Exclusive Video Interview: Juan Antonio Bayona Talks A Monster Calls

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Based on Patrick Ness’ bestseller, A Monster Calls stars newcomer Lewis MacDougall, who anchors the story as a troubled young boy struggling to come to terms with his mother’s (Felicity Jones) terminal illness – a spot of soul-searching that has our protagonist crossing paths with a giant tree monster (Liam Neeson), of all things. Sigourney Weaver and Toby Kebbell also star. 

The movie, directed by Juan Antonio Bayona, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival this week to strong reviews, with our very own Matt Donato saying the following about it:

A Monster Calls gets off to a bit of a rocky start, but once Neeson’s talking tree starts spouting tales of wisdom, everything tightens as the tears start flowing.

During his time in Toronto, we had the chance to catch up with Bayona to talk about his powerful new film. Among other things, he told us how he kept the movie from veering into melodrama, why he chose Liam Neeson to voice the titular monster, what about the original novel spoke to him and much, much more.

Hear what the director had to say in the video above and be sure to keep an eye out for A Monster Calls when it opens this December!