The BFG Movie Review #TheBFGEvent

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG is now playing in theaters everywhere and if you haven’t purchased tickets for your family I suggest you should for the holiday weekend.  During #TheBFGEvent we had the opportunity to see the movie twice, and I can’t wait to see it again with my kids.  The movie was entertaining and lots of fun to watch.

the bfg

About The BFG

The BFG (Mark Rylance), while a giant himself, is a Big Friendly Giant and nothing like theother inhabitants of Giant Country. Standing 24-feet tall with enormous ears and a keen sense of smell, he is endearingly dim-witted and keeps to himself for the most part. Giants like Bloodbottler (Bill Hader) and Fleshlumpeater (Jemaine Clement) on the other hand, are twice as big and at least twice as scary and have been known to eat humans, while theBFG prefers Snozzcumber and Frobscottle.

Upon her arrival in Giant Country, Sophie, a precocious 10-year-old girl from London, is initially frightened of the mysterious giant who has brought her to his cave, but soon comes to realize that the BFG is actually quite gentle and charming, and, having never met a giant before, has many questions. The BFG brings Sophie to Dream Country where he collects dreams and sends them to children, teaching her all about the magic and mystery of dreams.

Disney's THE BFG is the imaginative story of a young girl named Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) and the Big Friendly Giant (Oscar (TM) winner Mark Rylance) who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country.  Directed by Steven Spielberg, the film is based on the beloved book by Roald Dahl.
Disney’s THE BFG is the imaginative story of a young girl named Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) and the Big Friendly Giant (Oscar (TM) winner Mark Rylance) who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the film is based on the beloved book by Roald Dahl.

If you’ve read the book by Roald Dahl, then you know pretty much just about everything that happens in the movie.  The script developed by Melissa Mathison didn’t stray that far from the book.  I will say however if you didn’t read the book you can enjoy the movie just as much as someone who did read the book.  I really loved how Steven Spielberg brought to life the characters and the scenery in the movie.  When they enter Dream Country I was blown away by his interpretation of the dreams The BFG would catch.

It was amazing to see this scene in the movies.  We saw both screenings in 3-D but you can see it regular and not miss out on any of the graphics really.

Disney's THE BFG is the imaginative story of a young girl named Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) and the Big Friendly Giant (Oscar (R) winner Mark Rylance) who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country.  Directed by Steven Spielberg based on Roald Dahl's beloved classic, the film opens in theaters nationwide on July 1.
Disney’s THE BFG is the imaginative story of a young girl named Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) and the Big Friendly Giant (Oscar (R) winner Mark Rylance) who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country. Directed by Steven Spielberg based on Roald Dahl’s beloved classic, the film opens in theaters nationwide on July 1.

Another thing I really liked about the movie was watching Sophie and The BFG’s relationship grow throughout the movie.  When he first grabs her from the orphanage, she was scared and looking to escape his cave.  Over time she grew close to the giant, not wanting to leave him in the end.

(Left to right) Gizzardgulper, Childchewer, Maidmasher, Bloodbottler, Manhugger, Fleshlumpeater, Meatdripper, Butcher Boy, and Bonecruncher surround the BFG in Disney's THE BFG,  the imaginative story of a young girl named Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) and the Big Friendly Giant (Oscar (R) winner Mark Rylance) who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country.  Directed by Steven Spielberg based on Roald Dahl's beloved classic, the film opens in theaters nationwide on July 1.
(Left to right) Gizzardgulper, Childchewer, Maidmasher, Bloodbottler, Manhugger, Fleshlumpeater, Meatdripper, Butcher Boy, and Bonecruncher surround the BFG in Disney’s THE BFG, the imaginative story of a young girl named Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) and the Big Friendly Giant (Oscar (R) winner Mark Rylance) who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country. Directed by Steven Spielberg based on Roald Dahl’s beloved classic, the film opens in theaters nationwide on July 1.

The giants are scary but they bring a lot of humor to the movie.  Younger kids may be a little scared of them at first but as the movie goes on they’ll start to enjoy the comedy they bring to the screen.  Fleshlumpeater was my favorite giant and he was the one we saw the most throughout the movie.

One of the funniest scenes in the movie happens with The BFG visits with the Queen of England.  Parents just a friendly heads up, your kids may find a lot of humor in passing gas after seeing this movie.  LOL.

TheBFG56687cbb591d6

Newcomer Ruby Barnhill was absolutely adorable in this movie.  I can’t wait to see what else she does in the future.  She does a great job showing how to be brave and supportive of your friends.  She did a lot to help The BFG once she saw how the other giants treated him.

I loved the movie and I think it’s one the whole family can enjoy.  It’s about two hours long so it’s perfect for children about 8 and older.  There isn’t a lot of action in the movie, it has a moderate pace and the plot is very easy to follow.  Remember The BFG is now playing in theaters everywhere.

