Disney provided us with hotel and transportation to LA to attend the Christopher Robin Press Junket. While we were there we interviewed Ewan McGregor and Jim Cummings and today we are sharing with you our interview with Hayley Atwell who you may know as Agent Carter. We hope we see Agent Carter again in the future and we were going to ask her about it but we didn’t get the chance. Hayley had so much to say about Christopher Robin and her experience there.
Hayley found Christopher Robin the movie to be a wonderful antidote without being too sentimental. She said that it’s as profound as the books were and that it was sweet and endearing.
“the profound simplicity of it just made me feel that this is kind of already a wonderful film to be telling now, you know. it’s just something that’s very refreshing. It’s basically saying you’re enough and I just wanna hang out with you as you are, you know, anyway. I’m a big fan of it.”
Hayley found out about Christopher Robin the movie while she was on holiday in Greece. Mark Foster, the director wanted to skype with her and told her his idea about Christopher Robin being an adult….
But wouldn’t it be interesting to explore the idea of what happens when Christopher Robin grew up and have that being the access point for adults who would identify with being an adult now and being I think, being burdened and lost a little bit by the pressures of everyday life and being on a bit of a hamster wheel and not realizing that your ambitions are kind of getting the better of you and so we talked a little bit about that. And then he talked about wanting to create the relationship between Evelyn and Christopher as one where it began with genuine love and joy and he said at the beginning that you know that what is at stake for him to lose and you kind of route for them.
So we wanted any scenes or any moments with Evelyn for her to be someone who had compassion to know that this man who’s come back from war, who’s struggling to provide for his family, whose heart’s in the right place he’s struggling within himself rather than anything that she could probably criticize him for and she’s taking on the pain of what’s happening on the child as well. So rather than in any way seeming kind of unsympathetic or moaning or whining or anything like that, just someone who she’s taking care of her own feelings and experiences in this, feeling lost and left behind by her husband but knowing that he’s in a lot of pain as well. So we speak a little bit about that really and then I got back on the boat, just about find my way back.
Hayley did an amazing job playing Evelyn. She was strong and supportive and a very loving mother. She did whatever she had to do to help her child be happy. Hayley told us that she had a very strong mother herself. She also mentioned her aunt Roundy who actually was at the press junket with her. She described her character as being complex. Evelyn isn’t passive and she doesn’t just allow things to happen. Hayley said that Evelyn is aware of the complexities of Christopher’s situation and that she is heartbroken over the effects it’s having on her daughter. She takes that burden and encourages her daughter to love her father and not turn against him.
Hayley said she doesn’t have children but she’s seen parents and people in her life as they are with their children. It’s a tricky thing to navigate, and help children navigate these relationships and that people are going to identify with Christopher Robin. I mean, I agree with her being a “stay at home” parent while also working from home. I feel like I’m constantly telling my children that I’m working I’ll play with them later and later never comes.
We know that Hayley likes to play pranks on people, she done it on other projects that she has worked on. So we asked her about any pranks she may have played on Christopher Robin. This was her response:
“Well, I think well it wasn’t so much of a prank. There was a moment where Mark Foster was saying in a small picnic scene and I knew a lot of the dialogue wouldn’t be used. I knew the scene was more of an establishing shots and he said, you know, talk to the animals. I said well I’m not gonna really give him much back. I don’t know how to improvise with stuffed animals but I ended up kind of going on a bit of a rampage talking to Kanga and going Kanga, I just wanna say like kudos for you for being a single parent here. I was like you’ve done a great job with Roo and I was also going like where is Roo’s dad in all of this actually and Mark going I don’t think that’s gonna make it in. It’s an interesting spin.
I remember kind of offering Owl a sandwich and then the voice saying oh, no thank you I’m free and I go oh, you’re gluten free. That probably wasn’t a concept in the 1940s that people knew about. So and then we, you know, had an ongoing gags that, you know, Piglet was the diva who never came out of the trailer and was addicted to hay corns and was a nervous wreck and also kind of and also the fact that I thought in my ignorance a very valid conversation which is how does Piglet identify. Like I’m interested to know like how does he, she identify. I don’t know.
How does Piglet identify. So we just kind of humanized them I think and it was fun watching so we’d film with the stuffed bears who looked very similar to the final animated ones that you see and then for the visual effects department we had to do a scene again without the stuffed bears but instead for visual effects they needed the headless, hairless versions that were grey and so you do a scene like oh, lovely. And then all of a sudden this kind of thing would be in front of you and suddenly I’m doing a Guillermo Del Toro horror version of the film and then the next pass it would be without limbs as well and then one was a rod with a light on it and then eventually it was just absolutely nothing there so it was the deconstruction of Pooh throughout the takes which we found very amusing and slightly creepy.”
Christopher Robin is now in theaters and remarkably takes you back to being a child and reminds you that life needs to be enjoyed from time to time.
was no way. But, you know, I’d be sitting around, oh I believe I will buy Park Place. You know, playing, ‘okay, Winnie the Pooh, you can buy Park Place.’ You know, playing Monopoly or something like that.
I really enjoyed listing to Jim Cummings talk about his life and his job. He’s just such a cool guy with such creativity that comes through his animated personality.