Four years ago, the world was introduced to actor and musician O’Shea Jackson Jr. when he stepped into the movie spotlight to portray his father in the 2015 biopic Straight Outta Compton. From there this budding and refreshing actor, has taken Hollywood by storm starring in comedies and drama.
This summer he takes on his biggest role as Chief Warrant Officer Barnes in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ cinematic Monsterverse: Godzilla: King of the Monsters, an epic action adventure that pits Godzilla against some of the most popular monsters in pop culture history.
Following the global success of Godzilla and Kong: Skull Island comes the next chapter that follows the heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed Ghidorah.
The Koalition sat down with Jackson Jr. about finally getting the role of a lifetime and how working on this film has prepared him for so much more. O’Shea Jackson Jr. as Chief Warrant Officer Barnes in Godzilla: King of the Monsters
The quest to make Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan and Ghidorah live again on the big screen fueled an epic collaboration that brought together a legion of creative collaborators—many propelled by their own connection to the seminal Toho creations—and kicked off a sprawling production that would open out the Monsterverse and bring the secret government agency Monarch into the light.
O’Shea Jackson, Jr. was equally starstruck, but not with a human castmate. “I was nerding out really hard,” he confesses. “You don’t have anything else terrorizing cities like Godzilla does. He is dominating and destroying, but he’s saving too. Speaking as a true fan, I always hated those humans who acted like Godzilla didn’t just save their ass… This’ll be the first Godzilla movie where I actually care about the humans.”
“This movie could not have been in a non-fan’s hands,” says cast member and lifelong fan O’Shea Jackson, Jr. “Godzilla means so much to the people of Japan, we must treat him with the utmost respect and do right by him. And when I finally did get to see our Godzilla, I was like, “yeah, they did him right.'”
When it comes to favorites, several actors, like their director, are firmly in Godzilla’s corner. “Godzilla is my hero. He’s had my back for years,” Jackson affirms. “The least I could do is take a couple of bumps and bruises for him.”
Godzilla: King of the Monsters will release in theaters on May 31st.
Check out our full interview below.