Watch the whole thing HERE!
Posts Tagged ‘Lady Tremaine’
Watch the whole thing HERE!
The glass slipper fitting on Cinderella’s foot is at the core of the magic of the fairy tale. It is a plot point that cannot be removed. If you do the whole story falls apart.
Real life is different.
Lily James, star of the new Disney live action remake of the Brothers Grimm tale, says the Swarovski slipper she “wears” in the film didn’t fit.
“That is my English humour,” she says. “It didn’t fit anyone. It wasn’t that they just got the size wrong. It’s Swarovski Crystal so it would have broken. They had to CGI it onto my foot, which was a bit of a shame.”
The Downton Abbey star—she plays the rebellious Lady Rose on the hit show—is about to have her name intrinsically connected with the Disney princess, but at the audition she had her eye on another role.
“When you get the casting call for something they pick what part you’re going to go for and they wanted me for [step-sister] Anastasia,” she says. “I remember I wore this pink tie-dyed jumper that the casting director told me to burn. But I had blonde hair because of Downton and they said I should read for Ella.
“I was kind of up for playing the off centre part; the quirkier, funnier part. I paced the corridor for about twenty minutes and the breakdown of the part that Ken [Branagh] had given me kind of struck me. It said she had a generous spirit and a generous nature and an open heart and I think because I didn’t have time to over think I just went in and just read it. I think I was much better for it.”
Her first day on set she shot one of the film’s key scenes, the “love-at-first-sight” meeting between Cinderella and Prince Charming, played by Game of Thrones actor Richard Madden.
“Ken said, ‘How do you feel about shooting that scene first?’ Richard and I didn’t really know each other and Ken caught that nervous energy, that getting-to-know-you, butterflies-in-your-stomach thing. He caught it on camera and I think that was smart. It kind of sets up the whole movie. It feels in that moment that Ella is very strong.”
So how will Downton Abbey fans react to seeing her familiar face as Cinderella?
“I hope lovingly,” she laughs. “I didn’t think there were many similarities but some people have said they think are. I watched the film and in the first scene I thought, ‘Oh no! I’m playing Rose.’ Then thankfully I shed it.”
“How do you do a glass shoe?”
It sounds like a question from an age-old nursery rhyme, but was actually a real problem for Sandy Powell, the Academy Award-winning costume designer of the new live-action version of Cinderella.
Powell, whose Oscars for Shakespeare in Love, The Aviator and The Young Victoria decorate her mantle, gave me a sneak peek at the unique shoes given to Cinderella (played by Downton Abbey’s Lily James) by her Fairy Godmother months in advance of this weekend’s opening.
“The glass slipper had nothing to do with any shoemakers because it is made of crystal,” Powell explained.
Working with Swarovski, she designed the shoe, complete with a six-inch heel and 221 facets with their light-reflecting Crystal Blue Aurora Borealis coating, out of solid crystal.
“No one can actually put their foot in that,” she says.
“It’s a prop. In effect I was designing a prop that gets held and gets tried on but for her (to walk in) we made another shoe that was the same shape, in leather, that she could wear and then the visual effects (transformed it to) the glass on her foot.
“The glass shoe was the biggest challenge to do.
“How do you do a glass shoe that doesn’t look ugly and huge?
“Hopefully I have done it. It had to sparkle. And rather than it be made up of lots of little crystals, I thought it would be brilliant if we could make it out of one piece of crystal. We didn’t know if that would be possible.
“We spoke to Swarovski very early on and I thought it should be like a faceted, cut piece of crystal and that’s what we worked on, which took several months.
“They didn’t even know if they could do it.
“We didn’t know if it was going to be possible until the first one came hot off the press.”
Eight crystal shoes were made, but in order to save time and money, there was no left or right foot, just neutral, according to Powell.
“No one is going to notice,” she says. “Doing a pair would have taken twice as long and we never see two at the same time.”
Working with Disney to bring Cinderella to life brings Powell full circle back to the movie that set her on her career path.
She cites the Mouse House’s Mary Poppins as an early influence, adding,
“I’ve always been inspired by clothes and I have always loved films.”
These days, 40 movies and three Oscars later, Powell is still finding plenty of passion in her work.
“I love it.
“It gives me great satisfaction,” she says.
Kenneth Branagh and Disney have teamed to breathe new life into an old story but instead of giving it an edgy twenty-first century sheen—no step-sisters toes are amputated in this version—the new “Cinderella” is coated in shimmering fairy dust.
Young Ella (Eloise Webb) has the perfect life. Her loving parents (Hayley Atwell and Ben Chaplin) treat her like a princess, the farm animals talk to her—and she can talk back to them—and all is sunshine and light. Darkness comes as Ella’s mother falls ill, leaving her with the words, “Always have courage and be kind.”
Ella (played as a teenager by “Downton Abbey’s” Lily James) tries to keep those virtues top of mind, but her resilience is severely tested when her father marries Lady Tremaine (Cate Blanchett) and she suddenly finds herself with two self-centered and mean stepsisters (Holliday Grainger and Sophie McShera). After the death of her father Ella’s new family see her as less a sister and more a servant, even dubbing her Cinderella because her house chores leave her covered in soot.
A chance meeting with Kit (Richard Madden)—known to everyone except Ella in the village as the Prince—leads her and a magical pair of glass slippers to the palace of the king and possibly into the arms of the prince.
The newest “Cinderella” takes some liberties with the 1950 animated Disney film, the most famous version of the story. In Branagh’s world Cinderella and the Prince meet before the ball, his royal highness is nicknamed Kit and the Fairy Godmother (Helena Bonham Carter) has an expanded role.
What Branagh hasn’t changed is the idea that physical beauty and marriage are the keys to having a happy and fulfilled life. It’s the kind of retrograde thinking Disney has been moving away from in their recent movies, and yet, here it is at the heart and soul of “Cinderella.” It doesn’t feel particularly progressive, but I’m not sure you can change the story and still honestly call it “Cinderella.”
On the upside, there is strong messaging regarding being comfortable in one’s skin—“The greatest risk anyone can take is to be seen as they really are.”—and the merits of courage and kindness. “They treat me as well as they are able,” Cinderella charitably says about her step-family.
Sexual and familial politics aside, “Cinderella” is a classic and beautiful movie that feels like old-fashioned Disney. There’s an emphasis on the storytelling and fantasy, on good and evil—Blanchett scales new heights in wickedness and looks remarkable while doing so—all supported by sumptuous costumes and set decoration.