Spending Time in Giant Country: My BFG Red Carpet Experience #TheBFGEvent

A Legend and a Newcomer: Steven Spielberg and Ruby Barnhill BFG Interview #TheBFGEvent #TheBFG

Giants of The BFG – Mark Rylance and Jemaine Clement Interview #TheBFGEvent

Meet the Royals of The BFG: Penelope Wilton and Rebecca Hall Interview #TheBFGEvent

Meet the Royals of The BFG: Penelope Wilton and Rebecca Hall Interview

Last week I meet the Queen of England, well kind of, our group sat down with Penelope Wilton who plays the Queen in the BFG, and Rebecca Hall who plays Mary in the movie.  Lots of people in the group was excited about interviewing Penelope because of her role on Downtown Abbey.  I’ve never seen the show but I was still excited about meeting “The Queen”.

Disney's THE BFG is the imaginative story of a young girl named Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) and the Big Friendly Giant (Oscar (TM) winner Mark Rylance) who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country.  Penelope Wilton is the Queen and Rebecca Hall is Mary.   Directed by Steven Spielberg, the film is based on the beloved book by Roald Dahl.
Disney’s THE BFG is the imaginative story of a young girl named Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) and the Big Friendly Giant (Oscar (TM) winner Mark Rylance) who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country. Penelope Wilton is the Queen and Rebecca Hall is Mary. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the film is based on the beloved book by Roald Dahl.

The ladies were the last set of interviews we had that day, and they shared with us about their royal roles in the film, their special connection, and so much more.  Read their interview below.

Can you tell us how you both got connected to the project?

Penelope Wilton: Well I got a phone call and my agent got a phone call that said Steven Spielberg wants you to do this film, “The BFG,” and I said yes. If Steven Spielberg wants you to do a movie, you do it.  Wouldn’t you say?

Rebecca Hall: Yes, I would. I had exactly the same thing. I got a call saying it’s not a very big part but he has asked specifically for you to do it, so I’m like well, I’ll do it, of course I will. Also, BFG is a book that as a child I loved, so even before I’d read the script or knew what the part was, I was like yes, certainly I want to be a part of that, of course.

Penelope where you still filming Downtown Abbey when you received the call?

Penelope Wilton: Well, I hadn’t started the last series, so they were very accommodating and they said, because I was going to be in the middle of the shoot, so because Julian hadn’t written it all, he sort of worked around me a bit, for just over a month and then that was fine.

Disney's THE BFG is the imaginative story of a young girl named Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) and the Big Friendly Giant (Oscar (TM) winner Mark Rylance) who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country.  Penelope Wilton is the Queen And Rafe Spall is Mr. Tibbs.   Directed by Steven Spielberg, the film is based on the beloved book by Roald Dahl.
Disney’s THE BFG: Penelope Wilton is the Queen And Rafe Spall is Mr. Tibbs. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the film is based on the beloved book by Roald Dahl.

What was it like going from one character to the other Penelope?

Penelope Wilton: Yes, it was, when I was playing the Queen and then, you know, it was all very, very upper class.

Did you let everyone know on Downtown Abbey know, I’m the Queen now?

Penelope Wilton: No, I didn’t. They weren’t too interested. In fact, they were rather envious.  There was silence around the thing when I came back.  She’s just been making a film. Who with? Oh yes.

What was it like becoming a Dame Penelope?

Penelope Wilton: Well it’s rather surreal actually, to be quite honest with you, being a dame; also when they asked me to do it about seven weeks ago, and they write to you and they sent it to the wrong address. So, then another one went out to my agent and it said priority because obviously the hadn’t heard. And they asked you if the Prime Minister puts your name forward to the Queen, would you accept it? So, I said I would. And then they said you must not tell anybody until it’s released which was six weeks after. And then there was a total silence and of course then I thought I dreamed that. I made that up. I just had a dream.

Then it came out in the papers and it did actually say my name so then I thought oh thank God. I hadn’t told anyone but my daughter. I told my daughter and my sisters. They would have been a bit disappointed as indeed I would have been.

BIG VALLEY

What was it like working with Ruby?

Penelope Wilton: Oh she’s a darling. Well, we both loved working with her and Rebecca will tell you, she’s got the most wonderful sense of humor and she’s a lovely girl. She also takes direction very well, doesn’t she? And she concentrates and when you’re young, and repetition is really boring. I mean, you do it twice and then why would you ever want to do it again? And she sort of managed it, didn’t she?

Rebecca Hall: Yeah, no she was, she was a consummate professional, but I also remember it was all of that sort of stuff, the acting, the repetition and what, she was brilliant, but she was also brilliant at just being a person on the set, like I remember her knowing everyone’s name, the crew and like coming in the morning and being like all right how are you doing, Jim, all right? You know, that sort of thing, I remember her being very professional.

Astonishing and she just really, really made me laugh all the time, she made me do all sorts things. She made me work out like, you know, dance routines and she gave me a nickname because of my purple dress. I was Purple Swan for some reason.  And she called Rafe something else. I can’t remember what it was.

Penelope Wilton: Queen?

Rebecca Hall: Queenie!

Disney's THE BFG is the imaginative story of a young girl named Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) and the Big Friendly Giant (Oscar (TM) winner Mark Rylance) who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country.  Directed by Steven Spielberg, the film is based on the beloved book by Roald Dahl.
Disney’s THE BFG – Scene of The BFG and Ruby in Dream Country.  Directed by Steven Spielberg, the film is based on the beloved book by Roald Dahl.

