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Interview with Scarlett Johansson about Captain America: The Winter Soldier

 

Scarlett Johansson Capatain American Winter Soldier

A few weeks ago I had an opportunity that I am sure most guys only dream about – I had the chance to interview the lovely Scarlett Johannson about her role “Black Widow” in the upcoming film Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The film opens in theaters nationwide tomorrow (April 4, 2014).

I can see why men adore her. She’s beautiful and very well spoken. She also kicks some major a$$ in the film. ūüôā

Q: When are we going to a Black Widow movie?

Scarlett: The thing about working with Marvel…¬†how¬†loud the audience voice is,¬†kind of resounds in their ears.¬†I think because Marvel, and particularly Kevin Feige,¬†is such a fan of the source material himself and understands that¬†the fans are kind of what drive this¬†train.¬†If people want that, want to see that film, I‚Äôm sure that we can get something together.

Q: In this film she’s like cupid?  Why the transition?

Scarlett: Well first of all when the character is talking to Loki, you know, she’s kind of putting up this front.  She’s not, as we come to realize, being completely honest with him.  It’s partly for her widow face that she wears.  And in this film we really get to see a lot more of  Natasha. Natasha has a romantic side.

She’s been really damaged.  I think that very early on in the past (she) probably learned to not care too much about people because they could be easily taken away from her and used against her. She probably didn’t want to hurt the people that she loved the most.  And so she never needs them or never invested too much in them knowing that  it would probably put them in danger.

I think that she hopes that for someone like Cap, particularly Steve. I think she sees someone who could have sort of have his life enriched by sharing it with somebody.  That she sees someone that kind of yearns for that, but, you know, is also scarred by the series of events that have changed his life.  And maybe she’s kind of sees in Steve a little bit of herself and wants something more for him.

Q: Do you enjoy having your character mature?

Scarlett:¬†Yeah,¬†it‚Äôs been interesting.¬†Of course when I went in to do Avengers,¬†after having done Iron Man 2 which, you know, you kind of don‚Äôt know a lot about the character,¬†you sort of see her in widow mode.¬†¬†I met with Joss and we started talking. He did a bunch of research.¬† Because now at this point¬†we‚Äôre invested in this character.¬†I didn‚Äôt know if the character would work, or the audience would like her –¬†Like my version of her. Once¬†it became clear they did and I got the opportunity to explore more of her back story in Avengers,¬†it really started to¬†carve out¬†what my kind of version of Natasha, what my reality could be.¬†¬†I mean obviously it‚Äôs one of the oldest female superheroes.¬†Probably the oldest one, and she‚Äôs got this vast library of source material and has had many incarnations and many different people have their hand in her stories.¬†She‚Äôs made all kinds of connections and love interests and failures, and she‚Äôs been good and bad in everything.

 #CaptainAmericaEvent

Q: Tell us about the stunts you did.

Scarlett:¬†Well first of all¬†my stunt¬†girlfriend¬†is¬†this wonderful¬†stunt woman by the name of Heidi Moneymaker – that‚Äôs her real name.¬†She’s awesome.¬†This is our third (movie) and¬†she‚Äôs played the widow every time¬†along with me.¬†We have really worked together from the beginning to develop this fighting style that you see.¬† We want to keep the consistency of it. It‚Äôs such a fun –¬†it‚Äôs such a playful kind of fighting style. It’s¬†badass but it‚Äôs kind of sexy.¬†It‚Äôs a little bit¬†flirtatious.¬†And it‚Äôs balletic giving a kind of a little¬†nod to her past gymnastics. It’s also¬†a bit of a nod to Heidi‚Äôs past. The Muay Thai and whatever else she would have learned with her kind of global experience. In¬†Iron Man the fight sequences were really¬†fantastic.

In the Avengers¬†there was a lot more kind of gun play and stuff like that –¬†wielding all kinds of crazy alien guns, and that was a mess.¬† This time around¬†a lot of the fighting was pretty gritty.¬† A¬†lot of¬†handheld weapons and¬†full on kind of fighting.

It actually made it a lot easier for me. First of all the crazy acrobatic stuff that you see I start and finish, and then Heidi does ridiculous things with her body that I could never do. Even if it was my job. She’s amazing. She deserves most, most of the credit. A very brave and very inspiring person. I just basically wound myself trying to emulate whatever she does. I want to be involved as I can.  And the stunt guys  let me do it because they’re nuts. [LAUGHTER]  There’s a big insurance policy on the film.

