Alexander Skarsgård has picked up a new skill — all the while creating space for his young Godzilla vs. Kong costar.
The 44-year-old actor learned American Sign Language while filming the upcoming movie when he found out he’d be sharing scenes with newcomer Kaylee Hottle.
Hottle “steals the movie,” Skarsgård said in a new interview with the Australian pop culture website Junkee.
The young actress, who is deaf, stars as Jia. She has a close bond with King Kong and can communicate with him via American Sign Language.
“It’s her first movie,” Skarsgård told the outlet. “It’s fascinating how comfortable she is in front of the camera and how quickly she takes notes from the director Adam [Wingard]. He’ll explain something and she’ll be like ‘got it, got it’ then she’ll just do it and everyone’s like ‘the f— … how did she?’ She’s so professional and just incredibly … there’s so much going on on her face, her expression and the subtleties of that is fascinating to watch.”
Hottle, who was raised in an all-deaf family, was 9-years-old when she filmed Godzilla vs. Kong and told the outlet she wasn’t fazed by her first role on a major movie set.
“I kind of just go with the flow,” she said, signing through an interpreter.
Hottle also revealed that big monster action films weren’t exactly her cup of tea, preferring Disney films and TV shows and naming Bridge to Terabithia star Bailee Madison and A Quiet Place’s Millie Simmonds as her inspirations.
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“I think that it’s important having deaf actors plays deaf characters,” she signed. “Because deaf people are aware of their own language and they’re more familiar with the culture.”
The film also stars Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Shun Oguri, Eiza González, Julian Dennison, Lance Reddick, Jessica Henwick, Kyle Chandler and Demián Bichir.
Godzilla vs. Kong is in theaters and on HBO Max on March 31.