Do you have a personal favorite scene from the movie?

Penelope Wilton: I like the dreams, because it’s written in the book that they catch the dreams but Steven made the dreams so beautiful and then the angry dreams, the red dreams, when they get caught in the bottle, when they go under the water, I loved that. I thought that was a lovely sequence but there were so many. I mean, I loved the giant.

Rebecca Hall: Actually, I’ve got to say, it’s when, when you have a problem with passing gas, is probably my favorite.

Penelope Wilton: And we had fun playing that scene because Rafe had to do his proper moment before we did ours, so we all gazed at him while he did his. The effect of how it would come in silence, then all right, Rafe, the camera is on you and then he had to do whiz popping, but you know, it’s a private moment that you don’t often see.

Disney's THE BFG is the imaginative story of a young girl named Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) and the Big Friendly Giant (Oscar (TM) winner Mark Rylance) who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country.  Penelope Wilton is the Queen.   Directed by Steven Spielberg, the film is based on the beloved book by Roald Dahl.
Disney’s THE BFG: Penelope Wilton is the Queen. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the film is based on the beloved book by Roald Dahl.

What are you hoping people learn from the movie?

Penelope Wilton: Well, I would on the very basic level, I want people to enjoy being taken to that world because it’s a wonderful story written by a great storyteller meeting another great storyteller and a visual storyteller, so if you get those two together, it’s a wonderful combination, but also it, like all these stories, it is people learning to understand themselves and learn that you have to just believe in yourself.

Rebecca and Penelope BFG (2)

For either of you, does the fact that you are playing a kind of childhood literary character change the way that you wanted to portray that character on screen? 

Rebecca Hall: I couldn’t, because actually Mary in the book is very much a maid. I mean, she’s drawn by Quentin Blake as in a maid’s outfit and like a full outfit, even a feather duster. So it’s a very different sort of character that Melissa Mathison and Steven sort of created and I think that it was conscious I think actually, to speak a little bit to your point, to create something of a potential mother figure for Sophie at the end and the sense that also that she’s more of a P.A., sort of a right-hand woman.  And that makes her a bit more authority I suppose. Yeah, so I couldn’t basically.

Penelope Wilton: Well I think that’s true. I think that you can’t always do exactly what’s written and it’s a disappointment to some people because they have made up their own minds as to how they see that person when they read the book. Children they do it in pictures in their head. I know I do but I thought the best way to play the Queen was to try and be the Queen, our Queen as best I could, because if I had made a fantasy Queen in a fantasy, they would have cancelled each other out.

Photo Credit: Coralie S of Lovebugs and Postcards
Photo Credit: Coralie S of Lovebugs and Postcards

What makes the film special for each of you?

Penelope Wilton: I’m lucky Steven Spielberg has done great things in my life, in my career actually and so that was special. Also, this is a wonderful story, wonderful to be part of something that, well I hope a lot, a whole generation of young children will remember like they did “E.T.” because it will be a stand up moment in the film so for all those reason and also I met and worked with Rebecca here so that was lovely, too.

Rebecca Hall: I think we probably met when I was a child.

Penelope Wilton: Yes because I worked with Rebecca’s father, Sir Peter Hall, when he ran the National Theater so um, so I remember when she was born.

Rebecca Hall: And I remember a figure who I’ve always admired and loved from a far so it was a real treat to get to work properly with you but yes, I think, I very much second what you said, for me personally it’s the combination of two such hugely influential people in my childhood, Roald Dahl and Steven Spielberg, as a child those were, the creative output of both those people really influenced me and I loved and so it was sort of amazing to have both of those together.

the BFG poster

The BFG” opens in U.S. theaters on July 1, 2016, the year that marks the 100th anniversary of Dahl’s birth.

About The BFG

The BFG (Mark Rylance), while a giant himself, is a Big Friendly Giant and nothing like theother inhabitants of Giant Country. Standing 24-feet tall with enormous ears and a keen sense of smell, he is endearingly dim-witted and keeps to himself for the most part. Giants like Bloodbottler (Bill Hader) and Fleshlumpeater (Jemaine Clement) on the other hand, are twice as big and at least twice as scary and have been known to eat humans, while theBFG prefers Snozzcumber and Frobscottle.

Upon her arrival in Giant Country, Sophie, a precocious 10-year-old girl from London, is initially frightened of the mysterious giant who has brought her to his cave, but soon comes to realize that the BFG is actually quite gentle and charming, and, having never met a giant before, has many questions. The BFG brings Sophie to Dream Country where he collects dreams and sends them to children, teaching her all about the magic and mystery of dreams.

Disclosure: I attended an all expenses paid press junket with Disney, any opinions expressed are my own.  Photos provided by Walt Disney Studios and Coralie S. of Lovebugs and Postcards.

 

Giants of The BFG – Mark Rylance and Jemaine Clement Interview #TheBFGEvent

Giants of The BFG Mark Rylance and Jemaine Clement Interview

Yesterday I shared our interview with Steven Spielberg and Ruby Barnhill about making the film The BFG.  Today I’m excited to share our conversation about with the Giants of The BFG – Mark Rylance and Jemaine Clement.  The Big Friendly Giant isn’t the only huge star in the film, there are nine other giants that make up the villains of the movie.