Q: Tell us about the Black Widow costume.

Scarlett: The Widow costume is, I have to say, is probably the most comfortable of the superhero suits because it doesn’t require a built-in air conditioning unit, like Hemsworth does (referring to the movie Thor). I don’t have under armor. I don’t have a huge leather cape, headdress, whatever, all that stuff.  It’s pretty straight forward.  It’s kinda like a wet suit actually. Sort of this one piece. I’m always amazed when it goes on and zips up. I’m like, wow Рit’s on.

It’s¬†totally empowering because¬†once you get the belt,¬†gloves,¬†bracelets,¬†guns and the boots¬†it looks great.¬† It‚Äôs¬†badass, It sells it. It’s kind of a superhero thing.¬†It changes the way you stand.¬†It changes your posture. You‚Äôre more aware of your body, obviously.¬†I‚Äôve grown to love it.¬† First I¬†was terrified of it.¬†And¬†now I embrace it because¬†it embraces me, actually.

I work hard¬†to get into it and¬†I‚Äôm proud to wear it. It‚Äôs fun.¬†Kids love it which is great because¬†it looks very superhero-esque. It’s kind of¬† utilitarian¬†but it‚Äôs got the feminine thing going to it. It‚Äôs fun for them to have that to¬†put on as opposed to like the tiny little skirt.¬† [LAUGHTER]¬†A little cover-up with a tutu, stuff like that.

When I say Scarlett Johansson’s character, “Black Widow”/ Natasha kicks butt in this movie, I’m not kidding. Check out this brief clip staring Scarlett’s character from the film, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Not only does she kick butt she still has a very feminine quality about her.

 

I sure wouldn’t want to get on her bad side. LOL!

Captain America: The Winter Soldier opens in theaters tomorrow, April 4, 2014.

You can check out the film’s official Facebook page as well as the Twitter page.

Do you plan on seeing the film? Who is your favorite superhero and/or Marvel character and why? I always love to hear from my readers.

CaptainAmerica

Kimberly

*I was not compensated for this post. I attended a press junket in order to participate in this interview. My travel expense were provided for.

 

 

Interview with President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige

 

Captain America Winter Soldier Poster

Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with several other bloggers to interview Kevin Feige, the President of Marvel Studios. He is also the Producer of the film Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which comes out on Friday, April 4, 2014.

I knew he was the producer of the film. I didn’t know at the time that he was also the President of Marvel Studios. That’s pretty neat.

Here is an excerpt from the interview where Mr. Feige not only touches up on Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but also discusses upcoming movie releases from Marvel Studios that I’m sure many fans will be excited to know about.

Q: Can you tell us what comes next?

KF: We’re¬†spending a lot of¬†time now in the cutting room¬†on Guardians of the Galaxy,¬†which comes out August 1st.¬†We just released the teaser for it recently.¬†In¬†about two¬†weeks¬†we start filming Avengers: Age of Ultron. That’s coming up very fast and that will be the next movie up in May of 2015.¬† In¬†about ten weeks, we start filming Ant-Man with Michael Douglas and Paul Rudd. That¬†comes out in July of 2015.

We haven’t announced what comes after that in 2016/2017 but we’re actively working on¬†any number of things¬†and are beginning to hone in on sort of exactly what the movies will be in¬†’16 and ’17.

Q: Is it intentional that you always incorporate older superheroes?

KF:¬†Well I think¬†its indicative of our development process.¬†We just believe that’s the best way to bring the villains into it.¬†It’s more personal in this movie than in any other movie because of who the Winter Soldier is.

Q: Are there perks with working with celebrities?

KF: No.  The only favor I want is for them to do the movie and to do an amazing job in the movie and they have done that up to this point.

Q: Talk about the controversy around Winter Soldier.

KF:¬†Comic fans always knew sort of two things¬†– characters die and come back to life in comics,¬†like in soap operas. But there are two characters in the Marvel Universe that are never going to¬†come back to life –¬†Uncle Ben and Bucky Barnes. About 10 years ago¬†a comic book writer, Ed Brubaker, went to publishing.¬† I didn’t¬†have anything to do with it. He¬†went to publishing and said, “I have an idea to bring Bucky Barnes back.” And I’m sure they’re like “what are you talking about?¬† You can’t do that.”¬†And they pitched the idea and it was great. And it was the Winter Soldier idea and it was done so well.¬†I think fans went “No, you can’t – Oh that’s great, we love that.”

