I really wanted to take my family to see Maleficent this weekend but we were way too busy. We had classes that the kids take, and they had extra classes. Then on Sunday my husband and I took a fitness class and it kicked our butts. So we went home for a quiet dinner and haven’t seen the movie. So as soon as we have enough time, maybe on Friday night or the kids to get out of school early on Wednesday maybe I could go take them then. No, I can’t do that because we can’t leave out dad, this is a family affair you know!!! We all have to go see Maleficent together.
One of the best characters in the movie is Diaval. He looks completely evil and well maybe that’s what happens when you turn a raven into a human. Maleficent saved his life when she turned him into a human, which shows you she’s not completely evil. She does however, turn him back into a raven whenever he gives her advice she doesn’t want to hear. And as they are together for 16 years, he finally get a backbone and says I don’t care what you turn me into, you needed to hear it. He’s good, he’s so good, for a moment I thought he would be the one……(I PROMISED no spoilers)
We had the opportunity to interview him as part of the Maleficent Press Junket. Here is the interview with Diaval, the conscience of Maleficent played by Sam Riley.
Q: What was it like to work on a new but yet old fable?
SR: Oh it was, it was really exciting. Most of my films are sort of independent-type cinema that not many people go and watch usually. The script was really great. I loved it and the lady who wrote it had written the Lion King as well and lots of other big, lovely Disney movies. They do a lot of remakes and rehashes of things these days, but, I thought the way they did this was really interesting. I mean, what would make a woman or a sorceress curse a little baby? It’s like one of the worst things you could possibly do. Before, everything (was) so black and white and these days, I mean, ladies are still waiting for a prince sometimes but to just lie there asleep it’s not really the modern way is it. The fact that Angelina, obviously, was going to play Maleficent was very exciting.
Q: Was there research you had to do to figure out how to get into your character? Or did you have creative license because it wasn’t something that you knew?
SR: Well I watched the old cartoon and things but it doesn’t really do very much in that. The raven always looks half asleep or something. They organized it so that they could bring in a real raven into a room about this big. I’d never seen a real raven before. I thought they were like crows but it’s like this big and it could do tricks and stuff, which is pretty scary.
When it gets its wings out it’s as long as the table or something. You know, really huge. They’re very intelligent and they’re kind of vain as well which I thought was funny. I just watched this raven in a room for awhile, just to see if anything would, like, rub off on me and, that I could steal something from it while I’m the man part of the thing. There was a really nice lady who helped me doing a movement coach. we, like, tried to copy bits of his movements. By the end of the session I was actually running around the room flapping my wings. It was horrific, yeah. She was, like, “We should film this.” So I was, like, “Under no circumstances do I ever want to see myself running around a room on YouTube going [SQUAWK].” It was awful, but it helps. ‘Cause when you do something really stupid and embarrassing at the beginning, then, you know, like when she turns me from a bird into a man at the beginning …… it makes you more relaxed, you know. I should have done it before coming in here actually.
Q: How much hair and makeup did you have to go through every day?
SR: Um, it’s about three and half, four hours something? I couldn’t really complain ’cause there were other people that had been in there since three o’clock in the morning,’Cause they have to wake them up that early so that they’re ready to work at nine, you know? SO the ladies and guys that were putting all this stuff on, they really work some of the hardest ’cause they have to be there at that time and then the whole day they have to make sure things aren’t falling off.
I’m a really good sleeper. I used to be anyway. I’ve just had a baby((Whole room says “Awwwww”) Thank you very much. After a couple of weeks I managed to be able to lie down in the chair and while people were, like, gluing things to my face I could actually sleep through it which is pretty impressive. Until one morning they turned the seat back up and realized they stuck my nose on the wrong way, it was sticking up. So they wouldn’t let me do it anymore after that.
Q: What’s your most memorable scene?
SR: Um, the first one really ’cause I was really nervous. I met Angelina before, obviously, we rehearsed and things like that, but I’d never seen her in the full costume. They drive you from your little trailer whatever on a golf buggy which was pretty — they don’t usually do that on indy films anyway. They had this amazing set there and she was already stood there so I was worried that I’d been keeping her waiting or something which wasn’t a good start…
…she had her back to me and, you know, with all, the way it was all lit amazingly or something and then when she turned around it was like… It’s weird because it looked, you know it’s not real, you know, the cheekbones and everything and the contact lenses. But when you look at her in all that stuff it kind of, it looks — natural is maybe not the right word but it fits, you know. You don’t think it looks fake or something. In fact I only really saw her in costume for like the first four weeks of the shooting. So she, it was strange to see her in her normal clothes afterwards. You got so, you got so used to seeing Maleficent every morning…
Can you tell us about your audition?
SR : Um, yeah. It was pretty classic, really, which is more or less they send you the scenes, you know, they email you them and then you learn them at home if you’re a good boy then you… I flew to London and met Rob and the casting director. And then you do the scene and the lady plays Angelina or whatever. I had a feeling… but you never really know, you know. Sometimes you think you’ve done it well and then you never, it’s still don’t call us, we’ll call you type of thing.
Um, and I didn’t hear anything for quite a long time so I just thought — and my agent who is really nice said, "Yeah, but you’re not really Disney material, are you?" So I was like… But he’s got a great sense of humor. Um, yeah. I sacked him. So, uh, and then about three weeks later my American agent rang, which is always at night in Europe, and, um, he said, "What are you doing?"
I said, "Oh, I’m in a pub." And he said, "Well, buy yourself another drink because, Angelina saw the tape and you’re Birdman." So exciting.