Arts & Entertainment

Demian Bichir: We’ve shown a brutal lack of respect for nature

By David Villafranca

Los Angeles, Mar 24 (efe-epa).- Is there more to “Godzilla vs. Kong” than a titanic battle between two of cinema’s most popular monsters?

Mexican-American actor Demian Bichir believes there is and that the latest chapter in these iconic franchises encourages reflection on mankind’s selfishness and environmental destruction.

In this mega-production scheduled to debut simultaneously on March 31 in theaters and on HBO Max, Bichir plays the role of a visionary yet egocentric and greedy billionaire named Walter Simmons.

Directed by Adam Wingard and also starring Alexander Skarsgard, Millie Bobby Brown and Rebecca Hall, the film is the fourth and final installment in Legendary’s MonsterVerse series of films that also includes “Godzilla” (2014), “Kong: Skull Island” (2017) and “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” (2019).

On a personal note, “Godzilla vs. Kong” also marks a return to acting for Bichir after a brief hiatus following the April 2019 death by suicide of his wife, Stefanie Sherk.

In an interview with Efe, the 57-year-old actor spoke about his latest role and reflected on the importance of people pursuing the common good through their everyday actions.

Question: Wealthy, all-powerful, arrogant. Some real-life figures with similarities to your character come to mind…

Answer: (Smiling). He’s completely fictional. There’s no one like Walter Simmons … What this character signifies is this enormous capacity that economic power can give you … Most people with power only look out for their own interests, and their highest objective is to become more and more wealthy, more and more powerful. There are few people with an altruistic spirit, who want to use their economic and creative power for the benefit of the vast majority.

Q: When the pandemic began, there was talk of us being better for it, that this terrible crisis would make human beings less selfish. Do you think that will happen?

A: You don’t have to be powerful to think about others. You also don’t have to be powerful to be selfish. The pandemic has been a tough and important test for all of humanity to see what we’re made of, especially in terms of empathy and generosity. In most of the countries that remain in lockdown, that have had to go back into lockdown or implement very strict pandemic measures, most of their citizens simply refuse to look out for the common good. It’s this constant insistence that “no one can take away my freedom to do what I want, to put on or take off my mask. No one can make me do this or that.”

Q: This film shows human beings trying unsuccessfully to control and tame the environment. Bearing in mind the climate crisis, have we disrespected nature?

A: Of course. Of course. We’re invaders of this planet. We invade foreign lands, the lands of wild flora and fauna. We’ve encroached on their development. We’ve shown a brutal lack of respect for nature. And it’s very evident. You see it in silly little details like going to the beach and seeing all the garbage people leave behind. That’s an invasion of nature, and very few people understand that all of that damage we cause comes right back at us. EFE-EPA


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