The Tomorrow War's Betty Gilpin on Saving the Sci-Fi Film With Her "Tuna Santa"

The upcoming sci-fi film The Tomorrow War features a world in which an alien invasion poses the risk of exterminating all of humanity, requiring the human race to unlock ambitious efforts to hold off the invaders, though star Betty Gilpin notes that, for as effective as all the intense action in the film is, it's truly her quest to spotlight an unappetizing holiday dish in the film that ultimately "saved" the experience. While the actor might have been making these comments in jest, it points out just how many tones are explored in the new film, as many of her scenes depicted domestic drama, while her co-stars were engaging in planet-saving antics. The Tomorrow War hits Amazon Prime Video on July 2nd.

"I saved the film because the tuna Santa thing was improvised," Gilpin joked with ComicBook.com about a scene in which party guests avoid the dish altogether. "We were making fun of this disgusting tuna salad Santa that was sitting out all day at this Christmas party scene and we improvised lines about it and then they were like, 'Okay, that's a wrap, moving on,' and I said, 'Stop, we owe a shot to the tuna Santa.' Everybody groaned and everybody rolled their eyes, and what's in the film? What ... is in ... the film?"

In The Tomorrow War, the world is stunned when a group of time travelers arrive from the year 2051 to deliver an urgent message: 30 years in the future mankind is losing a global war against a deadly alien species. The only hope for survival is for soldiers and civilians from the present to be transported to the future and join the fight. Among those recruited is high school teacher and family man Dan Forester (Chris Pratt). Determined to save the world for his young daughter, Dan teams up with a brilliant scientist (Yvonne Strahovski) and his estranged father (J.K. Simmons) in a desperate quest to rewrite the fate of the planet.

The fractured nature of the narrative, and Gilpin's complete detachment from the action-oriented sequences, created a unique juxtaposition as a performer.

"I got to be in my little isolated world where, in my head, I was like, 'This is a movie about a marriage, in a kitchen and on a stairwell and in a bedroom, and that's what the movie is, and it's really Emmy's story, actually,'" the actor admitted. "I'd come to Atlanta every couple weeks and shoot a scene where I cry, shoot a scene where I dry a dish disconcertedly. Like, 'God, what a great, gritty, indie film.' And then one day, I asked one of the camera guys, 'What did you shoot yesterday?' 'Uh, we shot a helicopter crashing into a pool.' 'Oh, bet a lot of my stuff is gonna get cut.' So that was humbling."

Given that the themes of the film focus on the opportunity to go into the past to change the future, Gilpin went on to talk about how she views her own personal journey and the dangers of focusing too much either on the past or the future and how it could distract you from the present.

"I think that, as an actor, maybe it feels like this in any profession, but as an actor there are so many different roads your life could take," the actor pointed out. "I audition for a ton of stuff and then you pass the poster of the thing you didn't get later so your brain goes off on this, 'Do you wanna freak out about that?' And I think that it's so easy to live only in panicking about the past and panicking about the future but, if Tiny Tim taught us anything, it's to be present."

She added, "I think that we weren't expecting the world to freeze in the present, because what a sh-tty present it was. It kinda made us all have this 'pencils down, who are you?' moment and I think it has really changed the way I look at my own life. I think, also being an actor, having the temptation to look at your phone and see what the world thought of what you did or what you'll do or what you didn't do is a tempting demon and I think it just pulls you into panicking about the past and future and not the present."

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The Tomorrow War hits Amazon Prime Video on July 2nd.

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