[Interview] Amie Donald Talks Playing ‘M3GAN’
This year’s first big horror hit, M3GAN comes home this month in a new Unrated edition, and a huge part of the film’s massive popularity is the unique portrayal of the movie’s central robot, as played by 13-year-old Amie Donald, a world champion dancer making her feature film debut as the small but deadly AI-fueled slasher, so we were excited to talk to Amie recently about bringing the title character, a whole new kind of killer doll, to life.
Speaking to us via Zoom from her home in New Zealand earlier this week, we also discussed co-starring with a life-size M3GAN animatronic, creating the viral dance scene that took over TikTok even before the film’s January opening, and more.
Before stepping in front of movie cameras, Donald represented New Zealand in the Dance World Cup and has traveled internationally as a champion dancer, and those physical skills would prove quite useful in this particular role. On how her passion for dance led into film work, Amie tells HDN, “I was five years old when I took my first class, and it’s been with me since I was little, so it’s a part of me now. But it was my dance teacher who actually got me looking into filming, because she was always saying that I’ve got really good expressions, and she was saying that I should go get an agent and try out for auditions, and then that’s what I did, and I got the role of M3gan… It’s a really fun movie for me, because I get to act and I also get to do what I love, dancing.”
On working with a life size animatronic M3GAN that was operated by puppeteers and used for the closeups in the film, Donald said, “I remember the first time I saw M3GAN, the robotic doll, the puppeteering one. I was coming home from school, and it was so amazing and cool to see her. They did have some wigs and heads, and bits and bobs everywhere. That was a little bit creepy. But she looked so amazing.”
On seeing the finished film, which combines Amie’s performance with that of the animatronic and the voice of M3GAN performed by Jenna Davis, she later adds, “I thought they did an amazing job of pairing M3GAN with her voice and and pairing the puppet with me. That was so amazing. I could barely tell what scenes were not me.”
The new Unrated cut of the film includes a few extra seconds of gore in kill scenes, which Amie says she had a blast shooting. “I really enjoyed filming those scenes,” she said, “and I really appreciate that they’d take me off set and they’d show me everything they were using. They would show me the blood and what it’s made of. It was just really sticky, that was the only down part of those scenes, but it was so much fun to film.”
As for why audiences have responded so positively to M3GAN, Amie tells us, “I think it’s because it’s something new. They haven’t seen a robot that moves like M3GAN. They haven’t seen a dancing robot that runs on all fours. They haven’t quite seen this before. I think it’s because it’s something different.”
Of course we also discussed the Halloween holiday, which has only just begun to creep into New Zealand, and much more about the making of M3GAN, as well as Amie’s thoughts on the already announced sequel M3GAN 2.0.
You can watch our full exclusive video interview with Amie Donald below, premiering at 10:31 a.m. EST on Wednesday, March 8.
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