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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: MAIKA MONROE ON 'SIGNIFICANT OTHER'

Interview by Michael J. Lee, Executive Editor for RadioFree.com
September 29, 2022

In the mystery thriller Significant Other, a venturesome couple (Maika Monroe and Jake Lacy) backpacking in the Pacific Northwest begin to notice unsettling signs that something dangerous may be with them in the woods. As tensions rise and relationship issues boil to the surface, their uneasy situation escalates into a threat far more unexpected than either could have imagined.

Reuniting Maika Monroe with writer/directors Dan Berk and Robert Olsen after their critically lauded 2019 dark comedy Villains, Significant Other blends elements of horror, science fiction, and drama in a fusion of genres, with a number of twists and turns thrown into the mix. In this exclusive interview, Maika talks about her second outing with the filmmaking duo, from being offered the lead role of Ruth to putting her skills as a former kiteboarder to use onscreen.

Significant Other is available to stream on Paramount+.




RadioFree.com: How was your experience of reuniting with your Villains writer/directors Dan Berk and Robert Olsen, with whom you now presumably have a certain shorthand and rapport?

MAIKA: It was a dream, really, because my first experience working with them was just so incredible, and it reminded me why I love to make movies and be on set, and the magic of it all. Which sometimes you can forget! And so I really felt honored that they wanted to work with me again. I just was like, "Oh man, I hope the script is good!" [crosses fingers, laughs] And yeah, it was a blast. It's so cool to have this relationship going into it. I hadn't experienced that before.

With Dan and Robert tailoring the role of Ruth for you, it was no surprise to see you back in the water again...

Oh yeah, just right back out there!

Have you kept up with kiteboarding since your competitive days?

[laughs] I still do it. I don't do it as often...But usually, like over Christmas, my family and I will take a trip so I can get back out there. Because yeah, I miss it...I miss it a lot!


When it came time to film Ruth's fight scene in the ocean, were you fairly comfortable with the physicality and being in that element?

Oh, yeah! I mean, beside that it was absolutely freezing. [laughs] You know, we're in Portland in October, and it was just so cold. It was a tough day, but I'm very comfortable in the ocean, but the temperature was like, "Okay, this is tough." Because we only were able to have a very thin wetsuit on, and then the clothes over [it]. It was challenging, but also, all that sort of stuff is what makes the whole process fun and exciting.

Was Ruth's suspension in the cave also physically taxing? Were you basically glued to a wall all day, having to rely on everyone around you for everything?

Pretty much, a lot of that! There was a little trap door in the back, so I'd kind of duck down, and I could get out. Because [you have] to pee and whatnot. But it was uncomfortable, I'd say.

You've obviously had a lot of memorable moments in horror and science fiction. Have you been a lifelong fan of those genres, or did you learn to embrace them through your roles?

Oh, I grew up lovin' it. I was just obsessed with the feeling of (I mean, this may sound insane) being absolutely terrified. [laughs] It's like, you don't feel it on a daily basis--or, I hope you're not! But going to a movie theater and having this intense kind of visceral reaction...You know, there's something so fun about that. So yes, I really do love the genre.

Thanks for your time today, Maika, and congratulations on the film!

Thank you!


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