Enjoy the banter as the cast of crew of Into The Woods – including James Corden, Emily Blunt, Chris Pine, Anna Kendrick, James Lapine, Rob Marshall, Tracey Ullman, Christine Baranski and Meryl Streep – share their thoughts about the film…
Into The Woods is a modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, intertwining the plots of a few choice stories and exploring the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. This humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Jack and the Beanstalk (Daniel Huttlestone), and Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy) – all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife (James Corden and Emily Blunt), their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch (Meryl Streep) who has put a curse on them.
Rob Marshall (Chicago, Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) directs the film, which is based on the Tony-winning original musical by James Lapine (who also penned the screenplay) and composer Stephen Sondheim (who provides the music and lyrics).
Yahoo recently hosted a Q&A with the cast of Into The Woods and the following people were in attendance:
James Corden (The Baker)
Emily Blunt (The Baker’s Wife)
Chris Pine (The Prince)
Anna Kendrick (Cinderella)
James Lapine (writer)
Rob Marshall (director)
Tracey Ullman (Jack’s mom)
Christine Baranski (The Wicked Stepmother)
Meryl Streep (The Witch)
You can see the video below and find the full transcript on the next few pages…
Why do you feel Into The Woods connects with people and still resonates so strongly with audiences today?
James Lapine: Fairy tales have been around for a while and will continue to be so. It’s won’t bore you with all the details of how we came up with this notion but I remember I was about to be a father and my wife was expecting and I was a little nervous to say the least. We’d just hit on this idea and I remember I was working on a show in the theatre with a designer who had a little two-year-old she was trying to feed and the kid was throwing Cheerios and food all over the place and I was thinking, ‘Oh my God, this is what I have to look forward to.’ And I said, ‘Are you going to teach your daughter table manners?’ And she turned to me and she said, ‘James, all I’m looking to do in life is teach my daughter the difference between right and wrong.’ And it was such a resonant moment that it fed our whole thematic propulsion with the writing of the show. I don’t think we would have guessed it would continue to be this popular but I think it just resonates because people are always having children and they are always growing up and leaving them a world that more times than not worries us a lot. And we own that. Once we get older we have to look back and realise we’re on the other side now – we can’t blame our parents, our kids are blaming us. So that was the thematic germ of it all.
Rob, you’ve referred to this as a fairy tale for the 21st century. What do fairy tales mean to you and what is the relevance and importance of them today when presenting them to a new audience?
Rob Marshall: I do very much feel this is a fairy tale for the post-9/11 generation. And I don’t think I ever shared this with James [Lapine]. It was 2011 and I was listening to President Obama speak to the families of the victims on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. And it was incredibly moving and he was incredibly compassionate and he said to them: ‘You are not alone. No-one is alone.’ And I remember hearing that and I thought, ‘It’s such an important message for today.’ And it’s obviously – to me – the main song in the piece in Into The Woods. And I thought, ‘This might be the time for the kids of today to hear that there is some hope in the world. And it was then that I called you and said, ‘Can we do this?’ Because I felt like and I still feel like kids today live in a much more unstable and fragile world than certainly when I grew up. And I feel like there needs to be something to hold onto, for them to understand that it’s OK when something happens that’s disappointing or some loss. This movie has so many themes and that’s what’s so beautiful about it. I don’t think you set out to do that originally James, it was thematically one theme. But the theme of loss and how you move forward is the one that really struck me. And that’s why this feels like… it explores what happens after happily ever after and continues to explore the consequences of wishes and all those things, but it deals very much with loss. And I really felt like this is for kids and families today.