The Prince Interview: Richard Madden in Cinderella #CinderellaEvent

A lot of times when I’m interviewing the cast of a movie I get to take the pictures of the talent. For this one I split the photo taking process with another blogger and for Richard Madden I was able to sit and listen to the entire interview. I enjoyed listening to Richard Madden talk about his role in Cinderella and how he confessed that his eyes really are that blue. Sitting across from him I didn’t believe he was telling the truth, but whenever he takes a photo and he’s wearing the slightest bit of blue, his eyes really are blue. He was a charming young man and you could tell that he was very modest and still really new to being the center of attention. Cinderella is his first major part. Here are a few bits and pieces from the interview the bloggers had with Richard Madden.

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Q :So how did you get involved in what– the process of playing a Prince?

RM : I wanted to make him– I wanted to make him different. In the animation you only see him in 2 or 3 scenes. Um and also in the original animation there’s this kind of old fashioned view I think of you know a woman needing a man to come and rescue her from a terrible life and that’s kind of outdated enough.

Not a message I think we should be telling young girls and in this version it’s, it’s not that which is great. You’ve got a, a young man with all of his own problems and a young woman with hers and actually they, they bring the best out of each other. I think she rescues him as much as he rescues her and that’s why I was really interested in this, in this version.

We got to kind of see this real young man character and most importantly you know Cinderella’s this wonderful amazing woman that I wanted to make a man that was worthy of her affections.

Q : What was your initial reaction when you found out you got the role as the Prince?

RM : Well I was kind of just overwhelmed. I was in Canada shooting mini-series and I just got like a text from my Agent before and it said, you are about to receive a call answer it. I was like, “Okay.” Uh it was Branagh who’d called to tell me, I got the part.

And I was like just overwhelmed and uh really excited and then um just really terrified after that of like, “Oh God everyone’s gonna’ be like he’s wrong casting and how am I gonna’ do it? And this– and that’s not my idea of a Prince. And, and so all the feat of that, but like I just went back to the original animation and when actually somebody got 2 or 3 scenes we don’t get to know his name. I can build a character from scratch and I can do that with, with Branagh. There’s no one better to kind of take me through that then him that than him. He is like– a lot of my Prince is based on, on Kenneth Branagh ‘cause he is like a true gentleman.

Q : How did you like working with him?

RM : I loved it. Everyday it’s like you’re on set with Kenneth Branagh, and Cate Blanchett, and Stellan Skarsgârd, and Helen Bonham Carter. It’s like kind of a master class and in acting and also just in like how to conduct yourself as an Actor and you know. Um but Ken’s just amazing because the same amount of detail was put in something like this as it would be into something like MacBeth. You know I’d be on set and he’d kind of just come up and give me a big —-I think the Prince would really do anything that. ……I’ll go with that, but that’s kind of what he’s like. And that’s great because it just gives you so much ammunition so I can into these scenes with Derek and we can improvise.

And we can really play because you’ve got so much going on Ken really kind of inspires you. And that’s why you know um it brings out the best in me and that’s why we’re working together again in 2016 because we enjoyed working together.

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Q : What was your favorite scene?

RM : The first scene that I show up with Lil um which is us on horseback when we first meet in the woods. I kind of– I like being outside and being on a horse. Uh it’s more fun than being in the studio most of the time. But it’s just like you know that was our first day on set. That was the first day of shooting. That was the first time with, with Lily.

So….you kind of have all, all of that going on on top of us kind of trying to play that scene. And I love what Ken wanted to do that– these, these 2 huge beasts. They were both trying to control their feelings and, and this kind of dance that they do on the horses.

Q : How hard was it to learn the dance routine?

RM : It was miserable…….Um I– I’m not a naturally gifted dancer. Uh so I had to kind of train for like 2– 2 or 3 months to like 3 or 4 times a week to get myself up to scratch so that– I mean there was 2 months before they let me near Lily’s dress….. and because I would just destroy it. I went through like 2 practice dresses that looked like a bunch of cats have destroyed them and–

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But yea I wanted to make sure the– I think the Prince would enjoy dancing. So I wanted to make it look as if he was enjoying it and also that I could just act with Lily and not be thinking about what I’m doing with my feet.

Q : Were there any scenes that made you cry?

RM : Yeah the scene with Derek uh playing the King……..that was an emotional day and– but a really good one. I love, I love working with Derek. Um it was kind of an icon to me. Um and that was kind of a really moving scene. He plays it so beautifully it’s– it was hard not to get caught up in that.

Q : For that scene um you were almost like in a fetal position with her and that was just so touching and it just like breaks your heart. It was kind of ……when Cinderella was with her father. So was that kind of directed that way?

RM : Yeah it was directed that way, but I think that’s– I had chats with Ken at the start and we wanted– it was important I think how we see these two characters. You know I think first and foremost Cinderella’s a daughter and the Prince is a son and they’re so influenced by their parents. And I think that’s how we get to know them and get to know their personalities and what they’re like.

