay icon! How do you feel about the social media obsession with him?
It’s the pinnacle of what we can possibly expect for the way he’s being treated. Honestly, she is a very specific type of girl. His iconic persona is something that people can project so much and put him in all these different memes and situations and it works.
I loved seeing what people did to him in terms of comments, memes and jokes on Twitter. Many of the tweets I received made me laugh out loud. Someone sent me a meme like, “The applause at Nicole Kidman’s AMC role at the screening of ‘M3GAN’ is so loud, I’m worried about the theater infrastructure.”
It’s hitting a sweet spot that’s very satisfying, mostly because when we were working on the movie and putting the trailer together, our biggest goal was to try to convey that feeling. It was a really big challenge trying to get that into the trailer, so once it came out and people immediately started repeating the dance and stuff like that, we realized that not only the main plot and bullet points of the movie didn’t come through. , but only people received M3GAN. And then hopefully, after getting to know the gist of it, going to see it in the theater and enjoying it even more.
Director Gerard Johnstone told me he’s interested in more “M3GAN” and is open to a sequel. you?
As you build it, you can’t help but wonder, “If we could build more, what would they be?” Much of what we do is in service to those who see it. So I think people want more and the idea of being able to deliver is so great.
I just feel so grateful that it all turned out the way it did, from the trailer coming out and people really embracing it, to people going out and supporting the movie and seeing it and going back with their friends. The fact that they want more is just so great. It’s going to be really fun if we can work on that, how we can zig and zag around the expectations of what it will be and try to keep things surprising while still providing the reasons people want more early on. place
People have already started joking about what the sequel might be called: “MEG4N?” “M3GAN 2.0?” Do you have any ideas?
We’ve written ourselves into a bit of a corner for having two failed M3GANs before [laughs]. I don’t have an answer for you, but I saw a Twitter thread that listed all the sequels, doing different things with the numbers, and it ended with “M3GAN: Hobbs & Shaw”. It made me laugh too. The idea of it becoming part of the “Fast and Furious” franchise tickles me to no end.
You previously delivered an amazing performance in “Get Out”. Is horror a genre you want to continue exploring?
I follow interesting characters and interesting stories and scripts, and they lead me in this direction! I think now, it’s easier for people to picture me in genres, so I get into that realm a lot more. But I also read things in other genres and other mediums — I just filmed a limited series [Showtime’s “Fellow Travelers”] It is very dramatic and historical fiction. So it’s a very different genre, but I’m still playing someone who we’re wondering what she’s feeling throughout.
Keeping people guessing, the idea of playing a role where I feel like I can layer in a bunch of different things that fall apart every time you watch it. It’s a satisfying experience for me, so I think I’ll continue it as long as I can. If that brings me into the genre, so be it.
I’m really scared of everything, so I don’t watch a lot of horror movies. The experience of interacting with horror fans and interacting with people who are hugely passionate about the genre has been a joy. I loved its pure-hearted enjoyment and embrace of everything from true camp to extreme horror. I really love living in this world – one that I definitely couldn’t have predicted myself
Screenwriter Akela Cooper recently noted that there was an unedited version of the script that was much more solemn. What can you tell me about it?
Worthless! It makes it sound like X-rated! We decided to go from R to PG-13 after doing a test screening of the PG-13 version which people seemed to enjoy just as much. So I think eventually, that R version might be available for people to see — I have no idea where or what the timeline will be. But it’s a really interesting case study. With an R rated movie, you can say the F-word as many times as you want. PG-13, I believe you have one. It was an interesting process for us, “What is a?”
Who is a better singer: “Girls” or Marnie from M3GAN?
Oh god. Well, M3GAN. They both act in very unexpected contexts. M3GAN’s audience seems to love his work and are really appreciating it at the moment. Whereas Marnie’s audience was forced and really unhappy. I think M3GAN has a certain amount of confidence in its performance that Marnie can only dream of. M3GAN is the best singer, but I’m sure Marnie is still trying in some way. I’m sure he’ll cover “Titanium” next.
This interview has been edited and condensed.