Monster Calls: Director Juan Antonio (Jota) Bayona on Sigourney Weaver and Liam Neeson

Actress and multiple-Oscar nominee Sigourney Weaver is honored with the career-achievement Donostia Award at the 2016 San Sebastian Fest.


Juan Antonio “Jota” Bayona, the Spanish director of A Monster Calls, described Weaver as a “perfectionist,” recounting how she was concerned with every detail of her performance as Grandma in the film, down to her painted fingernails.

Weaver returned the compliment.

“Sigourney has done everything: comedy, sci-fi, drama. She has done so many films that I asked many times about how she did things on other films,” Bayona said.


Liam Neeson

At the San Sebastian news conference for a A Monster Calls, Bayona also talked about Liam Neeson’s performance voicing a tree giant.

“One of the reasons we chose Liam is because he had done voice work already,” Bayona said, adding that the key “was not just the quality but how he interprets the giant. We didn’t touch it much. We wanted the film anchored in reality.”


Distributed by Focus Features, A Monster Calls opens in the U.S October 14.