Q: Talk about the difference in the tone.

KF:¬†Well it was two things.¬† I mean one¬†was we always want our movies to feel differently. We have two movies a year coming out.¬†If they start to feel redundant, they start to feel like cookie cutter,¬†you know, off the same assembly line, people are going to¬†lose interest.¬†And we will lose interest.¬†I’m not interested in making the same movie over and over again.¬†So it’s very important to us that we mix them up and that they feel very unique, each of the films.¬† We¬†had a wonderful opportunity where you have a character whose origins were in the 1940’s (referring to Steve Rogers from Captain America).¬†At the end of that movie we reveal that he’s now alive in the present day.¬† He’s got a brief adventure in¬†the Avengers film but doesn’t have a lot of time to¬†think about¬†his current stay where he’s living, He’s got to stop this horrible event from happening.

So now this was the movie where we got to say OK, here’s Steve in the modern day, let’s do something totally unique, and that led us to the notion of doing the Marvel Superhero version of a ’70s Action Movie, a ’70s Political Thriller. He doesn’t fly and he doesn’t go visit other planets,¬†so that gave us an opportunity to do the kind of action that we haven’t necessarily done before in our movies which is a ground base and visceral, you know, car chases and¬†hand to hand combat. What Steve’s super power is other than sort of his strong moral foundation is he’s a super soldier.¬†We wanted to showcase him in this movie.¬†And we wanted to put him up against somebody that is¬†equal to that, which is what the Winter Soldier was in a bad guy.

I’m glad people are responding to how unique the tone of this¬†movie and how different, not just from the first Captain America film but from any of our movies that it has.

Q: Is there any hope to get other characters with other studios?

KF:¬†No.¬†I think we’re all¬†busy.¬†SONY’s busy working on Spiderman movies.¬†Spiderman II is coming out very soon.¬†Fox is working very hard on X-Men and they’ve got an X-Men Movie coming out very soon. And we clearly¬†are spending a lot of time doing our two movies a year.¬†I don’t want to say never say never necessarily but I don’t know that that would happen any time soon, and we’re certainly not planning for it.

President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige

President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige

Q: Talk about casting people.

KF:¬†It varies.¬† I mean sometimes¬†we do (cast people they know/already worked with). And sometimes it’s¬†auditioning actors.¬†Sometimes it’s a case where we (knew who we wanted).¬†Frankly, with Anthony Mackie (they knew they wanted him).¬†That’s who the Russos wanted.¬†We thought¬†he’d be great and he agreed.¬†Sometime you know.

Getting a call from¬†Mr. Redford’s agent saying do you have anything that¬†might be good for him and we went Holy Mackerel, we sure do.¬†¬† And we made some adjustments to that character¬†– to increase his stature and to make it worthy of¬†Robert Redford playing it.

Often times it’s just meeting with people and finding people who are interested. Michael Douglas on¬†Ant-Man and Paul Rudd –¬†both were¬† sort of first choices¬†in terms¬†of the characters they’re playing for us.

People seem to be excited about joining us and¬†seem to trust that¬†they’re not going to¬†look silly in a¬†costume or talking to a comic book character. They realize we take this very seriously and¬†when somebody like Robert Redford or like Anthony Mackie or any of our actors sign up, that’s a big responsibility for us the film makers.¬†We have to bring our best to the script and to the production and to the¬†final product.

Q: With the backlog of Films, do you find this to be a challenge or is it easier?

KF:¬†I don’t know if it makes it easier.¬†It’s a bit of a challenge but it also is just fun.¬†You know the challenge frankly as I sort of eluded to before is not to overdo it.¬†As you know until the movie comes out, we’ll reveal that there are goings on at Shield and we want to say “Hey, what if a US Senator was¬†part of this?”¬†Well we have a US Senator and he was in one of our movies, Gary Shandling, so let’s bring him back.¬†Let’s see if he might be willing to do it and he absolutely was and he flew to DC and shot that for us.¬†Now that we’re¬†approaching a dozen movies now, it is fun to go back and¬†connect dots,¬†in ways that you would do anyway.

Q:  What are you most excited about?

KF:¬†I am most excited about how the world reacted to that teaser¬†which I’m very, very happy with because that teaser, you know, represents the tone and the¬†vibe of the movie quite overtly.¬†So we were sort of leading with our most unique and different element, which is not always what movie markers do.¬†We were leading with what the most unique elements of the movie are which I’m very happy with and more happy that people seem to be on board with it.