Mark Rylance - Photo Credit: Coralie S of Lovebugs and Postcards
Mark Rylance (The BFG) and Jemaine Clement (Fleshlumpeater). Photo Credit Coralie S of Lovebugs and Postcards

Mark Rylance gave a stunning performance of The Big Friendly Giant, his relationship with Sophie was pure gold to watch on screen.  I actually loved seeing the other giants on the screen as well.  Jemaine’s character Fleshlumpeater added a lot of humor to the movie.  We learned quite a few things from these guys about the making of The BFG.

Mark Rylance - Photo Credit: Coralie S of Lovebugs and Postcards
Mark Rylance – Photo Credit: Coralie S of Lovebugs and Postcards

Just like Steven did when he walked in the room for the interview, Mark immediately picked up the POP figure of The BFG on the desk.  He said he hadn’t seen it before and he wanted to have one for  his personal collection.  He even shared how he felt it would be a great toy for his dog.  After he played with the figure, Jemaine picked it up and started playing with it as well.

Disney's THE BFG is the imaginative story of a young girl named Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) and the Big Friendly Giant (Oscar (R) winner Mark Rylance) who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country.  Directed by Steven Spielberg based on Roald Dahl's beloved classic, the film opens in theaters nationwide on July 1.
Disney’s THE BFG is the imaginative story of a young girl named Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) and the Big Friendly Giant (Oscar (R) winner Mark Rylance) who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country. Directed by Steven Spielberg based on Roald Dahl’s beloved classic, the film opens in theaters nationwide on July 1.

Getting into character for the film isn’t easy, according to Rylance it took an hour and a half to prepare for filming each morning.  The process involved putting on glow in the dark marbles, battery packs, and painting on glow in the dark dots through a tight hockey mask.  He used that time to reflect on various things, including getting into the right head space for the character.  For Rylance becoming The BFG was like being a child again.

I thought the film was most CGI, however we learned it was done in motion capture, which according to Rylance and Clement, it like being on a huge playground every day.  There are no marks and cameras every where.  You just have to imagine it and speak the lines.

Mark Rylance - Photo Credit: Coralie S of Lovebugs and Postcards
Mark Rylance – Photo Credit: Coralie S of Lovebugs and Postcards

You’re probably wondering how hard it is to speak giant.  It seemed like Rylance and Clement had nailed the language in the film.

Mark Rylance: Very hard.  Very hard indeed yeah, I don’t think there are any actors in the world that could have done what Jemaine and I have done.

Jemaine Clement: What is that actually, it’s improvising in giant.

Rylance: Improvising in giant, yeah it’s like improving in Shakespeare, it’s tricky.  I’ve heard people who can do that actually very well, can improvise sonnets.  You can say I wanna sonnet on a fried egg and they will improvise a Shakespearean sonnet on a fried egg, they’re from Liverpool.  But improvising in giant is a little tricky.

We asked Mark about speaking in giant for us, he joked saying it would cost a lot of money.  We quickly pointed out, in a room full of moms, all our money has already been spent by the kids.  He laughs and starts talking to us about some of his favorite giant words like ‘telly-telly bumpkin box’ – the word for television.  We talk in giant for a bit before continuing the interview.

(Left to right) Gizzardgulper, Childchewer, Maidmasher, Bloodbottler, Manhugger, Fleshlumpeater, Meatdripper, Butcher Boy, and Bonecruncher surround the BFG in Disney's THE BFG,  the imaginative story of a young girl named Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) and the Big Friendly Giant (Oscar (R) winner Mark Rylance) who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country.  Directed by Steven Spielberg based on Roald Dahl's beloved classic, the film opens in theaters nationwide on July 1.
(Left to right) Gizzardgulper, Childchewer, Maidmasher, Bloodbottler, Manhugger, Fleshlumpeater, Meatdripper, Butcher Boy, and Bonecruncher surround the BFG in Disney’s THE BFG, the imaginative story of a young girl named Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) and the Big Friendly Giant (Oscar (R) winner Mark Rylance) who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country. Directed by Steven Spielberg based on Roald Dahl’s beloved classic, the film opens in theaters nationwide on July 1.

The giants were scary to watch on the screen at times, and their treatment of The BFG was awful but Fleshlumpeater was hilarious.  We asked Jemaine how much did he have with the movie, since the giant he played was scary but hilarious at the same time.

Jemaine Clement: Yeah he’s really fun.   When Mark was filming all the time, the bad giants would get to rehearse our motion capture by just walking around like big, lumbering lumps of meat, and that was really fun.  Smashing things and intimidating people and being stupid is fun.

We followed up by asking if his sons liked his character and the book.

Jemaine Clement: My son really loves it.  He helped me a lot actually, I read him the book again when we got to Vancouver, he’d already heard it but he would always – if he didn’t like the voice – he’d go, no the other voice, and that’s how I found the voice he’d guide me.

