Douglas Gresham Talks Screwtape/Dawn Treader

In honor of The Screwtape Letters play opening in New York City, star Max McLean, who plays Screwtape, sits down with Douglas Gresham for an interview.

The Christian Post writes: “Their discussion ranges from the challenges of writing and acting from Satan’s perspective in The Screwtape Letters, to an inside look at the upcoming release of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, to Lewis’ interaction with Tolkien and the Inklings literary group, to the impact Lewis’ words still carry today. ”

Gresham speaks on the strong theme of temptation in Dawn Treader movie and how each of the main characters are tempted.

You can see the video on The Christian Post’s website here, and the part about Dawn Treader starts at 17:51.

38 Responses

  1. kingTirian says:

    wow, that was pretty nice talk…i read ther screw tape letters myself…he was pretty good.

    i guess everybody has temptations…except my freind jewel…!!

  2. ramagut says:

    This was great interview. I have actually seen Max McLean as Screwtape on stage and would recommend it to everyone! I thought Mr. Gresham's comments about VDT were great. And as with the other two movies, very vague!

  3. daughter of the King says:

    I still don't agree that VDT is entirely about temptation, but I think it's more in line with the book then some of the changes that were made to PC. And I wish I lived in NYC so I could see the play! I've read the book, and while I didn't exactly enjoy it (it's kind of hard to "enjoy"), it really made me think.

  4. Curate says:

    @ daughter of the King. VDT is about sin, the so called "7 deadly sins" to be exact, and Sin is essentially the act of giving in to temptation. So in that sense VDT is about temptation.

  5. Kathy says:

    Aaah, I see. Seven islands, seven deadly sins? This may actually miss the point entirely, but the last time I read VoDT, I was in the fourth grade, so yeah, my memory's a little rusty.

  6. daughter of the King says:

    Yes, temptation is an important part of VDT, but it is not the main theme. The overall theme of the book is discovery and longing for one's true home. I realize theme is open to interpretation, so anyone can disagree with me and say the theme is something else and we would probably both be true. I'm not denying that temptation is a part of VDT, I just don't think it's the most important part.

  7. narnian resident says:

    i loved the screwtape letters, it was extremely powerful. i like how in the story there is a moment where each main character is tempted, and i think its really interesting. one of my favorite scenes from the book is when Lucy is reading the spell book and finds a beauty spell, which turns her into looking like Susan. this is such a powerful and personal event with this character because it shows the inner problems Lucy faces, with being jealous of her beautiful sister and wanting to be like her. then Aslan comes in and persuades her that she is beautiful herself and she doesnt need to do anything or change herself to.

  8. These two men are brilliant. Fantastic interview. I love McLean's voice–perfect for Screwtape.

    Boiled down, yes, several things in Dawn Treader are about temptation. Lucy with the magician's book. Edmund at Deathwater island. Eustace with the armband in the cave (and his thoughts about WHAT he could do as a dragon). Caspian wanting to go beyond the world's end. It's a good theme for the movie to have, and I don't really see it as a stretch.

  9. High Queene ShellyBelly says:

    I can't wait for devin brown's book Inside the VDT, he delves into the deep meanings and symbolism like no one else, coming up with things i never would have noticed- my narnia experience would never be the same with out his narnia commentary books. wish the new one was out now- arggggggghhhh : )

  10. AngelGirl21404 says:

    While I agree with the theme of sin/temptation I also feel there is a heavy theme of salvation and redemption, as with Eustace and the arm band, this is my favorite part of the book, because it really stresses the need for a Savior.

  11. Sean M says:

    As with all Narnia books, Lewis kept the morals low key, allowing them to just grow out of the fabric of the story. But look at it this way: Eustace is tempted by the dragon's hoard, King Caspian and Edmund are tempted by Deathwater Island, and Lucy is tempted to become beautiful and hear what others are saying about her through the magician's book.

  12. Starlily says:

    Temptation is ONE of the themes of VDT. Ben Barnes said in a previous interview (can't find it right now) that the movie will also be about creatures and discovery. So I think that they've got the themes right. And I'd rather have a theme of temptation (which fits very well with the book) than a theme of "following your dreams" or "believing in yourself". 😉 I'm so tired of those.

  13. Aslan's Meadow says:

    The idea of the main characters being tempted is an interesting twist. I can see how it would be easy to make that one of the movie points, becuase there is a lot of tempting in the book.
    Also I loved how Greshem described the movie as "Beautiful"

  14. Not Of This World says:

    Im tired of those too 😉

  15. fantasia_kitty says:

    Personally I find the push to make temptation the primary theme in the VDT movie a very interesting one because I think temptation is far more prevalent in The Silver Chair.

  16. ztr_rider says:

    I'd personally never seen temptation as a theme either, but now that it's brought up, I think I agree.
    Silver Chair definitely has temptation involved, but it seems to focus on the temptation to ignore the spiritual realm and focus solely earthly pursuits (which mostly involve fulfilling selfish desires). Even before the Lady of the Green Curdle tells them there is no sun and all that, the kids struggled with remembering Aslan's words and keeping their mind focused on His job for them. I'd say that TSC is really more about the spiritual battle of every Christian to center their life around Christ and forsake the passing pleasures of the world.

