We always clap as the talent enter the room. That’s why they love chatting with bloggers!
What a handsome guy! What a fabulous actor! What a great experience chatting with Ewan for the Christopher Robin movie:
In Disney’s heartwarming live action adventure, the young boy who shared countless adventures with his stuffed animal friends in the Hundred Acre Wood has grown up and lost sight of what’s important in life. Now it is up to his childhood friends to venture into our world and help Christopher Robin rediscover the joys of family life, the value of friendship and to appreciate the simple pleasure in life once again.
We spoke to Ewan McGregor and tried so hard to keep our questions focused on Christopher Robin! Ewan has such a wonderful resume of terrific movies, it wasn’t always easy, and there may have been a Jedi light saber/ Winnie the Pooh question at the end, but as you will see tomorrow, this movie is fabulous and is yet another addition to the list of wonderful work from Mr. McGregor!
The first question was simple, how did you get the job! The Director, Marc Forster, had worked with Ewan back in 2004 on the movie “Stay,” and they had remained friends. Marc explained how he envisioned the role, and most importantly how it would be a good film for people to watch at this point in time, and that inspired Ewan. Ewan related to Christopher Robin and thought it was a good fit:
“And also when I read the script, I felt like I knew him, I just knew him. I don’t know- some parts come along just- I felt like it was just the right part for me to play at this point, in this time. And then felt like I absolutely knew what I wanted to do with him. So it was- so I didn’t have a lot of trepidations. I think anything that makes you sort of- any of that kind of fear is usually the good- it’s a good idea to do. It’s better to do stuff you’re slightly scared of than not.”
The other question on everyone’s mind was, how did it feel to act with stuffed animals! We loved finding out that Marc had hired young actors just out of drama school to play each animal’s role. Ewan loved their enthusiasm even though they weren’t going to be in the film!
I am always fascinated by the animation process, especially when it is part of a live action film. You cannot animate on top of a real teddy bear, so you start out learning your lines with the actual bear, and then gradually the form becomes less and less:
“So we’d play the scene a few times with the actors and with those stuffies. And by the time we did that, I got a real sense of what the scene felt like and how to play it. And then they would replace the teddy bear, the visual effects people needed theirs without hair, so they had gray versions of them all, they were just like gray canvas, no hair. And then very basic they had little eyes and the nose. Just so you’re looking in the right place, but it was all gray. And then they had versions, then it gets a bit gruesome, they had versions with no heads. So you had to do the scene again with the stuffies with no heads. And then there was a Pooh version who had no head but also no arms or legs it was just a little tummy. It was like the horror version of the scene. And then we had to do scenes without the bear at all, nothing there to look at. And then sometimes a little bit, a little area like antenna from a car with a light on top.”
Needless to say, we thought this was hilarious! And by the way, stuffies refers to stuffed animals!
We also talked about connections. Family relationships. Ewan spoke about his own dad and granddad and how relationships seem to become closer in modern times then they had been. Ewan’s daughter in the movie was a comparable age to Ewan’s dad in real life and he imagined that his dad and granddad might not have had the closest relationship, and it was difficult for Ewan to be cold to his daughter in the movie because that is not natural for most parents in this day and age. Watching his character evolve illustrates how family relationships have evolved through the years.
We also asked Ewan what he took away from the movie. He shared that the process of making the film was so pleasant, that something he will always remember, along with how wonderful it was to work with Winnie the Pooh all day. He said the positive tone was set from the very beginning: he has a lovely memory from the first week when Marc told him how thrilled he was with the first scenes with Pooh in Hundred Acre Wood:
Marc: “It really works, it’s really like you really look like you’re talking to him and it really feels really real.” Ewan: “And I was thinking well that’s sort of my job. That’s why I’m here. But I love that he was enthusiastic about it and let me know that it was working. And so from then on, I felt it was a great trust in me and he really let me- and I also really knew how- I really felt instinctively how I wanted to play him. And I felt like I was able to do that really.”
And the outcome is an absolutely beautiful movie with a wonderful message, perfect for our time. Pooh is like a Zen Master guiding Christopher back to realizing what is important in life, and Ewan McGregor is the perfect Christopher Robin!
Lastly, I leave you with the roles reversed. Ewan McGregor interviewing his stuffie co-stars:
For more information visit: Christopher Robin!
And of course we all took a photo:
Interview pictures courtesy of Louise of MomStart.com.