You’ll hear me say this in the video interview above, but it’s well worth further emphasizing here – Eiza González is always a delightful interview. I’ve had the opportunity to cross paths with González a number of times over the years, from covering the launch of From Dusk till Dawn: The Series at SXSW to the recent virtual junket for her new Netflix film, I Care a Lot; she’s always a pleasure to talk to while also exuding a deep passion for the projects she’s working on and the opportunities she has. Needless to say, that made her a top priority to have as a guest on Collider Ladies Night, and now thanks to the March 31st release of Godzilla vs. Kong, it’s happening!
Even if you’ve been following González’s biggest releases like Baby Driver, Alita: Battle Angel, Hobbs & Shaw and more, trust me when I tell you González’s journey in Hollywood thus far is loaded with unforgettable experiences and collaborations that have contributed to González’s boost in confidence, her drive to produce and the seemingly endless string of opportunities at her fingertips.
All of those opportunities have put González in a position where she has a pretty significant amount of experience working on massive CG-heavy franchise films. Having been part of production like Alita, Bloodshot and now Godzilla vs. Kong, I asked González if she’s noticed any shared traits between the directors who are best able to handle such enormous projects. Here’s what she said:
“I think that what really becomes challenging for filmmakers in these movies is balancing out the requirements and the requests from a studio, and the idea, and then the creative, and then bringing [it] to life. It’s a lot. It’s a lot. It’s a lot of pressure being put in a director and it just becomes, who can take the pressure better than others? And do you cave or you don’t cave? I’ve always said, this industry more than anything, it’s a game of resistance. Who can take more and really, how do you do it as elegantly as possible?”
Turns out, Godzilla vs. Kong director Adam Wingard was able to handle that pressure quite well. Here’s how González described his approach to making the film:
“He’s inherently a nerd, so he geeked out about every single thing in the most cute, endearing, beautiful way as a director, but also inspired confidence. I think what I could see in a way is he was equal parts excited but terrified, and that’s okay. I think that that’s okay to normalize being terrified with that amount of expectation because it sort of made us all feel okay that we were all terrified.”
Wingard is one of many directors who’s had a positive impact on González along the way. Another recent collaboration that inspired her was working with writer-director J Blakeson on I Care a Lot. Here’s how that experience impacted González’s approach to her own work:
“I think that the way that J approached the casting of that movie, to me, was already a success, whether the movie works or not. The way he approaches life is very fluid. His energy’s very fluid. He’s a very confident man. He could have cast anyone and believed in me, and [was] just my biggest champion. He believed and he pushed and he would really want to diversify the cast as much as possible for no more reason than just making it feel more special and unique, because he’s quirky like that. I loved that and it boosted my confidence in a sense of, ‘I can tell different stories. I can do this. I’m not gonna let the industry dictate that I can only do this or that.’ So now I have a lot of fun because, besides the things I’m looking at to produce and create as a producer or eventually would love to direct, I also have fun in my auditions. I feel more confident than ever in changing up my look, cutting my hair, using a wig, changing an accent, trying! You know, I auditioned for the new Game of Thrones. I was like, ‘I’m not British but I’m gonna try! Let’s try, let’s play! What is the worst I can get? A no. Okay!’”
If you’re looking for more from González, boy do we have you covered with this edition of Collider Ladies Night! Check out the full conversation in the video at the top of this article or using the podcast embed below to hear all about how González’s mom helped her score her first major Hollywood audition, how Robert Rodriguez helped make Baby Driver happen for González, what it was like watching Rosa Salazar excel on the set of Alita: Battle Angel and so much more!
- 00:42 – González on getting early inspiration from Christina Aguilera to pursue music; how playing Rizzo in Grease sparked the urge to commit to acting.
- 02:25 – What “making it” in entertainment initially looked like to González; going on to star in a Michael Bay movie opposite Jake Gyllenhaal.
- 04:15 – Why studying at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute proved to be a game changer.
- 06:12 – How González’s mother helped her score her first major Hollywood audition – an audition for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
- 09:58 – González revisits making From Dusk till Dawn: The Series with Robert Rodriguez.
- 12:34 – Why Baby Driver was one of the first times she felt confident on set.
- 14:07 – Was Baby Driver the film that opened the door to more opportunities; how Baby Driver wound up paving the way to Ambulance.
- 15:20 – González almost couldn’t do Baby Driver; how Rodriguez helped make it happen.
- 16:06 – Initially, González didn’t think there would be a role for her in Alita: Battle Angel.
- 16:40 – González details her experience auditioning for James Cameron.
- 17:56 – Why González is a firm believer that there are no small roles.
- 19:10 – Is there any chance we’ll get more of her character from Hobbs and Shaw?
- 21:04 – What was González’s reaction when Rosamund Pike won the Golden Globe for I Care a Lot?
- 23:15 – How working on I Care a Lot inspired González as an aspiring producer.
- 25:37 – That time González fell off her bike – on camera.
- 26:59 – Having worked on a number of studio films with heavy CG, what does González think is the key to directing a film like that successfully?
- 29:38 – Did González ever cross paths with Demián Bichir even though they didn’t share any scenes together in Godzilla vs. Kong?
- 31:56 – Random questions begin! Find out what González just binge-watched, the new hobbies she picked up during lockdown, a line from one of her movies she’ll never forget, and her biggest fear overcome right here.
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