Allison Williams on her costar: ‘every version of M3GAN was so scary’

I saw M3GAN this weekend! It was funny, it was scary and it was full of subtle smart details that really added to the story. Plus it was a great commentary on society, technology and pop culture. I’m a horror fan and wanted it to be both scarier and campier though, similar to the 2019 Chucky remake or The Boy, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed. There were scenes that felt reserved like they were holding back. I wanted it to lean into the ridiculousness, but it was a great movie overall and well worth seeing at the theater. Also, props to the filmmakers for the under two hour runtime. That always affects my decision to see a film and I appreciate it.

Star Allison Williams did an interview with Time in which she talked about her career as a scream queen and about the technical details that went into the film. There’s a behind-the-scenes video that shows the 12-year-old actress from New Zealand who plays M3gan, Amie Donald, and the latex mask that was used to achieve her look. The creepy murderous doll was also CGI and animatronics. You can see that video below and here’s some of what Allison told Time about the M3GAN character.

How scary was it acting opposite M3GAN?
Whether it was the animatronic puppet or Amie Donald in her hellish mask, every version [of M3GAN] was so scary that it was not hard to inject fear into my performance. Being that close to the animatronic mechanism was helpful in preserving the sense that [my character] understands that it’s an inanimate object, but there’s still that part of her that thinks, “What if I walk out of the room and it starts walking all by itself?”

I had read about the mask that Amie Donald wore while filming the movie. It sounds absolutely terrifying.
Terrifying! When we did the principal photography, they used a M3gan mask that was as real as possible. It had tiny pin-prick holes in the eyeballs so that Amie could see. She had to come up with a system of hand gestures for her handlers because we also couldn’t hear her very well. When we went back and did a little bit of additional photography, they realized that they didn’t need to have M3gan’s face on the mask. They could add it in post. It got way scarier once they cut the face away. In some early cuts of the film, you could just see Amie’s adorable face smiling through the middle of this see-through mask. It was so unsettling.

[From Time]

In the behind-the-scenes video interview, Allison describes how unnerving it was to work with Amie Donald as M3GAN and said “she feels very real.” That’s definitely true on screen too, but I also think Allison is a solid horror actress. She can play “scary white girl” as she said on Fallon recently. She was convincing as an overwhelmed robotics engineer turned reluctant guardian to her niece. Allison’s character Gemma used her technical knowledge to create a proxy parent and the result is catastrophic. There’s a minor narrative in the film about “screen time” and you realize that M3GAN is also about using technology to raise our kids. I won’t go any further so as not to spoil it, but I’ll be thinking about this film for some time. I’d watch the hell out of a sequel too.

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Photos are screenshots from YouTube and also credit Getty

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