Jemaine Clement - Photo Credit: Coralie S of Lovebugs and Postcards
Jemaine Clement – Photo Credit: Coralie S of Lovebugs and Postcards

Clement’s favorite scene from the movie was the first time he visited The BFG in his cave, when Sophie was there.  It’s one of those humor parts of the film that radiates off the screen when ever the giants are on screen.  I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t seen the film yet.  Oddly enough according to Clement that particular dialogue was an ad-lib that remained in the movie.

bfg still

We asked Mark about what were his favorite scenes with Sophie.  Steven Spielberg shared with us during his interview that seeing Mark and Ruby together was his favorite part of the film.  We wanted to know how Rylance felt about working with the young actress.

Mark Rylance: Oh, so many of them.  Someone asked me on television this morning what was one of the most difficult things about being BFG and the most difficult thing is letting a young person go isn’t it, that every parent has to do.  My parents are both teachers, high school teachers so every year they would know that there were favorite kids that really resonated to their work or were witty or just wonderful kids and it was always sad every year that those kids had to go off, they had to go off to college and to marriage and their lives.  That thing of being an adult who really loves a young person, and if you really love them you have to encourage them to leave you and to go away.

There is a scene I love very, very much, it’s on the hill at the end and she doesn’t even want to go away, she thinks she’s gonna stay and live there, but he knows that she’s got a wider life to lead. She’s mortal of course and he’s immortal so I was thinking the other day, I was thinking yesterday that the sequel I’d like to see would be when Sophie’s a 90 year old woman and she’s had a family and maybe she has a grandchild and BFG still visits her, and he’s the same of course.

Mark Rylance (The BFG) and Jemaine Clement (Fleshlumpeater). Photo Credit Coralie S of Lovebugs and Postcards
Mark Rylance (The BFG) and Jemaine Clement (Fleshlumpeater). Photo Credit Coralie S of Lovebugs and Postcards

Wondering what Mark was hoping kids would take away from the film, we asked him about what kind of feeling he hoped they would take from the movie.

Mark Rylance: I think that the film tells a story of what kids have to offer older people.  Older people get tired, they lose faith, they think maybe the world is just a jungle, a dog eat dog kinda thing and nothing will change, so best to just do the best I can, give some money to charity, maybe be kind to some people, but the big problems, nothing’s gonna change and we get tired.

Young people don’t have this, there’s still the bravery and the hope like Sophie does to say, no we don’t have to put up with this, we can stop these giants from eating kids, let’s go to the Queen.  There’s a lot of criticism of young people and things seem so hard for them, certainly for my daughters, life looks so difficult and hard but they’re so essential.  I want them to keep their bravery and hope and don’t get pressed down by the fears and the apathy of older people.

He continued by saying that so many people have grown out of their difficult childhood, even quoting Bob Dylan saying that he gained his imagination from being indoors for seven months due to the cold weather in Minnesota.

Photo Credit: Coralie S of Lovebugs and Postcards
Photo Credit: Coralie S of Lovebugs and Postcards
Photo Credit: Coralie S of Lovebugs and Postcards
Photo Credit: Coralie S of Lovebugs and Postcards

The BFG” opens in U.S. theaters on July 1, 2016, the year that marks the 100th anniversary of Dahl’s birth.

the bfg

About The BFG

The BFG (Mark Rylance), while a giant himself, is a Big Friendly Giant and nothing like theother inhabitants of Giant Country. Standing 24-feet tall with enormous ears and a keen sense of smell, he is endearingly dim-witted and keeps to himself for the most part. Giants like Bloodbottler (Bill Hader) and Fleshlumpeater (Jemaine Clement) on the other hand, are twice as big and at least twice as scary and have been known to eat humans, while theBFG prefers Snozzcumber and Frobscottle.

Upon her arrival in Giant Country, Sophie, a precocious 10-year-old girl from London, is initially frightened of the mysterious giant who has brought her to his cave, but soon comes to realize that the BFG is actually quite gentle and charming, and, having never met a giant before, has many questions. The BFG brings Sophie to Dream Country where he collects dreams and sends them to children, teaching her all about the magic and mystery of dreams.

Disclosure: I attended an all expenses paid press junket with Disney, any opinions expressed are my own.  Photos provided by Walt Disney Studios and Coralie S. of Lovebugs and Postcards.

Be sure to read the other posts from #TheBFGEvent

A Legend and a Newcomer: Steven Spielberg and Ruby Barnhill BFG Interview #TheBFGEvent #TheBFG

Spending Time in Giant Country: My BFG Red Carpet Experience #TheBFGEvent

 

A Legend and a Newcomer: Steven Spielberg and Ruby Barnhill BFG Interview #TheBFGEvent #TheBFG

A Legend and a Newcomer: Steven Spielberg and Ruby Barnhill BFG Interview

I squealed reading the words “you’re going to be interviewing Steven Spielberg,” I readily admit that I didn’t even process the rest of the names on the list.  I was in total shock that the legendary Steven Spielberg would be sitting down with us to discuss his Disney directorial debut.  Interview day arrived and we started with a legend and a newcomer: Steven Spielberg and Ruby Barnhill.

Director Steven Spielberg and Ruby Barnhill on the set of Disney's THE BFG, based on the best-sellling book by Roald Dahl.
Director Steven Spielberg and Ruby Barnhill on the set of Disney’s THE BFG, based on the best-sellling book by Roald Dahl.

