As Adam mentions in his review, Colossal is many things. It’s a comedy. It’s a monster movie. It’s an alcoholism drama. It’s an adult coming of age film. It’s even (kinda) a wrestling movie. With the cineplexes awash with sequels and remakes what it is most is refreshing. Anne Hathaway (who also produced Nacho Vigalondo‘s film) stars as Gloria, an out-of-work journalist who’s shelved her work aspirations in favor of top-shelf alcohol—to the point where she finds all her things packed up by her boyfriend (Dan Stevens) and she treks back home to figure things out. When she returns home, she immediately picks up with a childhood friend, Oscar (Jason Sudeikis) who owns a bar and not only enables her desire to drink away her problems but also gives her a job at the bar. A funny thing happens after her small town benders, though. A monster appears in Seoul mimicking her movements and destroying buildings. What does it all mean and what will Gloria do with this newfound responsibility?
Colossal is quite funny. I appreciated the old school sitcom charms that attaches itself to some pretty heady subjects. The monster movie has always been used as a fun foray into some pretty though provoking arenas. And Colossal eventually reveals itself to be not just a fun and different monster mash, but also a comment on toxic masculinity and our personal disconnect from the globe despite being more connected than ever through the world-wide-web. But as Hathaway would remind you before you (I) get too serious, it’s first and foremost a monster movie.
Recently, I got the chance to sit down with Hathaway and Sudeikis in New York to talk about the unique film. In this exclusive interview, Hathaway discussed her favorite monster movies and why she was worried people would throw shade at her for making this particular one. Her co-star (and her biggest Saturday Night Live-host champion), Sudeikis joined her to talk up monster-movie themes, the surprising ad campaign and how their athlete-become-actor background helped them immediately create a connection.
But only one of them reveals that they had a professional phobia of being caught with their fly down. Read our full interview below and definitely give this movie a shot when it hits your city. It’s unique and very fun.
COLLIDER: When you guys were reading the script for the first time, when did you realize it was something completely different?
ANNE HATHAWAY: I think when [Vigalondo] described the .gif. When the monster attacks and someone drops “thug life” as a .gif that goes viral. That was a big one for me. [laughs]
SUDEIKIS: Gosh, it may have been as deep into it for me, when it became different, different… When Oscar, you know, sort of reveals another layer.
HATHAWAY: You’re so hamstrung.
SUDEIKIS: I know, I know.
HATHAWAY: About wanting to protect people’s viewing experience.
I will say, I did re-watch the trailers beforehand and I had to kind of cross off a few questions, but I think it’s great how they haven’t revealed a ton.
SUDEIKIS: I know.
The ad campaign is focused on the monster attacks, but there’s a lot of character things that are completely under zip until release, which is kind of rare. Especially for a film that started getting buzz six months ago and has played multiple festivals.
SUDEIKIS: I 100% agree. I was very surprised by that but also happy to see it happen, because how many second act reveals don’t show up in trailers nowadays? It was maybe the dumbest thing they’ve done for the industry to agree that the best way to sell a movie is to show all of it. There’s a lot that hasn’t been revealed, but it also makes it harder to do press [laughs]. But we’d obviously rather people be surprised so I’ll sit here and deflect.
I know this is more than a monster movie, but do you have an affinity for that genre at all or have any favorites?
HATHAWAY: I really enjoyed Pacific Rim. Like, really enjoyed it. I saw it in the theaters, I’d made a film with Charlie Hunnam a long time ago (Nicholas Nickleby), it was great to see him up there fighting in a giant robot [laughs]. So I thought that was really fun; I liked the creatures.
SUDEIKIS: Yeah. It’s not a genre that I go, you know, when one shows up I go, okay, I gotta go see this, but—I mean, it feels like Wizard of Oz is a monster movie to me with the Wicked Witch, you know, because—
HATHAWAY: You’re gonna get so many more props for you saying that than me saying Pacific Rim.
SUDEIKIS: No, Pacific Rim is a great film! I don’t think Oz comes to people’s heads enough. But yeah that just rattled me, especially growing up in Kansas, it was scary as hell. With tornado watches being a thing that happened all the time, you’re like, oh no, here we go! Somebody going to see Wicked from Kansas would be like, are you kidding me? That sounds like a nightmare, you know, and not just because people are singing, but because of a woman walking out on stage with green skin spun out of a tornado would send them into absolute shock.
So your favorite monster movie is Twister, then.
SUDEIKIS: Yeah, Twister, exactly. But I like when monster movies are—I always like them in hindsight, when people break them down and sort of explain to you what, well, you know, this was that. Like Godzilla is a response to nuclear terror, Kong is a fear of globalization. Or even listening to (Pink Floyd’s) Dark Side of the Moon with the Wizard of Oz playing, have you done that? It’s pretty enjoyable.
HATHAWAY: I fell asleep during it, because of all the reasons why you fall asleep when you listen to Dark Side of the Moon. [laughs]
SUDEIKIS: Exactly, yeah. All that research, early days of the internet, that each person represents a branch of the government, I like how science fiction and monster movies allow for deeper sort of dissection than maybe, you know, Horrible Bosses.