OJ Williams: I saw the movie. It was amazing. Tell me what was your first reaction to reading the script?
Lily Collins: It’s in a nutshell about a young girl going to save her best friend who happens to be a giant pig. So the tagline short would be; a very strange concept. When you have someone like Bong, who is such a visionary, you incorporate knowing where he’s going to go with it into this script and you kind of leave it up to him. Any opportunity to work with someone like Bong and do something out of the box, this was definitely outside of the box for me, is a treat really.
OJ Williams: In the film, you guys are a crew. What were like some crew exercises you did to bond and really become that pack?
Paul Dano: Soju.
Steven Yeun: Yeah.
Steven Yeun: Lot of drinking.
Paul Dano: It was really fun. We were all in Korea together.
Lily Collins: Karaoke hazing.
Paul Dano: Yeah, we had a lot of hang time and we had a lot of fun. It was a really good group of people. I think not only did we get along, I think we were all happy to be there, sort of not just to work with Bong, but to help Mija and Okja. It’s really fun to go to work every day when you get to play parts that are going towards something like that, it’s super fun.
OJ Williams: Talk about working with Okja. How does that work? I know it’s not a real pig. I figured that out.
Lily Collins: It’s not? He told me …
OJ Williams: How did that work on behind the scenes in acting?
Steven Yeun: Yeah, we had a thing. There was a fake version of Okja manned by really great puppeteers that surprisingly for something not animated at all, their broad movements were enough to really convey a lot of emotion. We had a lot of help. It was cool.
Lily Collins: The visual effects team was there 24/7 to show us even like skin texture or how she was going to move so we could appropriately react and even touch the skin in a certain way that when you watch it now, it really feels like she was there.
OJ Williams: In the film you guys all really have your own moment of heartbreak. Talk about those difficult scenes and what you did to prepare, how troubling that is.
Lily Collins: I think the motel scene, Director Bong showed us so many images that were really hard to digest before shooting that. We obviously didn’t have the computer generated footage of the real thing. It’s so disturbing to have done research about this movie as well and preparing to play an ALF member and also just knowing what’s happening in the world with animal testing and cruelty. That was just hard to look at images like that and get into that head-space. We were having such a great time there and the ALF are motley crew who are comical at times, but when they get down to the nitty-gritty and their purpose, they’re so serious. That was one of the moments when all of us … I think we all had moments within that scene that were very dark and heated and layered and upsetting that going through it together was really kind of awesome because we were all going through it.
Paul Dano: It was so easy to care about the film and the story and Mija and Okja. Honestly, it was really easy to care. I think it was easy to invest in them. As soon as I heard what the film was about, when Bong told me a girl and her giant pig, heart leaps. It was right there.
Steven Yeun: It’s not like we were method acting or anything like that, but I think we kind of experienced the same dynamics as you would off camera, on camera in that same way. Because of that there was this nice bond that happened so if an emotion kind of waved through the whole group, I think we all collectively felt it. I don’t know, it was really fun to shoot stuff like that, because they’re just professionals, really great wonderful actors.