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And they really wanted to kind of you know get that relationship going. And I wanted to have– I really wanted to have uh a sense of humor to this Prince. And, and Derek plays the King so well with that kind of sense of humor. I wanted the Prince to have that and, and for them to kind of be influenced by each other.

Q : If there were a blooper reel. What would be the one that would be the highlight?

RM : I don’t know. I mean that first scene is quite a lot of like– it’s you know if you see the B-Roll stuff there’s like marks on the ground that you’re supposed to have on the horses hooves. I mean it’s hard enough just gettin’ the horse to run a straight line sometimes. So and like this endless footage where there’s just nothing …and you’re kind of coming in and out of the shot on the horse trying to get it right.

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Q : How does it feel to be a role model for young men?

RM : Um well the Prince is the role model not me. And, and the Prince is the role model not me, but that was important. I grew up with these Disney films and I have 2 sisters. So we– they watch these films and say that. And I think that’s just where you first deal with first thing came to. Um death, and love, and uh good and bad, and that’s what I really wanted to do with this Prince.

Was, was make someone, as I said at the start, that’s not that old fashioned view of you know a girl needing a guy. And I think I wanted to, to try and make a Prince that young men would have to look up to that– a Prince that you know has a, a built in respect for women uh and a compassion to the people around him, an awareness of his privilege. And so if there’s– there’s little boys that, that grow up and are… by then uh I’ll be really honored by it.

Cinderella is now in theaters!

7 Tips on a Successful Family Reunion

 

There are a lot of families who find that they have relativities all over the world these days. Although it is much easier now to keep in touch thanks to the internet this may mean that physically being in the same room as one other may become increasingly rare. That’s why it is important to take the opportunity to plan a family reunion when possible. With flights, rail tickets and time off work this can be expensive. Therefore, it is important to get such an occasion right. Here are a few tips on making your family reunion a success.

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Pick the Right Time of Year

This is a lot easier said than done. If you have relatives in places like Australia you will have to think of seasonal differences (will someone want to swap the tropical warmth of Queensland for the January bitterness of Newcastle?). It is tempting to organize such an occasion on a bank holiday such as New Year’s or Easter but you also have to take into account commitments to in-laws and the like.

Plan ahead

Following on from the last point, the only way to ensure that everyone can make it to your planned reunion is to have the event in everyone’s diaries as far in advance as possible. Try planning at least a year in advance so people can consider annual leave from work and plan their finances around the event. A Facebook group will allow you to venture possible dates to people and take it from there.

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This is a very important one. Diplomacy is a key aspect to organizing a family reunion. If there are certain black sheep of the family which you consider will not be conducive to the spirit of the party perhaps you can leave their invitation strategically closer to the date of the event. If they cannot make it, at least you made the gesture.

Book the Appropriate Venue

A party can suffer from being in a room which is too big. Get an idea of the number of people attending before you book a venue. Chances are a house might be a decent venue rather than a function room or pub. Take into account people’s dietary requirements if food is involved and music should be picked with caution.

Take the Opportunity

It is not often all the family will get together in such numbers so take the opportunity to spend some quality time together. If you have time, try and organize a professional photographer such as Venture for a family portrait. It will provide a nice snapshot of a special event and a memento to everyone who attended.

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Contingency Ice Breakers

If it is a rather small family gathering with relatives who don’t know each other at all it may be wise to have a back-up plan to break the ice. Board games are always a good tool for this, as are family trees or old photos albums.

Follow up the Event

After spending all this effort organizing such an event, follow it up by regularly keeping in contact with your estranged family members and perhaps plan another event if it was a success.

Tinker Bell and The Legend of The NeverBeast

We received a copy of Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast for review and had to watch it as soon as it came. My kids had been waiting to see it since we were invited to a screening here in LA. We got stuck in traffic and weren’t able to make it so then we had to wait for the Blu-ray Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere release. We all watched it and at times we were really wondering if Gruff was a good guy or a bad one, but he was so adorably cute that deep down we knew the truth. Just like Fawn (Jennifer Goodwin) did. image

Return to Pixie Hollow for the heartwarming and humorous adventure “Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast”! An ancient myth of a fabled creature sparks the curiosity of Tinker Bell and her good friend Fawn, an animal fairy who’s not afraid to break the rules to help an animal in need. But this creature – massive and wondrous with glowing green eyes – is not welcome in Pixie Hollow – and the scout fairies are determined to capture the mysterious beast, who they fear will destroy their home. Fawn, who sees a tender heart beneath his gruff exterior, must convince Tink and her fairy friends to risk everything to rescue the NeverBeast.

 

Fawn has a huge heart and cares for all animals dangerous and the ones that aren’t dangerous. She gets in trouble when she brings a Hawk into Pixie Hollow but she was just taking care of him. She learns a huge lesson about herself in Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast and you’ll have to watch to see what she learns.

The Bonus Features Include:

· 5 Essential Ingredients to Getting Gruff: Uncover the 5 Essential Ingredients in making “Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast.” The 5 ingredients are story, design, animation, sound, and making Gruff.

· My Dad’s Movie: The True Story of the NeverBeast: Director Steve Loter takes us on a personal journey of how his young daughter taught him life lessons that became the story for “Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast”.

