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!
My Interview with Lucy Dahl: Growing Up with The BFG
While in LA last month, I had the amazing opportunity to attend a BFG themed bunch with Lucy Dahl, daughter of author Roald Dahl. I am a huge fan of his work, and completely fascinated with The BFG. Knowing beforehand that The BFG was actually a story that Roald would tell him own children, I couldn’t wait to hear her share with us her thoughts on the film and her thoughts on what has now become her father’s world famous BFG.
Lucy Dahl was just every bit as lovely and wonderful as I had imagined her to be. Going into this, I had my hopes set pretty high. I adore her father’s work, and I had only imagined in my mind what it might have been like to grow up in that home.
As you can see, she is gorgeous, stunning. She has such a wonderful accent and a very welcoming smile.
We all gathered around as Lucy shared with us her memories of the BFG. According to Lucy, he was real. He lived on their property and after her father would tuck her and her sister into bed at night in their farmhouse, he would tell them wonderful stories of the BFG. In fact, every night, the curtains would draw back on the window and the BFG would literally blow dreams into their room. Can you imagine!??
“It was really amazing growing up with Roald Dahl as my dad because everything was a fairy tale, really…” ~ Lucy Dahl
The BFG was very real to Lucy and her sister Ophelia and you could tell that she had a true love for him (the BFG) and that he really was a big part of their childhood. When asked how she felt about her father writing the book, which of course eventually became a Steven Spielberg directed film, she expressed that it was a bit hard for her. She was in her late teens at the time, and The BFG was HER giant. She wasn’t all too keen about sharing him with the world at that time. Quite a bit has changed since then and it was clear that she truly appreciates the world’s love for her father’s work and she expressed that her father would be so shocked and thrilled to see how well known and appreciated his work is now.
Lucy shared with us that her father worked very hard and did a majority of the work raising them. Her mother was an actress that spend most of her time in the United States, so he had quite a big job raising his girls. He entertained them with wonderful stories of the BFG and other characters and he even got them into a bit of trouble from time to time!
Obviously her father was a creative and imaginative person. The author of iconic stories and characters like Willy Wonka and Matilda Wormwood, he was anything but dull. As she went on to tell us, this made for a very exciting childhood.
She shared with us one story of a time when they started to question the BFG and this worried their father. He said to them, “You mustn’t, the minute you stop believing in magic, it will never happen again.” and they woke up the next morning to find the words BFG burned into their lawn in huge letters. She laughed as she shared with us that he then said to them, “You’ve made the BFG cross that you’re not believing in him and he obviously wanted to tell you that he’s here.”
Lucy shared so many other fun little stories of things that her father did. Putting quail eggs on the porch and telling them that they were mini eggs delivered by The Minpins (the Minpins were from another of his stories, little people that lived in the garden) and then giant duck eggs that would have been delivered for them by the BFG.
It seems as if her father had a story for everything and I got the biggest kick out of the way that he used to get them to eat their cabbage:
Everything, everything came from somewhere. Everything that most children don’t like to eat came from somewhere fabulous, like red cabbage was delivered the day before by a footman from Buckingham Palace, sent by the Queen and so you’d eat it. You don’t say I’m not going to eat that cabbage if the Queen has personally sent it and he would say, “I can’t believe it. You missed it! Did you see the footmen?” and when we said we hadn’t then he would say, “Well, then you need to open your eyes because you walked right past him and you were coming up the lane,” so it was, that was sort of thing all of the time.
As you can see, Lucy clearly had a fascinating childhood and a father who was so committed to these magical stories. When asked about her thoughts on the movie, she shared that while there are some things in the film that were not completely accurate to her BFG, that she loved the film as a whole and really enjoyed the opportunity to be on set and that Spielberg had been fantastic about including her in the production of this story. I loved her reflection on a conversation that she had with Spielberg about the similarities between ET and The BFG:
They’re two lonely hearts that find one another. They’re different characters and it’s a different type of love, but really, the importance of this story is how one heart will find another heart, wherever they live.
If they have the same heart and BFG and Sophie have the same heart and that’s how they found each other and did a dance that no one else does, danced to a tune that no one else could hear. It’s sort of beautiful.
The one thing that struck me the most about Lucy was her transparency and openness. She made it very clear that life was not perfect, nor did they have a lot of money. For those reasons, her father’s creativity and imagination was the source of a lot of their entertainment as children, but their life was also not without struggle. She was just as open and honest about her thoughts on the film and I have to say, as someone who LOVES this movie (like it’s a top 10 for me) I agree with her on why it doesn’t really matter what the rest of the world thinks, and why it’s ok that this movie wasn’t a huge box office success.
I do love BFG. I really do love BFG. I love it. I love it. I think Mark Rylance was amazing. I think the team was amazing. I love it. I don’t think it’s any secret that it didn’t kill at the box office and we’ve talked about that and honestly, as a family, it doesn’t matter to us. We would so much rather have a beautiful film than a box office hit and my feeling about that, or us as a family because we have talked about it, is that it’s perfect.
I feel like I really needed to hear her say that because I have felt the same way about this film. To me, it was perfect, and I can’t quite figure out why it didn’t do better at the box office, but I do hope that the dvd finds it’s way into everyone’s movie collection as it truly is a movie that should be watched and cherished for years to come.
On asked what her father might think of Disney’s The BFG she just beamed and answered, “He wouldn’t believe it if he knew how well known he is now. He wouldn’t believe it.”
“He wouldn’t believe it if he knew how well known he is now. He wouldn’t believe it.” ~ Lucy Dahl
I personally adore the BFG and meeting Lucy Dahl made me love this story and it’s history even more.
THE BFG movie brings to life a beautiful and magical story that is both simple and quite gigantic at the same time. The scenes are fantastic, probably one of the most beautiful films that I have seen. Very grand landscapes and dream scenes that will truly magnify just how far the magic of cinema has come. I ADORE this movie!! Read my entire review of The BFG here.
The BFG is available on Blu-ray / DVD Now
This movie is a must have for your DVD collection and guess what? It’s finally available!!
You can purchase The BFG (BD + DVD + Digital HD) on Amazon right now, what a wonderful gift!
I love this movie because it’s one that you can watch over and over again and the story is so beautiful. Great family night movie as well! Plus! The bonus features!
Make sure to read my interview with Director Steven Spielberg along with cast interviews:
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 and my interview with Penelope Wilton (“The Queen”) and Rebecca Hall (“Mary”) here.
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)
And in case you want a peek at just what I’m talking about, check out this trailer for THE BFG: