Disclosure: Disney is providing me with an all expense paid trip to LA to the #IntoTheWoodsEvent and #ABCFamilyEvent featured in this post to facilitate my review. All opinions are 100% mine and not influenced in any way.
I got the chance to sit down with the Academy Award winning director Rob Marshall and the Broadway Star Anna Kendrick on Into The Woods for an interview last Friday. To be able to speak with the actual director and Broadway Musical star was an amazing opportunity. There were so many questions to be asked and valuable information to be told. Read about the interview below.
Rob Marshall’s Take on Anna’s Surprise Talent
Rob Marshall talks about her amazing Broadway voice and how she brought that talent with her to the set. Everyone looked up to Anna because of her amazing musical talent. But the thing that surprised Rob the most was her wide range as an actress. She was able to open up and show such depth and vulnerability and agility and complexity.
As Rob is saying this about Anna she starts to blush and says, “I’m so embarrassed. I should leave the room.” Then, you hear a chuckle from Rob and Anna.
Rob Marshall calling the Cast as a Company
Rob mentioned that the entire cast of Into the Woods is a considered a company because they all work together. Rob says, “I not only cast them for the talent and for playing the roles but I also cast them for who they are, people I like and people who are wonderful to work with who are there for the right reasons.”
He felt that this cast was there supporting each other. Even if it was the actor’s first time trying something, they would all work together and harder thru rehearsals.
Anna Kendrick agreed with Rob and said, “It was an equalizer ‘cause we were all terrified and there’s nothing like terror. That would be a feeling of a food chain and to be just in it doing the work, especially when we were all so intimidated by the music. It just made you realize we’re all in the same boat here.”
Anna Kendrick on Playing the Modern Cinderella
In the movie Into the Woods Anna plays the more modern Cinderella. She is not wearing the typical big fluffy beautiful ball gown, it is actually a more modern gown. This is more of a real life person than just a fairy tale we all dream of.
Anna agrees this was a fun role to play because she’s talking herself into things and out of things. “I think that by the end of it for her to really realize what’s important once she is in a situation where an entire community has to come together and decided what’s really important to them then it becomes pretty easy to say goodbye to this guy (Chris Pine, The Prince) who’s sort of a tool.”, says Anna.
Biggest Challenge on Directing and Acting
Rob talks about doing a musical movie is like doing 2 films at once. “Film does not lie as there is a theatricality sometimes on stage that you can kind of push and put across but you have — the camera’s so close and it’s taking in so much there’s an honesty to the work that has to be there.”, says Rob. He goes on mentioning that most of it is live and prerecorded and how Anna did most of her stuff live.
“And the microphone doesn’t lie either.”, Anna says. Even if the piece is prerecorded you can still hear everything on that microphone. Anna was amazed at how many times she would hear a playback of her recording and each one would be different.
Someone asked Rob Marshall if he enhanced his performances and he looked confused. He said that he doesn’t even know how to do that. And in my opinion why would he have to with an amazing cast of Into the Woods. He says, “That is the joy of each character as they are not all perfect.” I have to agree with Rob and that is why this movie is so great.
Musicals in the Future
As you may know that Anna will be in the new “Pitch Perfect’ movie coming out soon. She talks about doing movie musicals because they are making them. “It is in her blood.”, says Rob. Anna will continue making them as long as they are around as it is a beautiful way to express yourself.
Anna mentions that she would love to see her favorite musical “Parade” turn into a movie but is very sad that she is no longer 13 and can’t play the part of Iola Stover.
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