The pair walked in the room and Steven introduced himself along with Ruby.  He asked about the people in the back of the room being able to see and hear them both, and immediately picked up the BFG Funko POP figure on the table.  He told a joke about the figure, we congratulated him on the film, and then jumped right into the questions.  The first question was about the casting of Ruby Barnhill as Sophie.

Director Steven Spielberg and Ruby Barnhill on the set of Disney's THE BFG, based on the best-sellling book by Roald Dahl.
Director Steven Spielberg and Ruby Barnhill on the set of Disney’s THE BFG, based on the best-sellling book by Roald Dahl.

How was Ruby chosen as Sophie?

Steven Spielberg: I believe in fate and I really believe that they save the best to last, ’cause we were casting eight months and had not found Sophie after eight months of casting.  I believe that Nina Gold saw maybe a couple thousand of qualified young people, both unknowns and working young actresses.  I was not giving up hope that I would find her, but I was starting to look at my third, fourth, and fifth choices to accommodate people I had seen who I had liked but hadn’t reached my heart yet.

In that instant everything was okay with the world at that point.  And I was so excited. I was shooting Bridge of Spies, I didn’t care that Tom Hanks saw me so excited and it wasn’t about a movie he was gonna be in.  [LAUGHS] It was about another movie.  I had already cast Mark Rylance.  He was already our BFG by that time.  And I came running in and I said I found her.  I found her.  I found her.  That’s what happened.

Ruby found out she received the part from Nina Gold, who phoned her parents with the good news.  She recalled them being so excited that they couldn’t hide it.  She shares when they handed her the phone Nina Gold shared the exciting news with her.

Ruby Barnhill:   My parents said, ‘Ruby here’s the phone for you.’  And I was like okay.  I thought they were just kind of like pretending, like they were trying to trick me or something.  I didn’t know what was going on, then Nina Gold said ‘Ruby, how old are you?’ And I’m like I’m ten.  And she said ‘oh well that’s a shame, because you’re not gonna be able to drink champagne when everyone’s celebrating, because you got the part.’ And I was like, oh my gosh. I was so happy and all my family were excited.  My Nana bought me like 100 balloons to celebrate.

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Ruby what was it like working with Steven Spielberg?

RB:  It’s so amazing working with Steven, I’ve learned so much, not only about acting and directing but also just general things that are helpful and useful in life.  Like one of the things that I’ll remember is that I kinda struggle with this a bit making mistakes.  Steven really helped me realize that it’s okay to kind of make mistakes.  Like when I was on set making my mistakes like they were funny, and nobody mind it at all , it was just really good.  Like even if you have to do like 100 takes nobody would mind.  That was one thing I learned and it was amazing.  And I had a great time.

Steven and Ruby The BFG Event (5)
Photo Credit: Coralie S of Lovebugs and Postcards

Steven how does it feel to be such an iconic part of people’s childhood, and now be able to transition to another generation?

Steven Spielberg: Well I think of it as having a very large extended family.  And I didn’t even understand when I was first starting out making movies about the power that film has.  I wasn’t really appreciative or even aware of the outreach of cinema until I was actually older.  I thought Jaws was just a freak of nature that would never happen again.  And then when ET suddenly happened and lightning suddenly struck twice, I realized that cinema outlives the filmmakers.

Then with this extended family of people from all walks of life, who speak different languages, who believe in different things, sometimes movies come along that make them see the same thing with the same feeling. And it doesn’t matter what, what languages they share or who they and what their backgrounds are, sometimes a feeling can be communicated all over the world without any signage.

And that’s the  power that film has, it’s something that intimidates me and I respect it a lot, but it also scares me, because it’s pretty awesome when that happens.

Director Steven Spielberg on the set of Disney's THE BFG, based on the best-sellling book by Roald Dahl.
Director Steven Spielberg on the set of Disney’s THE BFG, based on the best-sellling book by Roald Dahl.

Steven what was it like telling this story under the Walt Disney name?

Steve Spielberg: Well, I had never made a movie under the Walt Disney name as a director before, and it just turned out that way. I don’t know why, because Disney had been in my life for a number of years releasing some of our DreamWorks films over the last six or seven years. And then the other thing was that Disney had such a profound effect on my childhood, because I was raised in the world of Walt Disney.

His movies scared me to death, thrilled me to pieces, made me laugh, and made me cry.  I never cried in a movie before I saw Bambi.  My parents took me to see Bambi in a reissue.  And eight minutes into the movie, when they kill the mom I’m sitting there crying my eyes out, you know. And Mickey Mouse Club came on television and I was like an extended Mousketeer. I was like millions of kids who watched TV back in the ‘50s and wanted to be Mousketeers.

So to finally make a movie that has Disney’s name I’m so proud when the film begins and the castle shows up and my movie follows the castle.  That’s something I’ve been waiting for all my life, and its through BFG and through Ralph Dahl’s genius I got the chance to do it.

Steven and Ruby The BFG Event (4)
Photo Credit: Coralie S of Lovebugs and Postcards

What was the favorite part of making the movie for both of you?

