LOS ANGELES - Since starting filming on Kong: Skull Island, Brie Larson won a best actress Oscar for Room and landed the role as Marvel Studios' equivalent to Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel.
"I really enjoy the grittiness of life and we were making this movie and it was such a great balance for me," said Larson, who plays "pacifistic photographer" Mason Weaver in Kong. "On the weekend, I would go to the Golden Globes and there would be hours of getting scrubbed and painted on - and you feel like this beautiful doll. Then, Sunday night I'm flying back and Monday morning I'd be dressed casual and getting a cheeseburger!"
"So, it was this huge dichotomy in my life at that time - and it felt great," she exclaimed. "It felt great that I never was stuck in any one direction for very long.
"I act like a tomboy all the time! I'm amazed that I've pulled off that people think I'm well-groomed and polite."
Larson said she learned some things while filming Kong that will likely help her when filming Captain Marvel and other blockbusters down the road.
"It seemed like I knew what I was doing!" she exclaimed, but acknowledged that "filming is just so different when it comes to thee bigger movies and working with things that aren't there and a green screen.
"I wound up tipping my toe into that, because with Kong, most of what was shot was actually there - except for the creatures of course," she said laughing. "But the jungle we were in was actually real - which is good, because I'm used to working with tangible things. You know? looking into somebody's eyes...so stripping that away was a really big challenge."
One difference between this Kong and the others is that it is not as reliant as Larson's Weaver and the giant monster having a "beauty and the beast" relationship.
"I think that my being the voice of reason in this film is pretty incredible," she emphasized. "There are really just two representations of female in this movie and I get to be one of those two - and I get to use the feminine approach.
"What we're dealing with is man's infatuation with dominating and controlling the things around him, the deep insecurity when dealing with something stronger or bigger or more powerful than itself," she continued. "You have that camp, and then you have Weaver who doesn't feel that Kong diminishes anything inside of her. You can let this thing live and let this whole ecosystem live and that's beautiful, from Weaver's perspective.
"I think, within that, you have comments on violence and comments on the environment (which) is done in a way that's visually beautiful - and it's not hopping on a soapbox. It's really just, 'What do we care about as a people? What do we want to do? How do we want to move forward?' These are huge questions that are up to us to decide and I think this was a rare opportunity for us to be able to do that in a film that's got 3-D glasses and is going to be shown all over the world."
Larson also said she is a Kong fan.
"For the first (Kong) film, I have the distinct memory of the poster for that film in my living room," she revealed.
When I noted that, in this star-studded cast (Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, etc.), Larson got fourth billing, but that she's likely to get top billing going forward, she was self-deprecating.
"Who told you that? No one has told me that," she said laughing. "But seriously, with this movie I learned a lot. Because when I started filming this movie, Room hadn't even come out yet, so my life was a lot different. My life completely changed through the course of making this movie.