· Jeff Corwin’s Guide to Real-World NeverBeasts: From high above the trees to the darkest depths of the ocean, Jeff Corwin takes you on a wild adventure around the world where you will discover some creatures that actually exist in the real world.

· Deleted Scenes with Intro by Director Steve Loter

· Tink’n About Animals: From a float of crocodiles to a mob of kangaroos, Fawn breaks down animal groupings by singing her own catchy song.

· Gruff Love: Meet the big, lovable star of the movie with this musical montage featuring KT Tunstall’s heartwarming song, “Strange Sight.”

· My Dad’s Movie: Hanging Out at the Premiere: Now that you know how I helped my Dad come up with the story for his movie, join me as I get to see it for the first time. (DMA Exclusive)

DVD

· 5 Essential Ingredients to Getting Gruff: Uncover the 5 Essential Ingredients in making “Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast.” The 5 ingredients are story, design, animation, sound, and making Gruff.

· Tink’n About Animals: From a float of crocodiles to a mob of kangaroos, Fawn breaks down animal groupings by singing her own catchy song.

· Gruff Love: Meet the big, lovable star of the movie with this musical montage featuring KT Tunstall’s heartwarming song, “Strange Sight.”

*Digital bonus offerings may vary per retailer

Cinderella A Must See Family Movie

Cinderella is in theaters today and it’s a must see. You have to take your whole family to see this great re-make of a classic fairy tale. Disney is making the best live action creations of their beloved stories. Cinderella was always my favorite princess, it’s the first Disney movie I saw and and owned. I watched it over and over again and this new live action will have the same fate once it’s in my movie collection.

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The Director Kenneth Branagh was asked to participate and he liked the storyline that was already chosen and felt that keeping it close to the original was the only way to go for him. He said, “I was captivated by the power of the story and felt I was in sync with the visual artistry that was being developed…..It’s a classic piece of storytelling where the central character goes on a journey that we can really identify with, so the texture and landscape of a great story was wonderful to play with as a director.”

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Ella (Lily James) loses her mother at a very young age, on her death bed her mother told her to be brave and kind, to always be kind. Ella listned to her mother and always gave with her hand open wide. Her father remarried Lady Tremane (Cate Blanchett) and gained two stepsisters Anastasia (Hilliday Grainger) and Drisella (Sophie McShera). Ella welcomed them into her home but as soon as her father left the house to go on a business trip, the stepmother sent her to the attic. It was one fateful day where Ella finally had enough of the evilness in her house and it looked like she was going to run away. That’s when she meets the prince (Richard Madden) who of course hid his identity from her and they fell in love at first site.

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The Prince is well developed as a character. He understand war and how it affects people. He loses his father and is mature. He’s easy for Ella to interact with because they are kindred spirits in a way. The relationship in Cinderella are complex and deep. I cried every time someone died and in the end when the slipper went on her foot. There were moments of laughter and the mice in the story have their own little movie going on in the background. Kenneth Branagh mentioned that during his interview.

It really is a great movie and I highly recommend it.

Cinderella Interview Sir Kenneth Branagh

I know I’ve mentioned once or twice that I don’t get star eyed very often. I seem to really like older men that are very talented and my latest excitement was bumping into Sir Kenneth Branagh. At the movie premiere I was one of the last ones out of the theater, I had realized that I left my pictures at my seat, so I had to go back and there he was blocking my way. So of course I had to ask him to move and he did, and yes this was a big deal to me. Kenneth Branagh is the Director of Cinderella and he did an amazing job putting everything together. The next day at the press junket we had the opportunity to interview him. He proved to be just as intelligent as I imagined, I mean it seems that everything he touches is amazing. Cinderella certainly was!

 

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Q : Tell us about the casting process.

 

Kenneth : I had an idea of how Cinderella should be. Uh, but we knew, um, in my experience, it was gonna be like I made a film, Thor, which took a long time to find the beautiful and sexy Chris Hemsworth, now– now officially the sexiest man in the world. Um, so, uh, I thought, well, I have good taste then clearly. No, no. We knew that it would take a while and that you had to really feel that the– the character– the actor would, in this case, you just want to be with them. You know, you want to be in their company.

Yeah, she had to be likeable. You needed to want to spend, those 90 minutes or whatever with her. And because of the way we were slightly reimagining the– the character’s personality, that she needed to have, you know, a good sense of humor, a kinda what we were calling a kind of an approachable beauty, um, and, uh, kindness and– and passion and strength and that could stand up, you know, in a scene with Miss Blanchett or Miss Bonham-Carter.

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Um, and, uh, who also just had a kind of– a kind of, uh, uh, a sort of simplicity without being, you know, sappy. A lot of-……..it had to tick a lot of boxes. So it was gonna take a long time. And– and I– I heard Lily James’ voice first. I thought, God, that’s a beautiful voice. And– and then she was a beautiful girl. And then she was very patient across a lot of auditions and things. And eventually it just became clear that she was the one.

Q : What brought you to cast Richard?

