View Full Version : King Kong - Interview

12-11-2005, 05:49 AM
I saw this on The Star.com thought you all might get a kick out of it.

First of all, Mr. Kong, I want to thank you for doing this. With the wide release of your movie on Wednesday, these must be exciting times.

Kong: They really are, Chris — and Kong is fine, you can drop the Mr.

The early reviews are in and it sounds like this is an amazing movie. I know you had high hopes, but did you expect the critics to gush like this?

Kong: It's been amazing. But to be honest, it doesn't really come as a surprise. I think we, as a team, figured from the start that this was going to be a great movie. If you're Peter Jackson, you don't do this film unless you intend to do it right.

When he and I first sat down to talk about the project in 2002, he just, you know ... I could see it in his eyes that he was passionate about the story and he was determined to make a classic. At one point he started throwing office furniture around ... I just thought, here's a man on a mission.

I'm going to ask you the big question: is this the best Kong film ever?

Kong: That's tough. I mean, purists would probably argue that the 1933 original is, and always will be, the greatest Kong movie. It was an epic, beautiful film. That said, technological advancements have made it possible for filmmakers to do amazing things that they couldn't have fathomed in '33. So it's kind of an apples to oranges thing — it's going to be a question of personal taste.

Which do you like best?

Kong: (laughing) You're not going to let me dodge this one, are you? Okay, since you insist, I have to admit that this new film is my favourite ... Just because, you know, I was so young when we shot the first film. I was too busy trying to remember my lines and make sure I had my feet in the right place to enjoy myself.

I'm proud of the 1976 version, too, but as you know, I was going through a hard time personally, what with the divorce and the rehab. I can't even watch it now because it brings back tough memories. With this one, it was like, "Let's make a great movie and have fun doing it."

In a 1976 cover story about the Dino De Laurentiis remake, a Time writer suggested that the scene in which you attack the World Trade Center could be seen "as a projection of Western fears of what might happen if the Third World should develop its potential power and strike back." How does that foreshadowing sit with you now?

Kong: It's eerie. No doubt about it. I had a special relationship with the towers because of all the time I spent up there during the shoot. As for the politics of it all ... well, that's not really what we're here to talk about, right?

No, but ...

Kong: Look, if you want me to say that I'm a metaphor for a sleeping giant that's been roused by the economic, military and cultural expansionism of the United States, fine, I'll say it. It's not fun being vilified and antagonized by a global empire. But do I sympathize with terrorist groups? Absolutely not.

I want to change directions for a second. Your relationship with Gojira — or Godzilla — has been very tense and very public since you clashed in the 1962 film King Kong vs. Godzilla. What's your status now? Have you agreed to disagree, as they say?

Kong: Can we stick to the questions you faxed us last week?

Of course, of course. Now, I know you spend most of your time in Manhattan, but do you miss Skull Island?

Kong: I didn't mind growing up there because it was all I knew. But you know how it goes ... you end up in the big city and you acquire a taste for the culture and the art ... People say, "But Kong, what about the beaches and the waterfalls?" I miss that, too — I mean, it's beautiful there, but New York just has a way of getting in your blood.

Billiards or bowling?

Kong: Bowling.

Generic or brand-name pain killers?

Kong: Brand name. I know they say they're the same thing, but for some reason the brand names just work better.

Chihuahuas or golden labs?

Kong: Golden labs. I'm a sucker for blondes.

You're in Toronto for two nights as part of this PR blitz. What are your plans?

Kong: I was thinking about hitting Sassafraz tonight, then checking out historic Unionville tomorrow. I was going to do the whole tower thing, but that just seems like such a clich้.

Well, Kong, that's all the time we have. Congratulations on the movie, and keep in touch.

Kong: Thank you.