Two New Interviews
The NPR radio clip has an interview with Andrew Adamson and Douglas Gresham about the overall making of the The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Listen to it here. (Requires RealPlayer or Windows Media Player) Read transcript here
The tvnz.co.nz video has interviews with Andrew Adamson, Tilda Swinton (the White Witch), Skandar Keynes (Edmund), Anna Popplewell (Susan), James McAvoy (Mr. Tumnus), and Dawn French (Mrs.Beaver). Watch this interview here. (Requires Windows Media Player)
Thanks to Wolf’sbane and Jet_100mk for sending these in.
And, thanks to Coracle, here is a transcript of the TV clip:
Intro (Mark): Shot almost exclusively in NZ, it starred four pretty-much unknown child actors, alongside veterans like Tilda Swinton, Dawn French and Ray Winstone, in this the Shrek director’s first live action film. Our Europe correspondent Lisa Owen, caught up with the cast and their take on bringing Narnia to life in NZ.
[clips with sound from trailer are threaded throughout]
Lisa Owen: In a far far away land, the man with the golden mane that rivals that of his latest creation is not so much roaring with triumph, but more like purring with satisfaction. It is done, and just 48 hours ago Andrew Adamson mustered the strength of Aslan himself and showed it to the critics he cares most about -his cast.
Andrew Adamson: I have to say I was watching the kids and seeing Skandar jumping about and biting his nails, and Georgie jumping into her mum’s lap from time to time, and it was really satisfying.
LO: You know what they say about kids and animals, so how was the whole experience for you?
AA: They tell you to avoid kids, animals, visual effects and weather. And needless to say in New Zealand we have weather, rather a lot of weather. You know, it was an arduous experience; I won’t say it was easy, but it was enjoyable.
LO: The four virtually unknown child actors tumble through the back of a wardrobe in war-torn England, and deep into a battle of their own. This one is to save the mystical land of Narnia. Enter their arch-nemesis, the cold-as-ice White Witch Jadis who keeps this parallel world in perpetual winter. Pale as snow in person she may be, but Tilda Swinton is much warmer than her character. Usually the bad ones are us raven-headed women,..
Tilda Swinton: Well, exactly! I thought I’d give you a break for a while now. It’s not fair!
LO: What did you think of her overall appearance, the whole whiteness of her?
TS: I wanted her to be white, it was actually something I’d pushed from the very beginning, I think that there’s a rather dishonourable tradition of Hollywood villains being dark haired. These are second world war children, and their father’s away fighting Nazism. I thought that she should look like a Nazi, she should be Aryan, so she is the ultimate White Supremicist.
LO: At Tilda Swinton’s side now and for much of the movie, Skandar Keynes, Edmund, the boy who’s persuaded to betray his family and Narnia, for a handful of truth-inducing candy. [to Skandar] I’ve got a little something for you, I’m hoping it will help you answer the questions truthfully [gives box, Skandar laughs]. First one: what do you really think of Turkish Delight?
Skandar Keynes: It’s good in small amounts, but you can’t shovel an entire box down at once. It’s good in small amounts, you can have one or two pieces.
LO: How many did you have to eat?
SK: Thirty-five pieces the size of my fist. They were huge.
LO: In a story all about imagination, ordinary old Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve are few and far between. To fit in in Narnia, it is fair to say you need hooves, horns, or whiskers, or a mix of both worlds. James McAvoy is the bare-chested half-man, half-goat, Tumnus, who’s battling his conscience and, potentially, a winter chill.
James McAvoy: I always pictured him just naked torso but with a scarf, because he’s got all that hair, you know, to keep him warm. But, er..
LO: Some serious back-waxing potential there?
JM: Some serious sack-back-and-track. Which is what I hear the men have. There was three days in the Czech Republic in January that were minus 15 Celsius. And I’m walking about with my top off.
LO: But not all creatures great and small were appreciated by the cast. Anna Popplewell who is the sensible sister Susan, wasn’t too keen on acting alongside real-life rodents, despite the director’s best efforts to win her over.
Anna Popplewell: He thought he’d just see whether I was able to deal with them. He brought this – mouse up to me, and he said, “This is Mr Jingles, he won’t bite, just say hello.” And I think I ran away and burst into tears. I really can’t deal with them, and actually there aren’t any shots with my face and the mice in the same shot.”
LO: Special effects and the voices of hard man Ray Winstone and comedian Dawn French bring alive the decidedly more loveable animatronic Mr and Mrs Beaver, champions of good and guardians of evil.
Dawn French: I am also very good at dam building and wood-chomping.
LO: I noticed she was right into the comfort meals, I loved the “Here have some fish and chips, the world is coming to an end, evil is coming, but let’s have some, [as we call them in NewZealand] fush and chups.”
DF: [affects kiwi voice] Fush and chups. And also jam, which she’s very fond of, and wouldn’t dream of going on any journey without, jam.
LO: And after Andrew Adamson’s epic journey, there’s only one place he’s hoping to find behind his wardrobe door:
AA: [laughs] At the moment I think it’s a vacation somewhere quiet! I hope to open the door and step through to a lovely beach somewhere.
LO: That sounds like Piha![=name of great NZ beach]
AA: Yeah, Piha maybe! [laugh]
Mark: [back announce] And those who’ve seen that first sneak preview of the movie are forbidden to say anything about it until next month, when it previews for all the world to see.