Apple TV+’s Monarch: Legacy of Monsters series roars back this Friday with “Terriyfing Miracles”, the sixth episode that deepens the dive into the Monsterverse’s primordial depths. There are action-packed clashes and mystery ahead as the legacy of the 2014 film unfolds, unleashing secrets and Godzilla-sized thrills. We sat down over Zoom for an exclusive interview with Joe Tippett and Elisa Lasowski, who play Monarch operatives Tim and Duvall in the streaming show.
In this spoiler-lite conversation, Tippett shared some insight into the Monarch “desk jockey” named Tim that he embodies and the character’s interest in going more into the field. Lasowski talked about working with stunts to film the dramatic car crash scene where we meet her character. And both Tippett and Lasowski shared how they got the role on Monarch: Legacy of Monsters and their favorite Godzilla version from across history.
The interview with Joe Tippett and Elisa Lasowski on Monarch
[Please note, the following interview has been slightly edited for clarity. There are also mild spoilers ahead for Monarch: Legacy of Monsters. You can listen to the full interview below, find it most places podcasts are available, or read on. Lastly, please consider showing your support for this podcast and website at buymeacoffee.com/cosmiccircus.]
Ayla Ruby: Hi. It’s lovely to meet you both.
Joe Tippett: Likewise.
Ayla Ruby: So I have a lot of questions about Monarch. I loved it. Joe, I guess my first question is actually for you. So Tim is really an interesting character and I was hoping that you could talk about the evolution of Tim. Because we first meet him and he’s like a desk jockey, but then by the end of it he’s… Well, the second episode, he’s kidnapping people, and towards four, he’s giving rousing speeches. What is the evolution of Tim?
Joe Tippett: I don’t know. It’s hard to answer that just yet because I don’t want to reveal anything. But yeah, certainly he has been sequestered to the basement of Monarch, which is these massive complexes and he has this tiny windowless office. But yeah, I think would very much like to be out in the field and participating in Monarch business. But yeah, I don’t know. They’re difficult questions to answer without giving things away, but I’m just sort of happy that people are following the story a bit and curious about this. Like, are these people good or are they bad?
Ayla Ruby: I think, for me, that’s been one of the big questions. And Elisa, I have a lot of questions about your character and I’m wondering, actually, about some of the stunt work. Because when we first meet your character, I think she’s driving this car and the car goes off onto this crash basically. Can you talk about what filming that was like? Was there anything interesting about it? Was it challenging or not challenging for you?
Elisa Lasowski: Obviously, we worked with stunts. I’m not going to lie. I’m not the one who flipped the car over. I did do some parts of the driving and prepped with stunts, of course. Somebody on Instagram wrote to me just a couple of weeks ago when that scene came out. They wrote, “Bad driver. You flipped the car.” And I was like, “Good driver. I didn’t kill anyone in it.” It’s-
Joe Tippett: She took a kick to the face.
Elisa Lasowski: Say again?
Joe Tippett: She took a kick to the face. It’s not easy to drive when you’re getting kicked in the face.
Ayla Ruby: No.
Elisa Lasowski: True, true. It’s super fun to do action stuff. Yeah.
Ayla Ruby: So for both of you, this question is, can you talk about how did you get these roles? How did you come across the scripts? What was that process like?
Elisa Lasowski: Okay. I’ll start. Personally, I got cast in a fairly conventional way, let’s say. I just got a breakdown and I got to send a tape and I thought I was sending a bottle to sea and then I just got offered the role. There’s a few rounds of auditions, but yeah.
Ayla Ruby: How about you Joe?
Joe Tippett: The same with me, yeah. Just sent in tapes and then had callbacks, and Elisa and I actually read together and then both got cast. Yeah. We did it the old-fashioned way and came by it honest.
Ayla Ruby: Has there been a favorite moment for… Let’s start with you, Elisa. That you’ve filmed so far that you’ve gotten to bring to life on screen that you can talk about that isn’t a spoiler?
Elisa Lasowski: You know what? There’s so many moments that I loved filming. I think the first thing we filmed that is not spoiling was in fact the scene where we’re in Tokyo and we enter the apartment, Kentaro’s (Ren Watabe’s) apartment. That was our first day. It was the very first day of the shoot in general, for everyone. And Joe and I did that scene and I really loved it. I really remember feeling that we just plunged into this world and then there we go, off we went. Yeah, that was a good moment, for sure.
Ayla Ruby: How about you, Joe?
Joe Tippett: Yeah. I really loved… We went to Tokyo to film some of this. I’d never even been to Japan before and so, I don’t know, just being on the streets and working in this metro station till 4:00 in the morning on the streets of Tokyo, running around. I mean, it was like a billion degrees because we were there in August, and it was super humid and there was, I don’t know, 200 background people or something crazy like that. And just getting to participate in something of that scale, which sort of seems apropos for a Godzilla story, I thought that was really cool. Obviously, my first day working with Elisa was amazing as well. I don’t want to diminish that. She’s a very special actor and a really good person, and I like her a lot.
Elisa Lasowski: Likewise.
Ayla Ruby: So Joe, and this is also for you, Elisa, what is your favorite Godzilla iteration? Because it’s like 70 years of history for the franchise. Is there something that really speaks to you that you… Besides yours, I’ll say that, that you really love?
Joe Tippett: I don’t know. I think the original is, to me, and I know that feels like the easy answer, but I just like the black and white, the cinematography is fantastic. But more contemporarily, I thought Skull Island was pretty great as far as MonsterVerse goes. I thought that was a fun one too-
Ayla Ruby: And appropriate.
Joe Tippett: The Kong versus Godzilla fights were pretty fantastic.
Elisa Lasowski: And for me, yeah, I’d say something similar. It’s hard to pick. It’s a character that’s been around for such a long time and has evolved in the same way that films have evolved and visuals have evolved. And I think some of the… I don’t know, I might be wrong on this, but I think some of the original ones were also done with robots and stuff like that, right? Am I right? Or robotics, or… I think there’s such an evolution in how the character got created that all of them have contributed to what Godzilla is and the myth of it somehow. Like, yeah.
Ayla Ruby: Oh, that’s wonderful. And thank you so much, both for talking. The show’s lovely.
Joe Tippett: Oh, amazing. Thank you so.
Where to watch Monarch: Legacy of Monsters
The first season of Monarch: Legacy of Monsters is now streaming on AppleTV+. Have you seen any of this new Monsterverse series yet? What do you think of it? Let us know on social media @mycosmiccircus or in The Cosmic Circus Discord.