Penelope Wilton and Rebecca Hall on their Roles in The BFG
This event and trip to LA was an all expense paid journey sponsored by Disney. All thoughts, experiences, opinions and gushy comments are 100% my own!
Last week while I was in LA for the red carpet premiere of THE BFG I had the chance to sit down with Director Steven Spielberg and the film’s young star Ruby Barnhill (you can read that interview here.) I also had the chance to sit down with two other cast members who just so happened to have GIGANTIC roles in this film: Academy Award winner Mark Rylance who plays “The BFG” and Jemaine Clement who plays “Fleshlumpeater”. You can read my interview with Mark Rylance and Jermaine Clement here.
A huge highlight of my trip to LA was this interview with Penelope Wilton (“The Queen”) and Rebecca Hall (“Mary”). They both play wonderful characters that you are going to love in The BFG. They were so fun to interview and the entire session was filled with laughter and such genuine interaction and adoration.
On how they each got involved with this project
Wilton: My agent got a phone call and said, “Steven Spielberg wants you to do this film, “The BFG” and I said, “yes” If Steven Spielberg wants you to do a movie, you do it. Wouldn’t you say?
Hall: I would. I had exactly the same thing. I got a call saying, “it’s not a very big part but he has asked specifically for you to do it,” so I’m like , “I’ll do it, of course I will.” Also, BFG is a book that as a child I loved, so even before I’d read the script or knew what the part was, I wanted to be a part of it.
On working with Ruby (plays Sophie)
Wilton: Oh she’s a darling. We both loved working with her and Rebecca will tell you, she’s got the most wonderful sense of humor and she’s a lovely girl. She also takes direction very well.
Hall: She was a consummate professional. She was also brilliant at just being a person on the set. I remember her knowing everyone’s name. Like coming in in the morning and being like, “How are you doing, Jim, all right?“,you know, that sort of thing, very professional. She really made me laugh all the time. She made me work out to dance routines.
Wilton: She was wonderful and Steven worked tremendously well with her.
On favorite scenes to film
Wilton: I like the dreams, because it’s written in the book that they catch the dreams but Steven made the dreams so beautiful and then the angry dreams, the red dreams, when they get caught in the bottle. When they go under the water then, I loved that. I thought that was a lovely sequence but there were so many. I mean, I loved the giant.
Hall: I did too. Actually, I’ve got to say, my favorite is when you have a problem with wind. It’s brilliant. It’s so funny.
On what we can all learn from THE BFG
Wilton: On the very basic level I want people to enjoy being taken to that world because it’s a wonderful story written by a great storyteller meeting another great storyteller and a visual storyteller. So if you get those two together, it’s a wonderful combination. But also. like all these stories, it is people learning to understand themselves and learn that you have to just believe in yourself. And when little Sophie, who doesn’t have much, meets somebody who has even less than she does and he’s 20 foot tall, they sort of work as a good team. Both of them understand that they are outside the norm and they give each other confidence and when you have confidence in yourself you can take on the world. And I think that’s the overall message of the, of the movie, which is the message in a lot of very good children’s literature.
“…when you have confidence in yourself you can take on the world.” ~ Penelope Wilton
What makes this film special for each of you?
Wilton: I’m lucky Steven Spielberg has done great things in my life and in my career. So that was special. Also, this is a wonderful story, wonderful to be part of something that a whole generation of young children will remember like they did “E.T.”. Also, I met and worked with Rebecca here so that was lovely, too. I worked with Rebecca’s father, Sir Peter Hall, when he ran the National Theater so I remember when she was born.
Hall: And I remember you as a figure who I’ve always admired and loved from a far so it was a real treat to get to work properly with you but yes, I think, I very much second what you said. For me, it’s a combination of two such hugely influential people in my childhood, Roald Dahl and Steven Spielberg. The creative output of both those people really influenced me. Having both of those together was wonderful.
Photo credit: Coralie Seright from LovebugsAndPostcards.com
The BFG Hits Theaters TOMORROW July 1st!!
Have you read The BFG by Roald Dahl ? It’s a favorite around here. It’s SO good and when I first saw this movie poster, it was almost exactly as I had imagined it in my head. We cannot wait to see this film and I am thrilled that Disney will be bring this one to the big screen. If you want to read the book first, it’s such a great read and right now, only $5.99 on Amazon here. (*note, Amazon prices tend to change, so this might not always be the price)
Check out the latest trailer for THE BFG, which includes new, never-before-seen footage of the BFG (Big Friendly Giant). The film, which is directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the best-selling book by Roald Dahl, hits theaters everywhere on July 1st!