Elizabeth Banks stuns in Alaïa at Cocaine Bear launch

What was your first thought when you read the script for cocaine bear?

I fell in love with the characters. I’m an actor first, so I’m always reading about characters’ journeys and who they are. They were really weird and messy, and no one knew what to do with the bear, and I just thought it was like a funny joke. So it’s really the tune that caught my attention right away. It’s like a Coen brothers movie or a Quentin Tarantino movie, but with a bear. I don’t know how else to explain it.

What drew you to a project as a director versus an actor?

I can do an acting job in a few months. A directing contract… I worked on the film for… It would take almost three years. So when it comes to directing, I have to dedicate my life to the project. I have to commit not only time and energy, but also a lot of my focus has to focus on it. So it must be a story that I am dying to tell. And I feel the same way about most of my acting work. I like acting. It’s way more fun and less stressful than directing. So it’s easier for me to say yes to acting contracts than directing. Directing took my whole life to stop, so it had to be something that I felt could really stand out and entertain the crowd. I’ve done three films now and I just want to continue adding to the legacy what I can bring to the world.

Cocaine bear is a very interesting story. What was important to you in bringing it to life?

Well, bears are number one. I’ve been quoted saying that this looks like it could be a career end, that it can be risky for me, but what I mean is there’s a bear at the center of this story. which I cannot control. I can bring actors to the set, I can choose a great location, and I can have a great crew, but I really have to trust wētā to build a bear so believable that you’ll never be dragged out of the movie by it. I’m so proud of what’s come out of that and I love our bear. But that’s what scares me the most about making movies.


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