Elle Fanning and Colin Ford might have an awkward flirtation in We Bought a Zoo, but the costars were already comfortable with each other once they got to set — they're real-life classmates! We sat down with the duo at the recent press day for their new film in NYC, where we talked about their onscreen romance, working with wild animals, and the moment their costar Matt Damon got genuinely scared on the set. Check out our interview and see Elle and Colin in We Bought a Zoo when it hits theaters this weekend.
Matt Damon. Really? Matt Damon. He couldn't hold it together? He couldn't keep it together. When she approaches him, she approaches him like an animal. You guys have this sort of awkward flirtation in the movie. Did you bring any real life experience to that? To talk about Lily first of all, I think that she's home-schooled, her best friends are animals, you know, she she doesn't really have any friends that are her age and that are humans. So, when this city boy sort of comes in, she's never seen anyone dress the way he does, or you know, actually he does. And she thinks he's sort of mysterious, she wants to get to know him, but I think when she approaches him, she approaches him like an animal. like this exotic creature, but, and she's never really flirted with a guy before, so she doesn't really know how. But I think that's what makes her so loveable, you know, and sort of awkward, and she's just so light and he's so dark and so she just sort of brightens him up. Me and El were really good friends before, we go to the same school. Oh, crazy. We're only a grade apart. So, I'm in high school, she's in middle school, I always have to add that. Yeah. Cause I'm older, by two years. But we were great friends before, it was cool to finally get to work together. Yeah, now tell me too about you know, having Matt Damon play your Dad on screen. He gives your character a lot of life advice, but did you learn anything from him when the cameras weren't rolling? Yeah, absolutely. First of all, Matt is an incredible person. Not just an amazing actor, he's just a really kind, wonderful person to get to talk to and know and his family is always on set, so he's real family man as even displayed on screen. He always just told me that just to stay, you know just to say grounded and make sure that I always loved doing this. Was there anything that surprised you about getting to work with him and know him? He's just such an amazing guy and just, you know, he's so nice to everyone, which really was, you always love that when this, you know, Matt Damon, the star, and that he's just this normal, down to earth guy, and Scarlett as well. We really became close, and we email each other all the time. You know, keep in touch, which is so nice when you get to still... Yeah. You know and we were all reunited today. Yeah. Yeah, it's good. Now, I have to ask you guys too, there is a scene where your character accidentally lets loose a box of snakes and everybody sort of pitches in to help gather them up. Now, was that real? Were there any real snakes involved? Oh, absolutely. I wasn't there, but they were all real. Okay, spoiler alert, but the snakes were really intimidating. It wasn't even like the super, long, big ones that I was scared about. Right. It was, like, the little garter snakes. They'd like, be crawling near my shoes and I thought they were going to like, get into my shoelaces and then I was afraid they were going to like, get in my shirt and I was going to be changing later and it'd be like a little garter snake being like "Hey what's up, Colin?" I've been scared. Who was the most freaked out about having to shoot that scene? Matt Damon. Really. Matt Damon. He could't hold it together. Couldn't keep together. Ask him about it. Ask him about it later.