*I received an all expense paid trip thanks to Disney. All my opinions are my own and not swayed by outside sources. Photo credit from Disney and Coralie from LoveBugs and Postcards.*
A few weeks ago we were told that we were going to interview the one and only Steven Spielberg. While I have been blessed to interview so many wonderful actors/directors and such with Disney, I don’t think there is a bigger name than Steven Spielberg. This amazing person is a national icon with so many credits and accolades to his name. Before I left to LA I was going through some of his top movies and it is amazing how many came to mind. Both my husband and I agree that our two favorites of his are Jaws and Schindler’s List. However really most of our favorite movies to date were directed by him. So when we were told we were going to interview this iconic director, I was nervous, excited, and then nervous again!
Then the time came when Steven Spielberg entered the room with 25 bloggers and he walked right past me on my right side. I was pretty much in awe when he was walking by. All I thought was, “Melissa…Melissa.. Steven Spielberg is walking past you!” It was a pretty amazing experience to say the least. We gave him, along with one of the main stars of the film, Ruby Barnhill (who plays the role of Sophie in the film) huge applauses. I felt like they were as much in awe of the attention we were giving them, as they were of us. They were absolutely fantastic to interview and I have to say that it was the best interview to date!
While Steven Spielberg was fantastic to interview, I was equally in amazement over the beautiful Ruby Barnhill. She is so far ahead of her time and was so happy to be talking to her that day. Both of them were a breathe of fresh air and at the end of the interview, they did not want to leave. Most interviews when the last question is called, that is it. Steven Spielberg asked if he could continue on with the interview because he loved talking to us so much! I think it made us feel so special and I think all of us will agree that we will never ever ever ever forget that day!
1. Can you give us a little background of how you chose Sophie? Asked to Steven Spielberg.
” I believe in fate and I really believe that they save the best to last because 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 actors/actresses. I was not giving up hope that I would find her, but I was starting to look at my third and fourth and fifth choices to accommodate people I had seen who I had liked but hadn’t reached my heart yet. I was about to compromise when all the sudden I saw the audition that Ruby Barnhill and her parents had sent in to Nina Gold. Then my whole life changed forever.”- Steven Spielberg
The open call for talent ended on November 21, 2014, and Ruby was announced on December 16, 2014. He told us that he was filming Bridge of Spies when he found his Sophie. He had already case Mark Rylance as The BFG and was just waiting on his Sophie. He was elated!
Ruby loved hearing this story especially because he said everything was okay with the world right at that point that they found her.
“When I got the part, I was so, so happy, because I literally thought from the look on my mom and dad’s faces, it was gonna be news. They were literally jumping up and down they were so excited. And they said, Ruby here’s the phone for you. Here’s the phone for you. And I was like okay. I thought they were just pretending, like they were trying to trick me or something. I didn’t know what was going on. And so, then Nina Gold said, Ruby, how old are you? And I’m ten. She said that’s a shame and I said why is it a shame? And she said because you’re not gonna be able to drink champagne when everyone’s celebrating, because you got the part. And I was like, oh, oh, my gosh. I was so excited, because I’d always wanted to be an actress since I’d watched my dad’s an actor, I’d watched plays of his since I was like three or four.”- Ruby Barnhill
As a side note, Ruby’s dad was in the movie in the beginning scene when The BFG first entered the palace and was on his hands/knees.
2. How would you sum up working with Mr. Spielberg? -asked to Ruby Barnhill
“It’s so amazing, because since I have been with Steven, I’ve learned so much not only about his acting and directing but also things that are helpful and useful in general life. Steven really helped me realize that it’s okay to kind of make mistakes. 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 such a great time!”- Ruby Barnhill
Steven Spielberg that told us that it is never mistakes but happy accidents that happen!
3. You are such an iconic part of a lot of peoples’ childhoods that now our kids are gonna get turned onto your movies. Why is this important to you and how do you translate it to another generation?- asked to Steven Spielberg.
“I have 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 that would never happen again. And then when ET suddenly happened and lightning suddenly struck twice, I realized that cinema outlives the filmmakers. And that was everything! It becomes a part of the extended family of people from all walks of life who speak different languages and believe in different things, ’cause sometimes movies come along that make you see the same thing with the same feeling. And it doesn’t matter what languages we share or who we are and what our backgrounds are, sometimes a feeling can be communicated all over the world without any signage.”- Steven Spielberg
He told us that the power that film is something that really intimidates him and he respect it a lot, but it also scares him, because it’s pretty awesome when that happens. He also said he was excited about this movie because Disney had such a profound effect on his childhood because he was raised in the world of Walt Disney.
“His movies scared me to death, thrilled me to pieces, and made me laugh and made me cry, and I never cried in a movie before I saw Bambi when I was younger. My parents took me to see Bambi and eight minutes into the movie, you know, they kill the mom, and I’m sitting here crying my eyes out. That was a powerful, powerful time in my life. 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.”- Steven Spielberg
4. How was the interaction between Mark and Ruby and how did they put the footing in?- asked to Steven Spielberg
” I think Mark had known Ruby and gotten to know Ruby before we ever made the picture. They did a little audition session together for Ruby just to help Ruby get to know Mark better. And this is after she had the job, but she sat with Mark for a couple of hours on videotape. And Mark watched her and I think observed her. He said Mark is a fantastic observer. He observes people he doesn’t even know and he just is a sponge. And he doesn’t maybe remember the exact moment he takes something from someone else’s life, maybe a person walking down the street. He remembers the walk. And maybe he took something from the way Ruby walks. But I didn’t direct the walk. Mark showed up the first day of shooting and he suddenly was walking like BFG. I have to give Mark some credit for maybe just being open, big ears and Mark has small ears but he really hears like BFG in real life. And I think maybe he found something similar.”- Steven Spielberg
5. You are a beautiful mixture of child and yet you are wise beyond your years. How do you feel about becoming a new kind of Disney hero, a princess even for a new generation?- asked to Ruby Barnhill
” Wow. I never thought of it that way! That’s quite cool. It’s so exciting, because there is a lot of Disney films now, which I’m really happy about and I know like lots of my friends are happy about having very strong female leads, like Star Wars and Brave and those sort of things. It’s also really nice to know I was in the cinema and we saw the BFG trailer and all the kids nobody knew it was me obviously, but all of the kids behind us were like, oh, that looks so good. Oh, we’re gonna go see that. I was very excited!”- Ruby Barnhill
6. We then asked both of them what were their favorite parts of filming were?
Ruby told us that her favorite part of the film was being able to come on set every day and see everyone. She loved that she got to act every single day with this awesome cast including Steven and Mark. Steven Spielberg said he loved that he never had to wait for Ruby because Ruby was always waiting for her.
Steven Spielberg said it was every scene where they spoke and watched each other. It was also every time there was a scene where they were in a conversation with each other when Sophie’s courage was growing and her empathy for BFG’s problems with his older brothers, the horrible things they were doing all over the world that Sophie said where they must find a way to stop the giants.
It was a marvelous interview and one I will never forget!!!!
The BFG opens July 1st (next Friday) and is a FANTASTIC family friendly movie. Here is the synopsis and trailer!
The talents of three of the world’s greatest storytellers – Roald Dahl, Walt Disney and Steven Spielberg –
finally unite to bring Dahl’s beloved classic “The BFG” to life. Directed by Spielberg, Disney’s “The BFG” tells the imaginative story of a young girl and the Giant who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country. 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. 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.