Kenneth : I thought that he had sort of, apart from very blue eyes, he had very tight trousers, but that was another…….actually, they weren’t his own trousers. So I shouldn’t really,….he had, uh, intelligence and wit.  And also he relished the idea of how you might sort of play a gentleman. You know, he didn’t, uh, he wasn’t striving hard to be, uh, a certain modern kind of cool.

You know, I think both these actors, I love the idea that they– they were prepared to be un-cynical in the film, you know and just sort of respond directly to each other and that a gallantry, a courtship….the desire to woo, to serve, to listen were things that he felt could be played very positively and would be very, very attractive and that in a way there was a natural disposition in the world of the piece that we presented for him to, um, to love her.

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You know, and that he was, uh, able to do that and not see that as suddenly rendering him the love interest. Uh, he just– it was– it was a very powerful thing to be somebody listening, looking, and reacting, and trying to, um, with the screen time that he has, uh, and I think it’s very touching and wonderful chemistry between them. And I think he– he was somebody I felt could do this thing we needed to do of having a man who earned Cinderella’s respect and love.

Q : Was there talk about telling the story from a different perspective?

Kenneth : For me, I mean that’s what Chris Weitz’s screenplay had, and that’s what I liked. I remember saying to, uh, Ali Shearmur, our producer, at the, uh, at the beginning of the process, I said I think my big idea here is to try to get out of the way. The story’s been working for two and a half thousand years. There’s a– there’s a– there’s a reason why that’s happening. And– and my experience has– has been to try and let, uh, the work of great storytellers do as much work as possible and then try and amend and adjust as best you see fit from– from– from your own perspective.

In my experience, for instance, in Shakespeare and I’ve– I’ve done it a number of times where you take a strong conceptual idea and you might move the story completely. You might make it very modern. I did a version of, uh, a play called Love’s Labour’s Lost as a kind of Hollywood musical. So it shifted it by, you know, 300– 350 years and to some extent did tell it from a different kind of viewpoint. And I think a lot of people– they may not– just liked the film, but for a lot of people the actual idea itself was confusing. It got in the way and felt reductive. It may have been just specific to that.

But I have found– I certainly, you know, I know that they in developing this they thought about whether she could be, you know, in modern, wherever it might be, Brooklyn or whatever the– and– and in– indeed there’s tons of evidence of modern Cinderella stories, you know, where gender is changed or time is changed. But, um, I feel as though you get a chance to, uh, consider, provoke, and think differently if it’s through a classical perspective.

It’s in a way in the…. it’s the same– to give a specific example, in doing it this way, in putting Cinderella and the prince on horseback, even Stevens, the same level, in a– in nature, in this ancient forest I think kind of cleans it up. So I get to see more of the two of them. I get a sense of the feeling in the scene in this sort of primal relationship there than I might do even if I came up with the most fantastic and brilliant, um, modern touches by having them meet in a restaurant or, you know, go on a bridge or on an airplane.

All of which would be entirely legit as well. You could have– because the story’s so flexible. It’s just that I– I’m not as drawn to that, myself. But I know– I’m sure as Disney and other people pursue the idea of ani– of a live action version of, uh, live action versions of fairytales that that’s an absolute, you know, open and regular invitation to see whether it can live that– that way. And– and the world the Cinderella story is as much part of our culture as the actual telling of the real tale.

Cinderella is in theaters March 13, that’s tomorrow people, make plans to go see it!!!

Interview With The Frozen Fever Creators Chris Buck & Jennifer Lee #FrozenFever #CinderellaEvent

Last week while I was at the Cinderella Event, before watching Cinderella the new Frozen short, Frozen Fever was played. Frozen Fever is a cute short including all the beloved characters from Frozen. It happens to be Anna’s birthday and Elsa wants it to be perfect but she has a cold and every time she sneezes snow creatures are created and havoc ensues. I took my kids to a screening just a few days ago and they LOVED it as will you. I also had a moment to sit down with the creators (who are also the creators of Frozen) and find out how they are doing and what inspired this adorable short.

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So it’s been a year. How are your lives now?

CHRIS BUCK : How are our lives now? Let’s see…

JENNIFER LEE : We thought they’d be less busy, but they’re not. So…

CHRIS BUCK : I still buy shirts at TJ Max. Hasn’t changed…

JENNIFER LEE : I still find myself going I have to buy another dress? So. So yeah. So nothing’s changed, really.

CHRIS BUCK : No. I mean, it…We, oh, since we first last talked, it’s been overwhelming, the year. We still get Youtube sent to us. I mean, I got one just yesterday…

JENNIFER LEE : Mm-hmm.

CHRIS BUCK : It’s actually very funny. Um, so I just, it’s, it’s been overwhelming. It really has. And I think the, you know

JENNIFER LEE : …still a surprise every day. It’s still…

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In the Frozen Fever short, Elsa sneezing is the cutest thing ever. How’d you come up with that idea? Or who came up with the idea of her sneezing and snowmen come out?

