May 7, 2014 at 11:16 AM ET
To many, Elizabeth Olsen is mainly known as two things: being the little sister of "Full House" twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, and being a critically acclaimed independent movie actress. But with a starring role in the upcoming blockbuster "Godzilla," the world may start seeing her in a whole new light.
Lizzie, as she asked TODAY's Savannah Guthrie to call her, explained during her TODAY visit Wednesday that making a big feature was quite different than filming smaller, low-budget indies.
"It gives you more of an opportunity to experience, like, the magic of making a movie," she said. "You go into a sports auditorium and it's completely transformed with art design and extras and ... it's those moments where you're like, 'Wow, that's why you're making a big movie right now!'"
But one challenge for Olsen with "Gozilla" wasn't about dealing with a CGI monster — it was working with the "delightful" little boy who plays her son, Carson Bolde.
"He's a 4-year-old playing a 4-year-old," she told TODAY's Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb later on. "Usually they give you, like, a 7-year-old playing a 4-year-old, but Gareth Edwards, our director, really wanted to get some ... real responses out of the kid ... so there's a lot of improvising and a lot of just manipulating him to do something or say something."
Olsen knows what it's like to be a child thespian, having started lessons at age 7, and said she always knew she wanted to act. "My group of friends at school ... we were all very creative and we wrote our own plays on the playground," she said, noting they alternated between games of kickball and making up musicals.
But what she didn't have in her life was a "Godzilla"-style movie, she revealed. "I didn't really have a 'Godzilla' growing up!" she said. "I never saw a movie before that was 'Godzilla.' But I had 'Jaws' and I had 'Tremors.' ... I had those kinds of monsters."
"Godzilla" — which also features Bryan Cranston, Juliette Binoche and Ken Watanabe — opens May 16.