Ruby Barnhill: I think my favorite, my favorite part of just making the film was kind of being able to come on set every day and see everyone. And even though at times it could get a little bit tired and things like that, I think I also liked it because it was really nice.   I got to act every single day, which I had wanted to do my whole life. And that was really great.  And I also got to be with Steven and Mark every day.

After her response Ruby looked at Steven and asked what was his favorite part of the movie. He smiled and said “I think I have to give you a hug right now.” Reaching over he hugged her, and you could see in his eyes he was truly honored that Ruby loved her time working with him on set.  It was amazing watching the connection between them and knowing that he impacted her life greatly, but that she also left a very lasting impression on his as well.  After hugging her Steven shared with his us favorite thing about making The BFG.

Steven Spielberg: I think every time there was a scene where they spoke to each other and every time there was a scene where they were in conversation with each other.  Sophie’s courage was growing and her empathy for The BFG’s problems with his older brothers and the horrible things they were doing all over the world that, Sophie said we must find a way to stop the other giants.

Any time they were engaged in any kind of conversation and even disagreement or even semantics about The BFG being so ashamed of his, of his use of the Wigglish language.  He speaks terrible Wigglish he said.  And Sophie says, no, I think you speak beautifully.  He says really?  That’s the greatest thing anybody’s ever said to me in my entire life.  Any time they were in kind of conversation, all those scenes were my favorite scenes.

Finally Steven what do you want this generation to get out of this movie?

Steven Spielberg: I just, I just want people to understand how important it is to both give and receive hugs.  And it doesn’t matter how different the person looks or how tall they are or how short they are or what color they are or what language they speak or what their different beliefs are that we all need to hug each other.

Steven and Ruby The BFG Event (2)
Photo Credit: Coralie S of Lovebugs and Postcards
Steven and Ruby The BFG Event (1)
Photo Credit: Coralie S of Lovebugs and Postcards
Photo Credit: Coralie S of Lovebugs and Postcards
Photo Credit: Coralie S of Lovebugs and Postcards

We ended taking the usual group photograph, but Steven took those last few moments to share a bit about his childhood and remembering his mother hosting her own mommy group.  He wanted to know about us, how we’d gotten together for the event, and what other plans we had for our time in L.A.  He was so humble and inspiring.  I fell in love with The BFG just a tad more after talking to Steven and Ruby.

the bfg

The BFG” opens in U.S. theaters on July 1, 2016, the year that marks the 100th anniversary of Dahl’s birth.

About The BFG

The BFG (Mark Rylance), while a giant himself, is a Big Friendly Giant and nothing like theother inhabitants of Giant Country. Standing 24-feet tall with enormous ears and a keen sense of smell, he is endearingly dim-witted and keeps to himself for the most part. Giants like Bloodbottler (Bill Hader) and Fleshlumpeater (Jemaine Clement) on the other hand, are twice as big and at least twice as scary and have been known to eat humans, while the BFG prefers Snozzcumber and Frobscottle.

Upon her arrival in Giant Country, Sophie, a precocious 10-year-old girl from London, is initially frightened of the mysterious giant who has brought her to his cave, but soon comes to realize that the BFG is actually quite gentle and charming, and, having never met a giant before, has many questions. The BFG brings Sophie to Dream Country where he collects dreams and sends them to children, teaching her all about the magic and mystery of dreams.

Disclosure: I attended an all expenses paid press junket with Disney, any opinions expressed are my own.  Photos provided by Walt Disney Studios and Coralie S. of Lovebugs and Postcards.

A Journey That Started with a Book #TheBFGEvent #FutureWormEvent

A Journey That Started with a Book

My earliest memories as a child involved reading.  I remember growing up in Trinidad you had to be six to apply for a library card.  They even required a reading test to see if you could read and you had to promise to take care of any books your borrowed.  This may seem extreme to most but you have to understand that those library books were precious.  Back then the government didn’t spend a lot of money on putting books in the library so most of what was there was limited to two copies or less.  So imagine me walking in at four with my parents wanting to join for new books to read.  The librarian laughed and told us to come back.  Determined to leave with some books my parents asked if I could do the reading test, and if I passed would they give me a card to borrow at least one book.  I read to every staff member in the library that day, including some strangers.  I left with two books, and my life was forever changed.

The BFGI love reading a good book, I can spend hours reading from start to finish.  I’ve read whole books in one day because I just loved them that much.  That’s why it’s so special to me that my next blogging adventure is a journey that started with a book – a book by Roald Dahl.  The invite was unexpected to me but I was so honored to be chosen as one of twenty-five bloggers to attend the red carpet premiere of The BFG.  I started reading the book when I was traveling to L.A. for my last Disney event, so this was extra special for me.  This will be my second time walking a red carpet for a movie premiere, and I can’t wait to see how Steven Spielberg brings this amazing book to life.

the bfg

I hope you follow along on this amazing adventure with me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instgram, by following our hashtag #TheBFGEvent.  I’ll be getting lost in an adventure with giants, and I want you to come along for the ride with me.  In addition to walking the red carpet we’ll be interviewing amazing talent from the film – Ruby Barnhill (“Sophie”), Jemaine Clement (“Fleshlumpeater”), Penelope Wilton (“The Queen”), recent Academy Award winner Mark Rylance (“The BFG”) and Director Steven Spielberg. YES you read that correctly, I’ll be sharing the same space with Steven Spielberg.  You can squeal, gasp, and get excited.  I sure did.  You can also comment if you have any questions for the talent or Mr. Spielberg.