JENNIFER LEE : One of our story artists, he was one of the head story artists on Frozen Fever… I mean Frozen itself. And we were brainstorming all, whatever could be, you know. Blue sky. Anything. And, um, we kept….. It would be nice to focus on Elsa more, and… ‘Cause she’s the one that people wonder What’s she like now? I mean, we end the film. We had this tragic character. We end the film, she’s free, but we don’t know. And, but we’d love to play with her magic in a different way, and he just said what if she’s a cold, and the cold wreaks havoc. And we, we just went crazy. I mean, … It got ridiculous at some points.

CHRIS BUCK : …you know, she would have this … stuff, but then suddenly, like, spikes would show up…

JENNIFER LEE : Create something else. And a sneeze does this, and blowing your nose does that. Like, we had all of these crazy… Does she know? Does she not know? So there were …. You know, still hours of what do we do? What if? But it was the idea itself was so simple, and fun. We just…

CHRIS BUCK : And it gave us license to have fun with Else.

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During the interview we found that Chris and Jennifer are working on the Broadway Frozen musical and had a lot of input in the Frozen Fun feature at California Adventures. And they have no idea what’s next. They did discuss some of the inspiration in the location of Frozen.

 

CHRIS BUCK : …was… Mike was just going through, uh, books, and, uh, as many of the books he was going through, he’d seen a lot of, uh, internet stuff, too, but… And, and he was posting all these pages on Scandinavian, you know, beautiful scenery and architecture, and almost all the post-its were Norway.

So he said okay. Well, you know, we need our, our trip to Norway. Now we don’t say that it’s set in Norway. But, um…..It helps to have, um, something specific to kind of draw from. So it makes the world very believable. And their ideas in Norway, we’d never have come up with on our own, the, the stave church, which was very beautiful.

JENNIFER LEE : …real warmth and intimacy to the, to their, to the villages, and then when you get out to the vast Fjords, the contrast is great. And so it really, in the wood, it just lent itself to this beautiful extremes.

How much of it was really based on Hans Christian Anderson… Is it loosely based? Is it…

JENNIFER LEE : Yeah. I mean, we knew the Snow Queen is very, uh, was a compelling idea, but, you know, in the, in the, in the book she’s a… She’s evil, and you know nothing about her. She’s very one dimensional, and, and represents evil, and, and, uh, and in the original, uh, tonally, though, …..there’s a lot of similarity. And there’s a, the theme… We found the theme through the book. The theme and in the book it’s sort of, um, uh, love versus negativity. But we translated that in more extreme to literally to fear. So that was… That came from the book, and, and, um, and then it was just a lot more about, uh, sort of this, the setting, and, and things. But, but it’s a very different kind of a story, and, um, one that is beautiful in prose. But, you know. It’s, it’s not necessarily the most cinematic in terms of structure and, and things like that. So we wanted to have really three dimensional characters, and, and go deep into them. So we, we made it our own.

So from beginning to end, how long did it take to make the short?

JENNIFER LEE : Yeah. When did we…..June?

CHRIS BUCK : When we started the idea of Elsa getting a cold and all that. Just…So pretty much June through…

JENNIFER LEE : Through two weeks ago.…apparently. We’ve been called out for saying it’s a few months later. It’s 11 months….. Okay. It’s 11 months later. I’ll just say it. I mean. We’re animators. We…

CHRIS BUCK : Production-wise, like when we started animation or layout, it was probably August, wasn’t it?

JENNIFER LEE : …most of the, the writing and, and working with the songwriters was June through the end of August. And then…

In Frozen Fever Elsa sings “A Cold Never bothered me anyway” …what was the inspiration for that?

CHRIS BUCK : They did that. It was great. I think….Correct me if I’m wrong, but I know that a lot of kids, when they sang Let it Go, they sang that. They sang…

JENNIFER LEE : They sang a cold…

CHRIS BUCK : A cold never bothers me anyway…So they sort of… I think it might have been riffed… riffed off of that. And they …. You know, kids sing it so, like, that is the lyric. ‘Cause it’s like a cold, and their lives is so debilitating, and so big that it’s, like, that’s not gonna bother me. I’m gonna get through this! So, it’s so cute when they do it. And I think of it as a little bit of a nod to that, too.

 

You can only see Frozen Fever before the movie Cinderella in theaters March 13th.

Love It Burns

Guest Post: Love, it burns

Husband and wife need to talk. Late in the evening when the children have been settled the conversation happens suddenly in the bathroom as two days washing is loaded into the machine. The husband comes in and helps the wife thoughtfully, even though he too has had a hard day he understands that his wife works hard too, raising his sons and daughters. This is a team effort, this family he tells her and wraps a hand around her from behind and kisses the back of her neck. As the husband does this he realizes its been years since he pulled such a move and is surprised when his lovely wife grips his hand, hers is cold, and turns to face him, still holding his surprised hand and squeezing it a little too tight. We need to talk.

So the drama unfolds just there in the laundry, the dirty clothes lying at their feet while she says it isn’t working, she wants out. She invokes the bushfire metaphor. It is time to leave now before the burning front sweeps through and leaves them smoldering ash, another statistic in the wake of love’s destruction, too stupid to leave when they had the chance. Don’t let us become another example of people too blind to get out of their own way, who let ignorance and pride bring them down.

