RS: Can you talk about the design of the monster? It seems like the opposite of Peter Jackson’s anthropomorphized King Kong—it has no clear personality.
Bong Joon-Ho: The design is based on a fish, so it has less personality than King Kong, who is a mammal. But I tried to achieve some humanness through its behavior patterns. It was important to give the impression that the monster is somewhat clumsy—like when it misses its footing or rolls down the slope when it first attacks people. So I wanted it to be clumsy and violent and even hysterical—a character without charisma. Not like Hannibal Lecter, who’s full of charisma in The Silence of the Lambs, but like Steve Buscemi in Fargo. Actually, my creature designer and myself often thought of Steve Buscemi while working on the design.
Well, we certainly hadn’t thought of Steve Buscemi while watching the monster gallop and lurch across the park and tromping and stomping on passersby…but now that you mention it….
Click here to read all of Adam Nayman’s interview with The Host director Bong Joon-Ho, before or after seeing the terrific movie, now in theaters.