Kong: Skull Island has just hit the cinemas in Malaysia. The film is about a group of explorers surveying the uncharted Skull Island who comes face-to-face with the mythic ape Kong.

Star2.com attended a press junket in Los Angeles, California, recently and learned quite a bit about what took place behind-the-scenes of the action-adventure film.

Here are five interesting things you may not know about it:

1. 19 million – that’s the number of hair strands on Kong. While they were brought to “life” with the use of computer graphics, animators needed to hand-groom, shape and sculpt the giant ape’s mane.

In production notes courtesy of Warner Bros, visual effects supervisor Jack White shares: “There’s no way to just generate it. You actually have to tell the computer where the hairs should go and what they should look like.”

2. A lake was built just for the film. As a character sets a lake on fire in Kong: Skull Island, Mike Meinardus had to lead his special effects team to construct a man-made lake, a portion of which would later be digitally extended.

Then the team had to get the lake to catch on fire. “We were in the middle of a jungle, so everything was carefully controlled, for safety as well as environmental protection,” he assures.

3. Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts said no to helming the film initially. “They came to me with a script and my first response was, ‘Awesome! I love King Kong’ but my second response was, ‘Why do we need to remake King Kong?’ I said thanks but no thanks. I can’t make this movie if I don’t know why it needs to exist,” he shares.

That all changed when movie studios Legendary and Warner Bros came back and asked him to come up with the version he would make.

kong: skull island

Tom Hiddleston stared at trees and the sky to pretend to have ‘moments’ with Kong in Kong: Skull Island. Photos: Warner Bros. Pictures

4. Actress Brie Larson gave a lot of her own input to how her character, war photojournalist Mason Weaver, should be – right down to her clothes.

“I studied war photographers and saw that everything they wore had to be practical and lightweight. How she presents herself was important because those are the first impressions you get from a character,” she says.

5. In scenes where Tom Hiddleston acted opposite the monstrous ape (which had to be superimposed using CG), the actor reveals he literally had to stare nature in the eye. “I would choose a tree, a cloud in the sky or the top of a mountain after working it out with the cameraman on how high is high enough. Once you pick an eyeline that reads as believable, the rest of it is your imagination.”