Richard T. Jones stars as Captain Russell Hampton in the highly-anticipated blockbuster Godzilla. Jones spoke to RO about the film and why he thinks this latest reboot of the iconic franchise with the gigantic lizard is different from the previous films. Jones also revealed why he was intrigued about taking part in such a bigger-than-life movie.
“I was born in Japan, so I think the first introduction to the sci-fi genre was Godzilla for me. I grew up in California, but I remember seeing my first Godzilla on TV and being amazed by it.” Jones says. “My character is captain of a naval vessel and he is by-the-book. We don’t know exactly what we’re facing. He is a life naval officer. I really put Capt. Hampton in a platform of this is his life–this is what he does. Plus, I really enjoyed just talking to the military officers that were advising us and I learned that it’s such a privilege when you become commander of your own ship and it’s something they take very seriously.”
“I think it shows the heroic side of Godzilla like we’ve never seen. The visual of Godzilla has an ultimate hero vibe to it. He’s just gigantic and powerful and there’s a frightening element but I think this movie really shows him as a hero–and that sets it apart, at least from the last one.”
“You try to get as familiar with the character as much as possible,” he explains. “You have your image of the character and then there’s the reality of the character–and you try to blend the two. I have a picture in my head and I love to talk to real professionals and blend them. The more you do it, the more confident you get. Over the years, the process has become more natural for me.”
Jones’s spirituality also informs his approach to acting. He says that his love of people gives him his greatest satisfaction–and working in the inherently-collaborative film industry has given him numerous opportunities to connect with people of all backgrounds and personalities.
“I love what I do,” he says. “But I love people more. I just love the fellowship with actors, directors, crew–you get to meet so many different and eccentric people. You form this family for three months to achieve the common goal of hopefully entertaining people.”
“One common theme of disaster movies is everybody coming together. We are unified, together with one goal–to save humanity. So when you see disaster movies, you tend to see different countries, cultures and religions coming together for one common purpose. I think in the hearts of most, it really brings us joy to see that. Just having that one common goal.”