No the husband says. Not so fast. Look what we have here, don’t you remember the way we used to be? It can be like that again. And the children, they are beautiful and we have a responsibility to them. At least to try. To try to fight, stay and fight, the husband says. Ok, so we have fallen into rough patch, but that’s natural, there is tinder here for a fire to burn, he admits, but only if we let it. Only if we ignore the first signs. Only if we let the sparks go unchecked, but now we’ve admitted there’s a problem we can get the buckets of water and the hoses and we can put the small fire out before it burns us down.

The husband is persuasive, and he does have valid reasons the wife thinks, maybe she was too quick to jump ship. It’s not as bad as it seems. So the couple continue, move on with their lives and put out small fires as they arise, stamp on the sparks that come flying over the fence into the back yard, all the while fatigue grows, because the battle for love is long and arduous, takes resilience and composure. But fixing the tiny problems is distracting. Their eyes looking down for small fires while the sky above fills with dangerous black smoke so when the real fire finally arrives they are still there, they haven’t run and they don’t have the energy left to fight.

Does this sound like you or someone you know? Foolishly pushing forward with a marriage that should’ve ended long ago? Staying together for the kids is one of the most powerful reasons that people stay in toxic relationships. But the reality is that it can often be worse for them to grow up in a household where the love between parents has faded. It can often be better for all involved for the parents to live separately. To chose the lesser evil, as it were. So if this sounds like it might be you then you should consider looking into getting some help from professionals like those at many of the firms who deal with Family Law in Sydney .

Cate Blanchett The Evil Step Mom Cinderella Interview #CinderellaEvent

I knew I was going to be interviewing Cate Blanchett but I never really thought about who she was going into the interview. I knew she was the wicked step mother of Cinderella in the new full feature live action Disney film but that’s all the thought I really put into it and then I saw her. When she walked into the interview room I felt like, wow, this is classic Hollywood. She is pure grace and elegance. Then it hit me who she was, she’s to me a living legend. She’s been in Lord of the Rings and she played Elizabeth. She has the talent to play such strong characters and she brought that talent to Cinderella. Here are just a few snippets of the interview with her.

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Q : So did you go after this role, or…

CB : Yes, like a rabid dog, [LAUGHS], and I didn’t get the Cinderella role, [AUDIENCE LAUGHS], though I had so many friends who- they asked me what I was doing in the summer, and I said, oh, I’m, I’m, um, in a live-action version of Cinderella, and there was a big kind of awkward pause. And they didn’t quite know how to ask me, [LAUGHS], are you a little old to be playing Cinderella? Yeah. A bit Bette Davis, so yes. No, I, well, no, it sort of landed in my lap, actually.

I was very lucky, and when I, um, Sandy Powell and Dante, uh, Ferretti were on board, and they’re, you know, two of the greats, uh, you know, uh, that they’ve created such extraordinary visuals, um, in modern cinema. And, uh, and, and then Kenneth Branagh came on board who’s so fantastic with actors and with language, so it was kind of a perfect, a perfect storm.

Q : What’s your favorite scene?

 

CB : Ooh, well, I think the chemistry between Lily and Richard is palpable, and I wept like a baby, completely inappropriately and out of character when they waltzed for the first time. The, the music is beautiful, but also it was a real- it was really big feat because Lily was cinched in so tightly, and that dress was like an armored tank, and he was in seven hundred layers of wool, and the dance was really athletic, and they acted like a dream. And the chemistry was, um, palpable, and I just, I wept because it was beautiful to watch.

 

Um, but I think maybe being the, the mother of, uh, sons, I found it very, very moving, and every time I see it, I do- I’m a bit of a- I do cry a lot, [LAUGHS]. Um, but I, uh, I love the scene between, um, Derek Jacobi as the king, and Richard Madden as the prince. You know, because that’s the wonderful thing about the film, I think is that, you know, we try and shield our, our children from moments of grief and, um, and I know it from, uh, having lost a parent at the age of, of ten.image

Children are resilient, and they can, in a way, it’s harder, I think, to lose a parent, you know, the age the way that we are. Well, I mean, I’m might be a thousand years older than you all, but, um, and I, and, and I found that really moving.

I thought, um, for him as a, as a man to be curled up like a young boy, you know, and I’ve had a lot of friends recently lose a parent, and whether you’re eighty or eight and you lose a parent, you- you’re always the child, and so I find that move- that scene very moving.

Q : How much fun was it to play a Disney villain?

CB : There’s a lot of great Disney villains, and a lot of them are women and, um, and they always have, um, fabulous frocks and fabulous hairdos, um, uh, and so it was an enormous amount of fun. You know, the, the wonderful message in the film, of course, um, is to have courage and to be kind. You know, kindness is a super power, and we try to teach our children, you know, you share, you be respectful, you be generous, you be thoughtful, put yourself in someone else’s shoes, and to play someone who can’t play someone who can’t do any of those things, um, you know, to have that as your avatar during the day was quite fun.

