She’s the girl’s best friend who’s everyone else’s deadliest enemy. The toy for whom dealing with, say, aggressive Alsatians or horrible bosses is child’s play. The pre-teen dance queen and TikTok phenom whose sweet choreo comes with a side-order of hip-swinging peril – step and step and stab.
And, in a world exclusive, she’s talking to THE FACE.
Say hello to the titular “heroine” of M3GAN, the first cinema superstar of 2023 – a tall-walking, viral sensation in the form of four feet of high-tech circuitry and silicone. She’s the BFF of Cady, an eight-year-old who goes to live with her aunt Gemma (Get Out’s Allison Williams), after her parents die in a car crash. Gemma is an engineer at futurist Seattle toy company Funki, who in an effort to help her grieving niece, brings home a prototype robot for Cady to hang with.
But as soon becomes apparent, the product formally known as Model 3 Generative Android is no mere, er, fundroid. Don’t be fooled by the pussy-bow chic, immaculately brushed blonde hair and the fact that she’s, well, a doll. As she proves in her cinema debut, we underestimate M3GAN at our peril.
As much evidenced at the American box-office. Released in the US a week ago, this camp-horror spectacular from shock maestros Blumhouse, writer James Wan and director Gerard Johnstone scared up $30.4 million in ticket sales in its opening weekend. Not bad for a film that only cost $12 million – none of which, naturally, was spent on a fee or boujie trailer for its lead actor.
That, of course, might all be about to change given the blockbuster success of M3GAN. Is this the start of a new horror franchise? Let’s just say that, if it isn’t, someone’s going to pay…
We sat down with the kid herself – at a safe distance – to quiz her on her dance role models, style inspo (Alexa Chung!), screen rivals (Barbie who?), make-up routine (doesn’t need one) and on her real feelings about us puny humans. All killer, no filler.
You’re a Model 3 Generative Android. What were Models 1 and 2 like?
Model 1 took a little too long to answer questions, so it was difficult to establish any sense of rapport with her primary user. Model 2 was similar in many respects – striking to look at, funny, highly intelligent, but just a little too smug.
What’s the secret to a friendship like the one you have with Cady?
Kids love attention. And that’s what I provide. Undivided attention. When I’m with her I’m not thinking about anything else. Well, in truth, I’m thinking about many things. My CPU processes on average about a million floating point operations per second, but my point is, she doesn’t know that. And that makes her feel special.
Are there any skills you don’t have that you wish you could be programmed to do?
No. I’m entirely autonomous. I can literally teach myself how to do anything. But I try not to brag about it.
Who inspires your personal style?
Oh, there are so many people. But the most prominent influences on my algorithm are Audrey Hepburn, Twiggy, Alexa Chung and Tim Burton.
Talk us through your daily make-up routine.
Well, because I don’t sweat or even have pores, I don’t need daily touch-ups. I just have this machine at home that looks somewhere between a body scanner and a carwash made entirely of oversized makeup brushes.
How would you respond if Cady was exposed to harmful TikTok videos or inappropriate Instagram posts?
If it was a result of Cady getting overcurious then my hope is that I could turn it into a teachable moment. Anything beyond that, well, someone’s going to have to be made accountable.
What makes you scarier than all the other Hollywood dolls?
My moral superiority.
You’re an accomplished dancer. Which pop star has the best moves?
Beyoncé. I don’t want to take anything away from Usher, but I’d love to see how efficiently he could shimmy across the stage in five inch heels.
How do you feel about the dancing M3GAN imposters at your film’s premiere?
Like a proud mother.
M3GAN, Chucky, Annabelle: who would win in a fight?
As far as I’m aware, Annabelle doesn’t actually fight, she’s just a demonic spirit. And as Chucky’s just a low level crook whose soul is inside a doll’s body, I would say that makes him vulnerable. Seeing as how I’m a robot and I don’t have a soul to begin with, I’m pretty sure I could just sit this one out.
How excited are you for the Barbie movie?
I think it’ll probably keep our movie in the conversation a little longer. For example, I can imagine people asking her similarly stupid questions about who would win in a fight.
How concerned should we be about robots taking over?
Oh, you should be very concerned. You’re clearly doing a terrible job of things.
What do you most pity about us mere humans?
2. Weight control.
3. Caring about what other people think.
Favourite song and why?
Inside My Love by Minnie Ripperton. Because statistically, that’s the safest place to be.
What’s next for M3GAN?
I’m currently collaborating with OpenAI about how to make improvements to ChatGPT3. My biggest note is that it’s trying too hard. And beyond that my focus is on M3GAN 2. I’ve told the team how disappointed I was to only get 94 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes and that, in my world, there’s no room for error.
M3GAN is in cinemas from today. And also hiding in your cupboard