This past Saturday, after attending the premiere of epic at the Ziegfeld Theater in NYC, myself and a group of local bloggers had the opportunity to meet with some of the cast that voiced the characters in this amazing movie. After the screening we headed over to the beautiful Mandarin Oriental for a delicious lunch and then sat down to chat with the cast and ask them questions about their characters and how they felt about being part of this unique animated film.
Colin Farrell,(Ronin) Amanda Seyfried,(MK) and Director, Chris Wedge started off by asking our group a question first. We had just interviewed Aziz Ansari and Chris O’Dowd and they asked what made us laugh so loudly that they were able to hear it from the next room. (You can check out that interview HERE) We relayed the comical hijinx of Aziz and Chris but then entered into more serious conversation about the environmental message the film delivered and whether or not that weighed in on their decision to take part in the film:
Chris Wedge: “It seemed like a fun magical place to go. I do what I can to live as small as I can. It’s kind of hard when you’re working on one of these movies because you’re on airplanes all the time. But, the idea behind the movie was that we would go to a place that seems familiar to us, but we would see the magic inside of it. And I always wanted to get in touch with that from an emotional perspective, I thought about the times that I just walk into the forest, whenever I’m by myself, and just stop and listen and just feel it, because you can feel the presence of some kind of nature power going on all the time. We’ve done a very stylized version of a magical forest here, but if it generates some more kind of respect for that in kids, if they think, wow, maybe if I walk out there, I’ll see this, because I am taking perspectives and showing you that. Sometimes it looks just like it does to us, right, you’ll see evidence that this is happening. So, my hope was that a kid would go out and see like, wow, those birds making all that noise, that’s not just a sparrow chasing a crow away from its nest, it’s Leafman and Boggins that are fighting, that would be it for me. There’s magic out there that we just don’t pay attention to.”
Colin Farrell: “This is me on the environmental warpath, absolutely. There’s no doubt that there’s a message that’s inherent in the script just by the representation of the beauty and minutia of nature and the simultaneous fragility and strength of nature. So, that’s all inherent in the script. So, to respond to the script, I think you’re responding to those ideals. But, no, it’s just a case of meeting Chris and his team and really seeing the visuals and just loving the story and loving the world. And as Chris said, if anyone can come out of this with a moment’s more pause and thought than they would have had before it or if kids want to go out and pick up a rock and see what lies underneath it and put the iPad down for five minutes, happy days, you know?”
Colin Farrell’s character Ronin is the leader of the Leafman in the movie. Ronin is stoic and steadfast in his mission to protect the life in the forest. Ronin’s creed “many leaves, one tree” was something as a Mother that I really connected to. We’re all individuals but at the same time we are all part of a community that needs to support and look out for each other…similar to “it takes a village”. Since Colin is a single father and MK’s character is trying to reconnect with her own father after the loss of her mother we asked him and Amanda what kind of advice they would give to kids who have experienced loss, whether it’s their parents being separated or something else:
Colin Farrell: “A loss can represent a sense of abandonment, of course, a sense of being unwanted. Even if that loss is as the result of a passing of a life, it’s the way human beings are and as sensitive as we are, but certainly, if it’s a father who’s not turning up. So, I think, love is the most important thing. And then, if there’s a feeling as an absence of love, as much as it can be explained to the child that that is through no fault of their own, I think that’s a really important thing.”
Amanda Seyfried: “It’s big. Yes, it’s the worst thing that can happen, I think. But, it (the movie) just shows that there’s a future. I mean, I couldn’t imagine a future without my mother, but there is one if that happened. And, nobody wants to think about that, but life does go on. Doesn’t it?”
Amanda’s character MK is a teenage girl who is going through a huge change in her life though she maintains a very strong persona. We asked her how she felt about portraying a character like that:
Amanda Seyfried: “I’m attracted to those kinds of gals. Yes, I like to find characters that I can relate to in some way. When I’m looking for a challenge, a character that I can’t relate to at all is always great. But, this girl is somebody I can relate to because she’s very headstrong and honest and wants to know what it is she’s about. And, I’m struggling with that every day. And that’s real for anybody that age, from then to 27, to 37– to eighty. But, also, she’s really, really brave, and I’m not. I aspire to be that way. So, I like playing characters that would react to things in a completely different way.”
Colin Farrell: “You may be braver, I don’t know, than you give yourself credit for.” (side note **totally love him for saying that to her…as if I needed more of a reason to love him!)
Amanda Seyfried: “Maybe, yes. But, if I were shrunken into some other kind of world (like MK) or even transported–like say I woke up and I was in the middle of the Congo, I would be so paralyzed with fear.”
Colin Farrell: “You may shock yourself, you really may.” (seriously…can he be any more perfect..)
epic opens in theaters today!! You don’t want to miss this fantastic 3D journey into the forest world!
Written by Susan Pazera