I know it’s early in 2018, but I think I’ve seen what will go down as one of my favorite films of year: writer/director Alex Garland’s Annihilation. Based on Jeff VanderMeer’s terrifying eco-horror novel of the same name, the movie stars Natalie Portman as a biologist and former soldier who joins a mission to uncover what exactly happened to her husband (Oscar Isaac) inside Area X, which is a mysterious—and growing—patch of land in the United States that seems to fundamentally alter everything in its path. Annihilation also stars Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez, Tuva Novotny, and Oscar Isaac.
Unlike a lot of movies where everything is explained and watered down by studio notes and focus groups, Annihilation is a hard sci-fi thriller where you’re constantly trying to figure out what is happening and I loved every second of it. In addition, the film contains a lot of weird and bold choices that will infuriate many and leave others floored by its brilliance. It’s the type of film that rarely gets made and I commend Paramount Pictures for releasing it.
With Annihilation arriving in theaters this weekend in North America, I recently sat down with Jennifer Jason Leigh for an exclusive video interview. She talked about memorable moments from filming, the practical creatures that were on set, what brought her to the project, and more.
Check out what she had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about and some images from the film.
Jennifer Jason Leigh:
- How they filmed a sequence with a monster where the cast didn’t know the monster was going to come out and try and attack them.
How the film features five women scientists as the lead investigators going into the Shimmer and how that’s not the norm in a lot of big Hollywood movies. Is that one of things that brought her to the project.
- Memorable moments from filming.
- Talks about the practical creatures that were on set.
- How a lot of the trees and flowers in the Shimmer were practical.
For more on Annihilation:
- ‘Annihilation’: Everything We Learned on the Set of 2018’s Strangest & Most Audacious Sci-Fi Film
- First ‘Annihilation’ Reactions Praise a Bold, Mesmerizing “New Sci-Fi Classic”
- ‘Annihilation’ Featurette Digs Into the Mystery of “The Shimmer”