Hayley started out interview by sharing the funniest story of her first call from Director Marc Forster:
“I was on holiday on a boat in Greece. I was sunbathing and I got call and from my agent saying Mark Foster, the director is directing Christopher Robin. Will you skype with him and I said yeah of course. I have quite an erratic reception here in the ocean so I went to the captain and I said I need to find a spot where I can skype someone and he said you see that rock over there. I went yeah, yeah. He went go passed that for about ten minutes and you’ll find a spot.”
Hayley jumped on a jet-ski, made it to the rocks, and walked another 10 minutes. She couldn’t see any civilization, but she had cell reception and she hopped on the call with Marc! She told Marc that this was her everyday office, and they had a laugh, so the ice was broken and they were able to chat about the role of Mrs. Robin.
Hayley was impressed with the idea of the character starting out as a loving and supportive wife, and not turning into a whiny spouse when things are not going well:
“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.”
Hayley spoke admiringly about Evelyn Robin, who is aware of the complexity of the situation. Hayley was very articulate explaining the nuances of her character and how she played her as a mom who sees how their daughter is being negatively effected by the dad’s distance, but smartly does not turn the daughter against the father.
The original stories did not have this character so Hayley felt very little pressure to live up to someone else’s standard. She also shared that it was one of the most pleasant filming experiences she has had as the material tends to bleed into the atmosphere, which in this situation was a “summer spend in Ashton Forest with a bear of a very big heart.”
We loved the story Hayley shared about how she improvised during some scenes when Marc was setting up some shots:
“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.”
Sounds like fun improvisation! We also asked everyone which character was their favorite and everyone gave similar answers, it really depended on your mood. Neurotic Piglet, Zen like Pooh, exuberant Tigger and depressed Eeyore. Most of the cast had these similar opinions!
Lastly, Hayley shared how the movie touched her:
“And what makes me cry about that is because the way Pooh processes pain is that he just takes it in like a dog would in an unconditional way, and instead of attacking back or being defensive about it or finding ways to seek revenge or go well, fine and walk away as well, he just absorbs that pain but still loves Christopher Robin and that seems to be a very human quality between people that love each other and a very necessary quality to our own civilization and for our own sense of belonging to each other. The ability to absorb pain from someone who knows that they can cause us pain but see beyond that, I just find that moment was so moving and so evolved of Pooh without him realizing it, that it made me fall in love with Pooh.”
This is one of the main reasons that the Christopher Robin movie is a touching and warm hearted movie, perfect for our tumultuous times:
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.
For more information visit: Christopher Robin!
I did get to congratulate Ms. Atwell at the premiere:
Along with the group photo:
Interview pictures courtesy of Louise of MomStart.com.