The Mothra of all interviews: Godzilla speaks

Posted: May 15, 2014

DESPITE his long and storied career spanning decades and continents, Godzilla is a notoriously press-shy celebrity. But to celebrate the release of "Godzilla," in theaters on Friday, the Daily News sat down with the monster of mass destruction (as translated by Molly Eichel) to talk foreign films, enemies and which city he wishes he could destroy.

Daily News: You get to work with Bryan Cranston. "Breaking Bad": Were you a fan?

Godzilla: Yes! Binge-watched it over a long weekend with the missus, but, can you believe it? Mothra tweeted out the ending before I could watch it. Dude, spoiler. But, y'know what? I'm a Francophile and was dying to work with Juliette Binoche on this film. She was simply sublime in Kieslowski's "Three Colors: Blue."

DN: Speaking of "Three Colors," it's very high on Empire magazine's list of the top-ranked foreign-language movies of all time. You're all the way down at No. 31, behind the likes of "Amelie" and "Cinema Paradiso." Do you feel genre films get enough respect?

GZ: Look, I'm in great company. I was just happy to be mentioned. I take solace in the fact that when it comes down to renting a movie on a Friday night, are you going to pick the movie about the woman mourning the death of her husband and son? Or, are you going to go with me just straight up destroying everything? Plus, explosions. Everyone loves explosions.

DN: Mothra, Megalon, Smog Monster, King Ghidorah. You've been up against some pretty tough customers. Who was your toughest rival?

GZ: Gingivitis. You try finding a massive toothbrush. Or a dentist who isn't terrified of you.

DN: You laid waste to New York City in "Destroy All Monsters," but you don't get back east very often. Do you ever see yourself heading to Philly?

GZ: For a long time Philly had that height limit. There's just not a lot of drama knocking over 40-story buildings. They basically come up to my waist. I could stomp on the Liberty Bell, but it already had a crack in it.

I had a meeting with M. Night Shyamalan about "After Earth," but I had, uh, other commitments.

DN: You've been on-screen for 60 years but you don't look like you've aged at all. What's your secret?

GZ: Moisturizer. All day, every day.

DN: Where are you on nuclear power at this point in the global-warming debate?

GZ: I'm so happy that the White House took a stand last week about this. Sure, I wouldn't exist without the misuse of nuclear power, but I have this running joke with my good buddy Al Gore that "An Inconvenient Truth" would have done much better at the box office if he had just said, "Want to see what global warming can do?" Cut to me at the beginning of bathing-suit season before I've been able to tone and tuck. Now, that's horrific. We laugh about that all the time.

DN: You've always had a special relationship with younger viewers.

GZ: It's really the part of my work that gives me the most satisfaction. You know, the point has been made that kids identify with Godzilla, who often destroys things without meaning to. Kids have a lot of energy, they do a lot of collateral damage, they get in trouble. I think they see themselves in Godzilla. I love that fact that so many fans who grew up with me are now introducing their kids to Godzilla. On the other hand, some of these guys I run into at Comic-Con, these middle-aged bachelors with the cargo shorts and the Godzilla tattoos, they kind of weird me out. They know more about Toho movies I made 50 years ago than I do.

DN: Is there any city you'd like to destroy, but haven't?

GZ: Freakin' Dallas.




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