VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: Director Abe Forsythe On Zombie Movie ‘Little Monsters,’ Lupita Nyong’o, Alexander England
Writer-director Abe Forsythe‘s new film Little Monsters is so original, it can’t be fit into just one category.
The movie follows down-and-out Dave (Alexander England), who serves as a chaperone for his nephew’s kindergarten class field trip and falls in love with the group’s teacher (Lupita Nyong’o) before a zombie invasion interrupts the excursion.
Forsythe explained to uInterview exclusively how his new film transcends several different genres, from horror and comedy to romance, musical and “buddy movie.”
“It’s a bunch of things and genres kind of meshed together to ultimately say about the human condition, which comes from what a child can teach us about ourselves and about the world,” said Forsythe.
The director, who is a father, added that the main character of Little Monsters is loosely based on his own experiences.
“He’s a failed musician who is not in a place that he’s comfortable with in his life,” said Forsythe of Dave. “He’s certainly pushed away his girlfriend because he’s frightened of being a father, and that is something that I was at one point in my life before I had my son,” the director added before saying he believes this fear is “universal” among soon-to-be fathers.
Forsythe also revealed the film is inspired by his experiences watching his son, who suffers from severe food allergies and other health issues, be treated by a kindergarten teacher.
“This movie’s kind of a love letter to kindergarten teachers and everything they do for us and our children,” said Forsythe. “It’s also a love letter to my son.”
Forsythe confessed how challenging it was to shoot the film with 11 kindergarten-aged children before explaining his casting choices and praising Nyong’o for her performance as the class’s teacher. The director said the Oscar winner was the only one he truly ever had in mind for the role.
“There was a lot that I felt like I need to communicate through the casting of that role in the right way to say how important kindergarten teachers are, and Lupita had the strength, the playfulness and the truth that would be able to do that justice,” said Forsythe before revealing all the different skills Nyong’o used in the film. “She had to sing, play the ukulele, cut zombies’ heads off with a shovel, protect these kids and keep the sense of wonder and fun alive for them and also deal with the pressure of what that would mean in reality too.”
Little Monsters, an Australian-American-British production that premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, is now out in the U.S. and available for streaming on Hulu.