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The man behind the monsters……

Alright! In our first interview with a star from The Monsterverse – we sit down with Mr. Alan Maxson who plays King Ghirorah‘s right head.

I  (Joe) was lucky enough to sit and ask him question’s to my heart’s content. Unfortunately, not all of the answers to my questions can be shared at this time (pre- film) but what Alan could share, he kindly does with us below.

Just so its obvious.

Hi There Alan, so not all of our readers may immediately recognise you, of course this is understandable given your amount of work behind a mask. How about telling us a little bit about yourself so we can get to know you a bit?

Ok, well, I’m an actor that specialises in creature performance under heavy makeup, prosthetics, suits and
even motion capture. I have played well over 50 monsters in films, TV & commercials. I
have also played numerous “humans” and have done a bunch of voice-over work as well. So I’m
not exclusive to playing monsters, I just love it! Non-human roles are my favourite characters to
play. I first got into acting in 1998 when my 8th grade drama teacher suggested that I try out for the high
school musical of Oklahoma! From then on, I was hooked. Like most performers, one little taste
of the arts is all it takes to change the path you’re on forever. After that first play, I did two
musicals a year and was in the school’s Show Choir for all 4 years of high school. Then I was in a
band for a while and acted in a few student films in college. After that I moved to Los Angeles and
started working behind the scenes as crew. I acted in a few small projects here and there but I
was focused on getting my feet on the ground monetarily with crew work. Then after focusing on
that for about 5 years, I finally made a decision to get back into performing. I’ve always loved it
and I had to get back into something I was passionate about. And that is what lead me to here
talking with you guys!
Acting aside, I’ll tell you a little about me personally. I love cats. I have two currently and they are
the greatest things in the world. I donate food, litter and cat beds to the shelters near me. Very
recently I raised money at a convention and donated it all to the same shelter I got my cat Zira
from. (So if you donated, thank you!) I love watching sci-fi and horror films with my wife. We love
to travel and go on hikes, wine tasting… we LOVE wine. I listen to a lot of audio books. My
favourites are Star Wars Expanded Universe. I’m currently listening to the Darth Bane trilogy, it’s
extremely good!
That’s awesome dude, thanks for sharing. 
….Now, let’s get to these questions.
I take it with you’re a fan of monsters. Give me your top three favourite monster films. Why do
these stick out for you?
Oh man it is hard to pick just three! I love all monsters, but my favorites would be
American Werewolf in London, The Thing, Gremlins, The Fly(remake and original), Tremors, Bride of
Chucky, Army of Darkness, Aliens… and I should probably stop my list there before I go and
open my Blu-ray cabinet.
Those are very solid choices.
When were you first exposed to a Godzilla or even non Godzilla, but still kaiju film?
I’ve been asked this a lot since being part of the franchise. My first exposure was Godzilla vs.
 Megalon. We had it on VHS as kids. Then the 1998 Godzilla came out and we loved that too. Our age range was the exact demographic for that film.
How were you approached for the role? What was the interview/audition like? I can imagine that if
they called you in to make faces and snarl it would have been pretty humorous. What were you
told “they” (please say who was interviewing you if you can) were looking for?
I can’t say much about the audition process just yet, but they were definitely looking for actors
with creature experience. I’ve played many creatures in film & TV (mostly practical prosthetics &
suits), Richard Dorton has played countless creatures in motion capture and Jason Liles has
done a good mix of both! So with the three of us combined, I truly think we were the best choice
to turn into a team.
I am sure that your prepared for the role, did you do any Ghidorah research?
Absolutely! I have obviously seen numerous Godzilla films but I wanted to know all I could about
Ghidorah. So I went onto Amazon and bought every film that had Ghidorah in it and watched
them all. I went online and watched video game and animation clips of him too. I wanted to make
sure I knew all of his movements, character choices and anything that I can bring to the table that
would make the fans happy.
What iteration of Ghidorah is your favourite? Personally, my favourites are the 90’s Ghidorah, and
the one from 2001 when the studio turned him (it?) into a protector.
Well…. Our version is my favorite (Laughs). Jason, Richard and I really brought our A-Game, and
the team of animators at MPC and Legendary are so fantastic that I know it will be
groundbreaking. But, other than our version, I really like the one from The Rebirth of Mothra 3. That Ghidorah
looks awesome. And really the original Three-Headed Monster film is amazing too. They are all great in their own ways.