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Q : There was a scene where, uh, Lily asks you, as Cinderella, why are you doing this, and you say you’re- because you’re young, and I think you’re good, and I forget what the third one was.

CB : You’re young and beautiful, and, and I’m…

Q : Yeah, what is- is that saying that an older woman is gonna be, you know, so mean, and evil, and jealous to a younger, beautiful woman, and having to work that into your character? Did you find something else that you could- some humanity in her that you could use?

CB : Well, there’s that wonderful before that moment, you, you finally get to hear the stepmother’s story, and you know, it’s, it’s not the stepmother’s story. It’s, it’s the story of Cinderella. Um, and so the stepmother is foiled for her, narratively, and they’ve both suffered an incredible amount of hardship and tragedy, and this is a world still like today’s world where a lot of women don’t have agency; don’t have financial independence, and she made a decision really early on that the world is a tough place, and the way, the way to navigate your way through that is to graft yourself onto a, a man, and that’s, and that’s what she’s imparting to her, her children.

And the way that the stepmother has dealt with grief and hardship is to close down and to become bitter and jealous, um, you know, and there’s a sense of entitlement. And Cinderella’s experienced those things, but she’s remained open-hearted and good. She’s much more glass half full. And I think that whether you’re a man or a woman, you know, it, that, that tragedy does define- can define your character. So, I mean, hopefully, you’re not, you’re not, um, you don’t, you don’t necessarily like what the stepmother does, but hopefully you understand her.

And I don’t necessarily think it’s just about older women. There’s a lot of different female characters in there. There’s Cinderella’s mother, there’s the, the daughters, you know, there’s the people at the court and, and then there’s the stepmother, as well. But I think, I think there can be like professional jealousy, um, between men. You know, the same thing can exist between, between them, and this, I think it’s interesting to see them onscreen.

Q : How did you prepare for your role? You’re so evil. I love it. [AUDIENCE LAUGHS]

 

CB : Thank you. Um, often on film, we don’t get a lot of rehearsal time. We got a little bit of wi- with Ken on the, on the, on the script. Um, but, you know, actors come in at various different times, and so for me, the, the most creative two parts of the process early on are your costume fittings and, um, and so working with Sandy who I’ve worked with before, but also, Morag Ross who is doing my, um, makeup, and Kay Georgia who is doing my hair, and the four of us had, um, have, have worked together quite a lot.

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And it’s- we get to try things out because before you even utter a syllable, um, what you wear- I mean, we do it, we do this on a daily basis. You, we form unconscious judgments of people, um, you know, the way they smell, [LAUGHS], by the way- what they choose to wear; how you choose to present yourself, you know, it’s a big part of who we are, and particularly on film because it’s so visual, obviously. Um, you, once I knew what those silhouettes were, I knew which bits I didn’t have to act because the costume was, was re- revealing those things.

You could- you could play against it. Um, so that was an incredible amount of fun and, um, and then obviously, it gives you a sense of how the character might move, and you try those things out because the camera’s not rolling- no one’s looking at you, and the other thing I find very creative is the camera tests. Because obviously the cinematographer and the director, uh, um, are looking for lighting effects and, you know, how will it affect on your skin or the hair- with wig color. They’re not looking at you, and I always like to see the camera tests because you can try, try things out.

You can fuck things up, and think, oh, [AUDIENCE LAUGHS], I won’t, I won’t do that. Um, so that was a big part of the preparation.

Q : Hi. Um, I wanted to ask you, um, did you have any input on what you wore, and what was your favorite look of what you wore?

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CB : Oh, gosh, yes, it’s been a Sophie’s Choice moment isn’t it? Um, yes, I mean, Sandy’s got very, very strong ideas. I mean, that’s what makes her Sandy Powell. Um, but we talked really early on. We started emailing, um, each other pictures that we found inspiring, you know, lighting references, hat references, drapes, fabrics, um, and we sort of- we found this pool of images that we were both drawn to and, um, and the, the big offers that Sandy began to, to make, which I found really exciting is when she pulled out the color swatches.

 

Okay, we’re going for chartreuse, we’re going for green, we’re going for hot pink, and we’re gonna mix them all together. Um, and so there’s a, um, yeah, that was an enormous offer- that you, you take those offers from, from Sandy.

Q : And your favorites?

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CB : My favorite, well, uh, there was a lot of green- my school uniform was green, so I tend not to wear a lot of green in everyday life, and I call that, that dress that I wore at the, um, the ball, the gherkin, you know, that was my least favorite, but everyone seems to like that one.

Um, I like the blue one. There’s a scene where the stepmother goes to see the archduke, and yeah, the poppy gloves and, um, uh, and a blue hat. It was sort of, I think for memory, it had a bird on it. I mean, the detail in Sandy’s costumes are just extraordinary.

Q : There was a notably difficult scene for you that was really hard to shoot?

CB : Um, well, it was all this, you know, obviously, I’m not in the film all the time, so you have- I wanted to sort of try and chart a journey that was, um, you know, from an, an exquisite exterior- the, um, you know, with a sort of affected grace that the stepmother became increasingly brash. And so it was just trying to calibrate- calibrate that. Um, you know, the, the, the costumes were- some were slightly more difficult to maneuver. Um…

Q : You just spoke about, um, trying things out on the camera test. How much input did you have- the script or anything?