  17. narniafan4ever ♥ says:

    agreed!! 😀

  18. narniafan4ever ♥ says:

    very true! Although I think that the silver chair shows more of the "if you obey the Lord, things will work out usually far easier and you will not have to coop with the fears and doubts that you have when you go on your own understanding…" Just a thought….lol 😉 can't wait for this movie!!!! 😀

  19. narniafan4ever ♥ says:

    Ya, me too! I can only imagine all the beautiful scenes and landscaping shots there will be! Simply glorious! 😀 hehe

  20. Starlily says:

    That's true, fantasia_kitty, but in my opinion the Silver Chair is mostly about following Aslan's instructions no matter what, and trusting him completely, even when things seem hopeless.

    Aw…the first time I reply to one of your comments, and I'm sort of disagreeing with you. 🙁 Sorry, I think you're right too. 🙂 Rilian is tempted by the witch, Jill and Eustace are tempted by hot baths and beds at Harfang, Puddleglum….er, gives into temptation and gets drunk. 😉 Yeah, there are a lot of good themes in SC too.

  21. narniafan4ever ♥ says:

    Very good point! I almost think that there might be on element missing…with the temptation theme. I like the idea, but they should stress more of a "Jesus is your strength to help you overcome the temptation…not your own" But I think that in the interview when he mentioned that "some fall and others triumph over the temptations" that maybe Eustace is the one who fall into the "temptation of greed" and the only way he can be saved is by Aslan. beautiful! 😀

  22. narniafan4ever ♥ says:

    Exactly what I was thinking!! 😀 wonderful comments!

  23. Starlily says:

    Okay, for some reason I can't watch the interview. Can anyone give me an idea what Gresham said about Dawn Treader?

  24. fantasia_kitty says:

    hehehe, no apology needed, we actually agree. If I had posted a full thought-out comment instead of a sentence, you'd have understood what I meant I think.
    I'm certainly not saying there aren't other themes in SC, even more important themes than temptation. What I mean is that when you compare the theme of temptation from VDT to SC, I find it more prevalent in SC.
    In VDT, you have Lucy being tempted by the beauty spell, Edmund and Caspian at Deathwater, Eustace by the pile of dragon gold (to name a few). But none of these drive the plot of the story, they're just scenes within it. (Though Eustace is arguable)
    Had Rilian not been tempted by the Green Lady, he would never have been captured… we'd have had no story.
    Had Eustace and Jill not been tempted by the comforts of Harfang, Jill would not have given up repeating the signs and their journey to find Rilian would have been easier.
    Does that make sense?

  25. Liberty Hoffman says:

    wow! that was an awesome interview!

  26. kingTirian says:

    wow…nice converstaion fantasia_kitty and narnia4ever!!!


  27. Elf Maiden Archer of Rivendell says:

    I totally agree with you guys! Right now I'm busy working on a post for this thing… But yeah, I hate those things or sayings where they say, believe in yourself, when it's actually believe in God, trust in him, ask your Guardian Angel and the Mother of God for a stronger faith in God & to overcome temptation. Because if you overcome temptation & sin you know you have passed the test.

  28. narniaweb#1 says:

    Excellent interview! I was encouraged and thoroughly enjoyed it!

  29. Starlily says:

    Yes, that makes a lot of sense. 🙂 I figured we weren't really disagreeing. Thanks for replying to little old me (or little young me, as the case may be 🙂 )

  30. Max Tyler says:

    I so can't wait to watch The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Even though I prefered Aslan from the previous movies (especially the first one), this movie will be EPIC. This Christmas will be the best season yet!

  31. Ari says:

    How precisely is Edmund tempted at Deathwater Island? I didn't really see it-I always saw it as Caspian being tempted by being the richest king ever and Edmund trying to stop him. Caspian tells them to be silent, but Edmund refuses to. Anyways, I am open to correction.

  32. unknown says:

    It's been a long time since I read SC so I may be TOTALLY off base, but I don't think it's really at all about temptation. I would have to say it is more about faith. Polly didn't know what the importance of Aslan's words were and it was when they didn't have faith in Aslan that things went bad for them. Since faith is the shield in a spiritual battle it would have to be about spiritual warfare as well.

  33. unknown says:

    every single "little scene" as you call it is central to the story!! VDT is an episodic novel, meaning it is made up of all of the "little scenes" inside of it. The "main story" without the "little scenes" would be about a page, "the Dawn Treader sailed to the end of the world and had many adventures along the way" with EVERY temptation and on EVERY island the result of the temptation would have stopped the voyage (perhaps not Lucy, but the temptation that the dufflepods gave into certainly could have!). The more I think about it the more I have to agree that VDT is centrally about temptation.

  34. unknown says:

    Edmund also wanted to be the richest king ever. Edmund was wanting to use his right as king of Narnia and become more powerful and wealthier the Caspian. So they both wanted the same thing, and even to be the king of the same country.

  35. swordwhale says:

    wish there was a transcript for those of us still stuck in the dark ages of dialup… will have to mount an expedition to the library to see the trailer, ack!

  36. Susan says:

    I was excited to hear about moving scenes and temptations, and beautiful landscapes…..I'm so excited!

  1. June 17, 2010

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