One of the most iconic characters in cinema history returns to the big screen in KONG: SKULL ISLAND, a new entry in the “MonsterVerse” that Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. started with the 2014 Godzilla.

The film, directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts, also stars Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Toby Kebbell, Tian Jing, John Goodman, John C. Reilly, John Ortiz, and Samuel L. Jackson.

I had the pleasure of asking some questions to the talents involved in this blockbuster, during a recent roundtable interview in LA.

KONG: SKULL ISLAND opens this Friday, March 10.

Tom Hiddleston (James Conrad)

Do you need to maintain a top physical all the time? Did you get a break before “Avengers: Infinity Wars”?

No (laughing). And “Yes” is the answer to your first question. I see it as a condition for my job to be in an excellent physical health. Specially for a film like this. It was a role that required stamina. There is a lot of running, climbing and fighting, as you can see. I genuinely feel as my duty, if I am playing a soldier, to make some strides and replicate the fitness that soldiers have to match. This guy is highly decorated, so I trained with two former British Royal Marines and a former U.S. Navy Seal. Just the physical discipline of training with them helped me to play this role.

Samuel L. Jackson (Preston Packard)

You have experience playing fearless characters. Do you find fear useful as an actor? Is it part of the equation for you?

Well, sometimes I am afraid that the person running the show it’s going to make me look stupid (laughs). Other than that, no. Movie sets are supposed to be safe spaces for us to invade, explore, and do different things, knowing that it will be OK after it’s over. That’s why people cry, do this, do that, die and comeback. Fear is not part of the acting equation for me. I know how to pretend to afraid or fearful; to give a character a reason for being afraid of certain things. That’s just part of the joy of being able to explore the human condition.

Jason Mitchell (Mills)

You had the chance to work with iconic actors like John Goodman and Samuel L. Jackson. Did you play it cool on set, or you approached them to geek out about their previous work?

John Goodman has this great way of breaking the ice. He knows that he is one of the greatest. The first time I met him, he let me know that everything was fine. Samuel, in the other hand, he’s got jokes for days. Sam is going to f*** with you as long as you let him. Watching both of them was a privilege. When for example Sam does this monologue about why man is king, I went like “Damn! Now I see why they pay you what they pay you!” (laughs).

Max Borenstein (Writer)

In crafting a worthy adversary for Godzilla, how important was for you to introduce the idea of him using weapons?

The cool thing about Kong is that he is a primate, human-like. That makes him more relatable than Godzilla. As humans, you don’t look at as, naked in the Savannah and go “Sh**! They are going to win!” Somehow, a larger brain and opposable thumbs matter. Tools are a big part of that. He will never be as big as Godzilla. Moreover, the real challenge with that movie is that neither is a bad guy. They don’t actively want to hurt people. They will fight but maybe that’s not the end of it, maybe there is a misunderstanding.


A team of explorers and soldiers travel to an uncharted island in the Pacific, unaware that they are crossing into the domain of monsters, including the mythic Kong.