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‘M3GAN’ star Allison Williams shares her pick for the movie’s creepiest prop
Not even Seth Myers could tell the three versions of the M3GAN models apart.
More than most scary movies, M3GAN skirts the uncanny valley with a pint-sized protector android whose human-like looks and movements veer just a little too close to reality to safely and comfortably ignore. But according to star and executive producer Allison Williams, actually hanging out on set with the real-life models crafted to breathe life into the movie’s AI-propelled terror took M3GAN’s fright factor to a whole new level.
During her recent guest visit on Late Night with Seth Myers, Williams (who plays aunt Gemma) explained that the movie utilized three different portrayals of M3GAN: actor Amie Donald in costume; an animatronic unit that required six human operators; and a plain, poseable doll.
“It was really hard to tell the difference between all three of them,” said Williams, at one point teasing Myers for not being able to guess which was which in a lineup photo that featured all three side by side. “…It felt human, too — that’s the creepiest part!”
Believe it or not, though, it’s the plain doll version of M3GAN that kept Williams casting the wariest of side glances in between takes on the horror film’s set.
“I didn’t want to talk about it too much before the movie came out because the magic is kind of like, I just want people to think of her as ‘M3gan,’” Williams confessed. “But that aside, just because it’s fun to discuss, we achieved her in a couple of different ways. One was just like, a static, poseable doll that didn’t do anything but was terrifying — I think the scariest of all…because also she was most likely to be sort of, like, left in a corner somewhere! And so then you’re likely to be running to the bathroom, like, ‘Gotta run!’ and then you run past, like [jumping back in fear] she’s just — there. So she was the scariest.”
M3GAN’s hypnotically horrifying dance moves and the infamous “you should probably run” scamper through the forest on all fours have served as scary-movie jet fuel for the film’s viral word of mouth. Advance social media buzz and rave reviews helped drive the Universal film’s opening weekend box office to the $30.2 million mark — a feat that makes M3GAN and last year’s Nope (another Universal movie) the only two horror flicks of the past five years to take in more than $30 million on their opening weekends.
With the movie still fresh in theaters following its Jan. 6 premiere, there’s tons of time to check M3GAN out while sitting in a darkened room with a hundred or so of your closest horror-craving pals. As Williams says in the second clip above, that’s exactly the way M3GAN was meant to be seen, with the film’s creators even building in extra audience recovery time for all the jump scares, gasps, and surprise laughs.
Directed by Gerard Johnstone from a screenplay by Akela Cooper, and featuring a story co-created by Cooper and horror mastermind James Wan, M3GAN was produced by Wan alongside Jason Blum and is standing guard at box offices nationwide. For new and past episodes of Late Night with Seth Myers, you should probably run over to Peacock, where episodes of the NBC talk show are streaming ‘round the clock.
Want another killer doll fix? Stream the first season of Chucky on Peacock.