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Samuel L. Jackson had three questions that guided him throughout production on Kong: Skull Island: “Where is it? How big is it? How fast is it?” By “it,” he means Kong — or any of the other beasties running amok in Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ film.

The actor sat down with costars Brie Larson and Tom Hiddleston for a SiriusXM radio interview, during which they discussed Kong’s immense size. “I knew he was going to be on two feet,” Hiddleston said. “He wasn’t gonna be moving like a gorilla. Jordan had said he was gonna be huge, much bigger, like between 80 and 100 feet tall, and he was gonna be on two feet. We all spent months and months and months imagining this thing. You can’t even conceive of what it’s gonna be like.”

That’s where Jackson’s questions came into play. It was important to have some sense of these creatures while acting in order to imagine the monstrosities that would be digitally inserted into the shots later,

“There was a series of arm movements and squats and exercises we would do before those takes because we’re running the whole movie except, I think, for one scene,” Larson recalled. “And then if we’re not running, we’re hiding behind something where you’re hyperventilating. So you’re just basically psyching yourself out, and by the end of filming this movie, I had zero adrenaline left. My body was like, ‘No, just no.’”

Kong: Skull Island opens in theaters this weekend. Watch a clip from the interview above.

Kong: Skull Island

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 118 minutes
  • Jordan Vogt-Roberts