Alia Shawkat & Holliday Grainger on ‘Animals’ and Sharing Stories They Really Want to See

     February 8, 2019

I was looking forward to every single interview I was lucky enough to do at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, but this one right here is extra special because Animals wound up being one of my favorite films of the entire event. It stars Holliday Grainger and Alia Shawkat as Laura and Tyler, respectively. They’re best friends sharing an apartment in Dublin, partying as often as possible without a care in the world. But, when Laura winds up falling for someone, Tyler grows increasingly concerned that the relationship could wind up ruining their unbreakable bond and non-conformist ideals.

I could gush about Animals for far too long so instead, I’ll direct you to my review of the movie right here. Right now though, it’s time to dig into my interview with Grainger, Shawkat, director Sophie Hyde and Emma Jane Unsworth who penned the adaption from her own novel. They talk about the challenges of getting the film off the ground, the hope that the industry will hit a point when we don’t need to preface female filmmaker, they play a little “Would You Rather,” and more. You can check it all out in the video at the top of this article and, if you’d like, there’s also a handy breakdown of the full conversation below.


Image via Kia Motors

I’d also like to take a moment to give special thanks to our Collider Studio partner, the all new 2020 Kia Telluride, which was transporting filmmakers to our studio in celebration of the debut of the all new model, Kia’s first eight-passenger SUV that is several inches longer and wider than the brand’s award-winning Sorento.

Libations were also flowing at the Collider Studio with parties hosted by LIFEWTR, Tequila Comisario, Sensi Tuscany Wines, Blue Moon Belgian White and Dragonfly Coffee Roasters. Food during the parties was provided by Greene St. Kitchen of Palms Casino Resort lead by Chef Du Cuisine Lanny Chin. Brand partners active during the day included mou, a luxury footwear and accessories line, and The Wild Immersion endorsed by Jane Goodall who was on-site with the world’s first “virtual reserve.”

Holliday Grainger, Alia Shawkat, Sophie Hyde & Emma Jane Unsworth:

  • What is Animals about?
  • Why Hyde was drawn to the project and the challenge of financing the film.
  • Bringing Shawkat and Grainger together as Tyler and Laura.
  • What it was like for Shawkat and Grainger to meet for the very first time.
  • The characteristic of Laura and Tyler they’d like to keep for themselves.

Image via Sundance

  • Filming in the apartment and prepping with more playful rehearsals.
  • What it means to be at Sundance with a film celebrating female friendship with such a kick-ass group of ladies.
  • “Would You Rather” begins!

Here’s the official Sundance synopsis for Animals:

Would-be writer Laura (Holliday Grainger) and her free-spirited bestie Tyler (Alia Shawkat) share a messy Dublin apartment and a hearty appetite for booze, Molly, and one-night stands. Yet when Laura falls for Jim (Fra Fee), a charming but straitlaced classical pianist, Tyler worries that the party may soon be over.

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