The BFG” opens in U.S. theaters on July 1, 2016, the year that marks the 100th anniversary of Dahl’s birth. Also I do recommend you grab a copy of The BFG that’s perfect for the whole family.  It’s perfect for summer reading lists.

the bfg

Roald Dahl’s “The BFG” (Big Friendly Giant) was first published in 1982 and has been enchanting readers of all ages ever since. Dahl’s books, which also include “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “James and the Giant Peach” and “Matilda,” are currently available in 58 languages and have sold over 200 million copies worldwide. Originally created as a bedtime story, “The BFG” was Dahl’s own favorite of all his stories.

future worm

In addition to The BFG festivities, we’ll be joining  Disney XD for a special screening event of the upcoming animated series “Future-Worm!,” which is created and executive produced by Emmy Award-winner Ryan Quincy (“South Park”) and premieres later this summer. “Future-Worm!” is an offbeat comedy adventure that follows Danny, an optimistic 12-year-old who creates a time machine lunch box and befriends Future Worm, a fearless worm from the future with titanium-enforced abs. Follow the #FutureWorm hashtag during the event.

First Poster for The BFG Revealed by Disney

First Poster for The BFG Revealed by Disney

Beauty and the Beast is my all time favorite Disney movie, in the top ten is James and the Giant Peach.  This year Disney is partnering with famed author Roald Dahl and director Stephen Spielburg to bring another of Dahl’s books to life again.  Here’s the first poster for the upcoming release.

the BFG poster

About The BFG

The BFG (Mark Rylance), while a giant himself, is a Big Friendly Giant and nothing like the other inhabitants of Giant Country. Standing 24-feet tall with enormous ears and a keen sense of smell, he is endearingly dim-witted and keeps to himself for the most part. Giants like Bloodbottler (Bill Hader) and Fleshlumpeater (Jemaine Clement) on the other hand, are twice as big and at least twice as scary and have been known to eat humans, while the BFG prefers Snozzcumber and Frobscottle. Upon her arrival in Giant Country, Sophie, a precocious 10-year-old girl from London, is initially frightened of the mysterious giant who has brought her to his cave, but soon comes to realize that the BFG is actually quite gentle and charming, and, having never met a giant before, has many questions. The BFG brings Sophie to Dream Country where he collects dreams and sends them to children, teaching her all about the magic and mystery of dreams. 

Having both been on their own in the world up until now, their affection for one another quickly grows. But Sophie’s presence in Giant Country has attracted the unwanted attention of the other giants, who have become increasingly more bothersome. Says Spielberg, “It’s a story about friendship, it’s a story about loyalty and protecting your friends and it’s a story that shows that even a little girl can help a big giant solve his biggest problems.” Sophie and the BFG soon depart for London to see the Queen (Penelope Wilton) and warn her of the precarious giant situation, but they must first convince the Queen and her maid, Mary (Rebecca Hall), that giants do indeed exist. Together, they come up with a plan to get rid of the giants once and for all. 

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Directed by three-time Academy Award® winner Steven Spielberg (“Bridge of Spies,” “Schindler’s List,” ”Saving Private Ryan”) from a screenplay by Melissa Mathison (“E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial,” “The Black Stallion”) based on the best-selling novel by Roald Dahl, “The BFG” stars three-time Tony Award® and two-time Olivier Award winner Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies,” “Wolf Hall”), newcomer Ruby Barnhill, Penelope Wilton (“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” “Downton Abbey”), Jemaine Clement (“Rio 2,” “The Flight of the Conchords”), Rebecca Hall (“The Gift,” “Iron Man 3”), Rafe Spall (“The Big Short,” “Prometheus”) and Bill Hader (“Inside Out,” “Trainwreck”). The film is produced by Spielberg, Frank Marshall (“Jurassic World,” “The Bourne Ultimatum”) and Sam Mercer (“Snow White and the Huntsman,” “The Sixth Sense”) with Kathleen Kennedy (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Lincoln”), John Madden (“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” “Shakespeare in Love”), Kristie Macosko Krieger (“Bridge of Spies,” “Lincoln”), Michael Siegel (“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Rise of the Guardians”), Frank Smith and Naia Cucukov serving as executive producers. 

 Roald Dahl’s “The BFG” (Big Friendly Giant) was first published in 1982 and has been enchanting readers of all ages ever since. Dahl’s books, which also include “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “James and the Giant Peach” and “Matilda,” are currently available in 58 languages and have sold over 200 million copies worldwide. Originally created as a bedtime story, “The BFG” was Dahl’s own favorite of all his stories. “It was very important for us to be loyal to the language,” says Spielberg, “and the great writer Melissa Mathison, who also wrote ‘E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial,’ wrote ‘The BFG.’”  

 “The BFG” opens in U.S. theaters on July 1, 2016, the year that marks the 100th anniversary of Dahl’s birth.