Grand King Ghidorah from Rebirth of Mothra 3

How did they break the news that you go the role? Did you do a happy dance?
My agent emailed me and yes, I did a happy dance! (Laughs) My wife and I had a nice dinner and
champagne to celebrate that night. Then I immediately started my research.
You were also just married – Congratulations!
Thank you sir.
So Alan, this is not your first film appearance, you have a library of other films that you have been
a part of. Not that you didn’t enjoy all of them equally, but what role would you say is your finest
performance to date? Which sticks out for you?
I am extremely proud of my performance in Sugar Pine 7’s The Woods. I worked really hard on
that film and it shows. My performance is vicious and terrifying, I love it! It’s available on YouTube
if you all want to check it out. It’s bloody and awesome. Not only was I very proud of my
performance but I’m pretty sure the footage from that helped me to get the role of Ghidorah. It
truly stands out on my reel.

….creepy

Why does that role stick out?
I think it not only sticks out because of my performance but I look absolutely fantastic in it! The
make up was done by a very talented team of artists that brought me to a whole new level. Shout
out to them, Hannah Reed, Melanie Aksamit, Oasis Nguyen & Brittany Fontaine, you four rock!

Make up and prosthetic work from The Woods.

It looks like you have had a lot of experience with practical effects work; that is fantastic
background for a Ghidorah actor. What was it like transitioning to something more digital? Were
there any great fun moments that happened during this transition?
I love doing both practical and performance capture. There is no difference when it comes to
performance. It’s still acting, just in a different kind of suit. The only thing I would say that’s
different is, being digital, I don’t have any restrictions. In a suit, you have to change movement
and choreography decisions based on what you can physically do in the particular suit. I just love
being a monster in general! It’s so much more fun than being a boring old human. (Laughs)

Did any veteran Toho actors or employees come on set to pass along knowledge?

Having Michael Dougherty directing us was like having every Toho actor that ever existed with us.
He knows the Godzilla franchise so well. He is truly a fan and the best choice for this film!
That’s awesome that they are hiring real fans and not just directors that have done research. A lot of true fans will be glad to know that someone who understands the films and appreciates the genre is at the helm.
Totally. Couldn’t be in better hands.
So Ghidorah has three heads, and the studio went with a specific actor for each head. Aside from
reflecting different personalities authentically, I am sure that there is a deeper reasoning behind
this. Is one head more dominant? Is one more aggressive? Do they all get along? What can you
tell us?
You will just have to wait and see the movie to figure this one out.
At the risk of sounding spoilerish…that’s a yes (laughs)!
Were you shown what Ghidorah looks like? What was your reaction?
He’s big! Ha!
Has life changed since you have been cast in this role? Is there anything upcoming we can see
you in?
Life has changed on social media more than anything. Lots of fans! And I love when they all
reach out, it’s super fun to hear what they have to say. I’ve had a number of people approach me
for autographs and take pictures with me. That’s super fun! I had one awesome fan who had me
sign his Ghidorah figure that he had since he was 6! I was so honored. You can actually see me in a number of things coming out. I’m always working, I suggest

following me on social media for updates. But one show currently airing is AMC Visionaries: Eli Roth’s History of Horror. I play a zombie for a very, very quick second in the opening title sequence of every episode. So that’s fun!

A man of the people, Alex is always willing to speak with fans!

What would your dream role be (after you have been literally the biggest bad guy ever on
screen)? Why is this?
I have two dream roles. I am a die-hard fan of Planet of the Apes and Star Wars. I would absolutely be over the moon to be in both of those!
If you could single out one actor who you look up to, who would it be? What performance of theirs
did you find most inspiring?
I don’t know if I have a particular one that I look up to for performance. Many actors inspire me
whenever I see great performances come out of them. I’m not in the same category as Jim
Carrey but I sure to look up to him. I love Jim Carrey movies, he is extremely talented!
What question has no person asked you yet that you are dying to answer? Why is that?
Wow that’s a tough question! I don’t really know. Let me turn this around on all of your readers.
What question do you all want to ask me? I’m on Twitter, ask me anything! I’ll answer if I can!
And finally….the million pound question: Who do you favour to win in 2020: Godzilla or Kong?

Image by Karina Beltran

I want the movie to win! More sequels and more monsters!
That answer is only acceptable because I agree with your logic (laughs)!
If you want to tweet Alan as he suggested in the article above, or want to check out some of his other work,  here are the ways to get a hold of him:
If you want to follow on social media his handle is @Monster_Maxson on both Twitter &
Instagram.
His website: www.MonsterMaxson.com
And, if you happen to be someone who directs or is affiliated with Star Wars or Planet of the Apes projects- we give Alan a solid recommendation.

About Joe McIntee

I love prehistoric animals, monster movies, science fiction books and music from the 60's-80's. I am about as typecast kaiju fan as you can get!

One Response to “The man behind the monsters……”

  1. Paul Williams
    October 21, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    Fantastic interview. Can’t wait to see this movie!

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