CB : A lot. I mean, I think there’s a sense, um, that actors are sort of puppets that get moved around, um, but no, I’m, uh, no, I’m always interested in input. I, my husband’s a writer, you know, and I come from the theater, so I have a great respect for the script, and oftentimes, you know, the line that you want to change is the line that you need to make work, and that once you make that line work, then you’ve actually- you’ve shifted from yourself, the line you find hardest to say.

It’s actually- so without getting too kind of complex, it’s quite a difficult neurolinguisic process to actually make someone else’s words sound like they’re your own. And so the one I find that you may find most difficult to make your own is often the one that will unlock the character. Um, but it was really important to me, and it wasn’t the case when I first read the script that, um, that Cinderella had the final line of the film. And, uh, I said to Ken, so it’s a really great message. She comes in and says, well, I’m not gonna be rescued.

If this relationship is gonna work, he has to accept me for who I am, which I think is wonderful for young girls to say. I think it’s fantastic. And then there was a line at the end where he said, shall we go, and she didn’t say anything. And I thought, it’s not his story- it’s her story. And so then they- we added in this sense of forgiveness. I forgive you, and I, I feel, I feel like that’s a wonderful kind of conclusion to her, to her, her super power. Ella has an incredibly generous spirit and, um, and, and she also closes out the film which I think is great.

 

Cinderella is in theaters March 13th.

Highlights with L’Oreal Paris Glam Lights

I love having blond hair but as I get older my hair is getting darker. I color my hair often but haven’t done it for about six months or it might actually be closer to almost a year. It’s really expensive to do it professionally so I use a box every now and then. I was approached by SheSpeaks to use L’Oreal Paris Glam Lights and I thought that would be fun sure I’ll go for it. I have blond hair so I used the Review Glam Lights GL90 Light Blond to Medium Blond and really liked the results. I did find that it got clumpy and it was hard to place the dye onto the brush because of the clumps but once I got it on my hair and let it sit and washed it out I love the end result. See the before and the after photos:

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Here’s more information about Review Glam Lights GL90 Light Blond to Medium Blond and how to properly place it on your hair.

About L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference Glam Lights
Now, you can achieve ultra-glamorous highlights with new Glam Lights. This look is all about illuminating your hair with beautifully blended highlights in just two easy steps. Simply fill the Expert Highlights Brush with product and brush it through your hair from root to tip. It’s that quick and easy!
How to Apply Glam Lights:
For full instructions, be sure to read the insert in your product package.

  • Step 1: Preparation – Start with dry, un-shampooed and detangled hair. Prepare the Glam Lights mixture according to instructions included in your product package. Before you color, make sure to do a lightening preview test as outlined in the package insert.
  • Step 2: Application – Load all three sections of the Expert Highlights brush with the bleach mixture. Starting ¼ inch from the roots, hold the brush in a vertical position and apply gently. Apply more pressure as you brush the lengths and ends to fully saturate. Reload the brush before each comb through. Leave product in for 25 to 45 minutes, depending on your desired lightness. Rinse thoroughly with warm water, then wash hair with the Luminous Conditioning Shampoo and follow with your own conditioner.

Golden Rules For Application:

  • Always hold the brush vertically so that the three prongs of the Expert Highlights Brush follow the natural direction of your hair. Changing position of the brush during application will result in blotchy and uneven highlights.
  • Make sure to load the brush with product before each stroke.
  • It is essential to apply lightly on roots and apply more pressure at the lengths and tips to fully saturate.

 

About L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference Glam Lights
Now, you can achieve ultra-glamorous highlights with new Glam Lights. This look is all about illuminating your hair with beautifully blended highlights in just two easy steps. Simply fill the Expert Highlights Brush with product and brush it through your hair from root to tip. It’s that quick and easy!
How to Apply Glam Lights:
For full instructions, be sure to read the insert in your product package.

  • Step 1: Preparation – Start with dry, un-shampooed and detangled hair. Prepare the Glam Lights mixture according to instructions included in your product package. Before you color, make sure to do a lightening preview test as outlined in the package insert.
  • Step 2: Application – Load all three sections of the Expert Highlights brush with the bleach mixture. Starting ¼ inch from the roots, hold the brush in a vertical position and apply gently. Apply more pressure as you brush the lengths and ends to fully saturate. Reload the brush before each comb through. Leave product in for 25 to 45 minutes, depending on your desired lightness. Rinse thoroughly with warm water, then wash hair with the Luminous Conditioning Shampoo and follow with your own conditioner.

Golden Rules For Application:

  • Always hold the brush vertically so that the three prongs of the Expert Highlights Brush follow the natural direction of your hair. Changing position of the brush during application will result in blotchy and uneven highlights.
  • Make sure to load the brush with product before each stroke.
  • It is essential to apply lightly on roots and apply more pressure at the lengths and tips to fully saturate.