Interview with Into the Woods stars Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick and director Rob Marshall, Disney’s mash-up of five fairy tales adds music and song to make a new classic **** 4 Stars
By Gabrielle Pantera
HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Daily Star) 2015/3/29 – “Some of the most productive character work was working with Colleen [Atwood], who’s telling me about the character through the clothes….how the change would be for the witch,” says Into the Wood star Meryl Streep. “It was incredible how she blended me into, and gnarled everything. There were shards hanging off, things that you can’t even see in the film really. But, I knew. Where the costume stuck into me made me miserable. That was all character.”
“It was strangely emboldening to know that Rob that was what he wanted and that was what he said to my agent,” says Into the Woods Star Emily Blunt. “He really wants actors who can sing, and so does Stephen [Sondheim]. He writes his music for actors. Yes, musically it’s incredibly challenging and complex, but emotionally that’s really the mountain you have to climb in the songs. It’s so intricate and complex and other worldly in how smart it is. So, once I got over my fear of singing in front of anybody, especially Rob Marshall who is a musical god…once I got over that it was really what you fall in love with in this music, the fact that these songs make you want to follow these characters. You sit up. They arrest you.”
This twist is a five unrelated fairy tales meshed them together to become one story. Academy Award-winner Meryl Streep stares as the witch bring all the others together because of what she needs into the woods.
Into the Woods was on Broadway before it was made into a movie. The story takes four of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales Cinderella, Rapunzel, Little Red Ridinghood (Little Red Cap), Thumbelina (The baker and his wife) adds Jack and the Beanstalk (not a Brother’s Grimm story) and gives you a who at if they all met in the woods. The songs are wonderful and the performances fantastic.
What happens when you have characters from five fairy tales (Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel and the humble baker and his wife, whose longing to have a child) together? There is lots of singing that helps move the story along. The costumes are an extension of the story.
The cast is Meryl Streep as the Witch, Johnny Depp as the Wolf, Emily Blunt as the Baker’s Wife, James Corden as the Baker, Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, Chris Pine as Cinderella’s Prince, Lilla Crawford as Little Red Riding Hood, Daniel Huttlestone as Jack, MacKenzie Mauzy as Rapunzel.
“I felt really grateful that Rob and Stephen Sondheim gave me permission to be all those things…unpolished and neurotic…and sort of modern,” says Into the Woods star Anna Kendrick. “She is vulnerable and does have heart. She works herself into a frenzy when she’s too much in her own head. Rob had to remind me, less head, more heart. Things become simpler for her because she’s faced with something greater than herself. The idea of the prince becomes very simple because there’s a greater tragedy going on in the world.”
Producers are Marc Platt (Wicked), Rob Marshall (Academy Award®-winning musical Chicago), John DeLuca (Nine), Callum McDougall (Wicked). Marshall is also the director. Music by Stephen Sondheim (Sunday in the Park with George). Screenplay by James Lapine (Passion).
“I love the joy of it. I love how funny it was, how clever it was, how smart it was,” says Into the Wood director Rob Marshall. “But, I also loved how profound it was and what it said about a parent-child relationship. I loved what it said about the consequences of who she is. I couldn’t believe that all of that was in one piece. It doesn’t get better than this cast. What was so beautiful about it was…it felt like everybody was out there cheering each other on saying do your best work.”
Digital HD/SD, Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA), Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and On-Demand
Blu-ray Bonus Material
Never-Before-Seen Sondheim Original Song: She’ll Be Back Meryl Streep performs a compelling new song that sheds a little more light on the Witch’s relationship with Rapunzel. This never-before- seen composition was penned especially for this movie by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, and is seen here exclusively on Blu-ray and EHV. With introduction by Director Rob Marshall.
There’s Something About The Woods: Journey into this mysterious forest to discover how this compelling, new musical was made. Meet Director Rob Marshall and his award-winning team of artists and craftspeople, see how the woods were brought to life…and what they represent to the story…and to all of us.
Deeper Into The Woods: Journey even further into the development of the film in these 4 segments
From Stage To Screen: Magic of the Woods Designing the Woods, The Costumes of the Woods
Filmmaker Commentary: Film commentary with Director Rob Marshall and Producer John DeLuca.
Music & Lyrics: Get direct access to the musical song segments from the film, with optional sing-along lyrics.
5 Golden Eggs (Easter Eggs)
*Digital bonus offerings may vary by retailer
Deeper Into The Woods, Magic of the Woods,
Feature run time Approximately 125 min.
Rating: Feature Film: PG in U.S.; PG in CE; G in CF
Aspect Ratio: Blu-ray Feature Film = 1080p High Definition / 2.39:1
DVD Feature Film = 2.39:1
Audio: Blu-ray = 7.1 DTS DVD = 5.1 Dolby
Language: English, French & Spanish Subtitles: English SDH, French & Spanish
About Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA):
Release date: March 24th, 2015
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Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA) is a cloud-based digital movie service with a library of more than 400 Disney, Pixar and Marvel movies. Buy once and watch them anywhere. Sign up and access Disney Movies Anywhere for free on DisneyMoviesAnywhere.com and through the Disney Movies Anywhere iOS and Android apps. Users can then simply connect their iTunes, Google Play and VUDU.
Disney has Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios, Disneynature,000 Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, and Touchstone Pictures, and distributes live-action films from DreamWorks Studios. The Disney Music Group encompasses the Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records labels and Disney Music Publishing. The Disney Theatrical Group produces Disney on Broadway, Disney On Ice and Disney Live!.