As we’ve been talking about today, each Marvel Studio’s movie needs to be unique, needs to feel like its own fresh entity, but Guardians takes that to the extreme. It¬†really is¬†more different and¬†a fresh original movie.¬†It happens to be based on a Marvel comic book but for all intensive purposes though, from an audience who has no idea who those characters are from the comics, it is an original movie.

Summer where there are a lot of sequels.¬†There are a lot of¬†remakes,¬†so I hope people are as excited as we are to see something wholly new and wholly original.¬† That’s what I’m most excited about.

Q: Do you hope that Guardians becomes a series of films?

KF:¬†Well¬†sure.¬†I mean, it¬†takes place on the other side of the¬†galaxy but at the same time, there are elements in it that¬†quite directly link it into the¬†other movie so it absolutely is a part of our cinematic universe.¬†The¬†truth is we don’t¬†make every movie one at a time so we’re putting everything we have into that first movie.¬†There other stories to tell –¬†are there ways we could take them on other adventures?¬† Absolutely.¬†¬†But we never find ourselves going “Oh, this is a great idea.¬† Let’s save this for Part 3?” No if you don’t put it in here, there won’t be a Part 3.¬† You¬†need to put all the great ideas in the movie at hand.¬†So that’s where all of our energies is going right now into Guardians.

For your entertainment here are the trailers for Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.

Look for my interview (tomorrow – April 3, 2014) with Scarlett Johansson and Friday, my review of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

 

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy¬†

 

Kimberly

*I was not compensated for this post. I did attend the press junket. All my travel expenses were taken care of.

Interview with Captain America’s Chris Evans about The Winter Soldier

 

Captain America The Winter Soldier Poster

On April 4, 2014 the highly anticipated Marvel film, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, makes it way into theaters across the country.

I had the fabulous opportunity to screen the film a few weeks ago. I’ll be sharing my review at the end of the week (April 4th – the film’s release date). If I had to sum it up in one word it would be AWESOME!

A few weeks ago the blogger group I was with had the opportunity to interview the cast of the film – Chris Evans (“Captain America”), Scarlett Johansson (“Black Widow”)¬†and the always funny Anthony Mackie (“Falcon”).

I will have to admit that I was swooning over Chris. He is certainly nice to look at. ūüôā He’s also really funny and a ball of energy.

Here are some highlights from the interview.

Q: What qualities in Captain America do you find in yourself?  

Chris:¬†Aww.¬† How do you answer that question?¬† He’s such a good guy… What do I find in myself?¬†I think he’s always trying to do better.¬† You know, I don’t think I’m as good of a man as he is, but I think as good of a man as he is, he’s always trying to improve, so I think the one thing I am working towards on a daily basis is just trying to find ways to evolve.

Q: Do you find that that character has good qualities, and plays like a role model?

Chris:¬†Oh, completely.¬† Yeah.¬† When I took the role, there’s a kid that I grew up with. This kid named is Charlie. You can all write this down.¬† Charlie Morris.¬†He’ll love this. But he won’t.¬†He’ll hate this, because he’s Captain¬†America.¬† He’s like, the best kid I know.¬†He was an Eagle scout.¬†And being an Eagle scout is not easy.¬† You’ve got to really do it for a long time.¬†But he’s just such a good man, and he genuinely puts himself last. He lives by a code.¬†When nobody’s looking, he’s the man that he wants to be, and that’s impressive.

When I took the role, I told Charlie, “Listen.¬† I’m modeling this after you.”¬†And it’s such a great character to aspire to be.¬†It’s such a great character.¬†If you’ve got to go to set every day and try and tweak your brain into a certain state of mind, that’s a pretty good place to be.

Q: What was it like, seeing yourself as Captain America for the first time?

Chris:¬†For the first time?¬†Terrifying.¬†Because I think the first time I saw it, it was back when I was still pretty, um…insecure, and a little apprehensive about taking the role.¬† So, it was¬†a real dichotomy.¬† There was a simultaneous joy, but at the same time, a deep fear.¬† But that’s eroded over time, and now it’s very familiar, and it feels very comfortable, and I’ll just spit on the table for a second.¬†It feels great now, and damn, if I had said no, I would have been the biggest fool on the planet.

Q: Who would win in a fight between Batman and Captain America?

Chris:¬†Oh.¬† You’ve got to go with Captain America.¬† Come on. I thought you were going to say Captain America and the Human Torch (the character he played in Fantastic Four).¬† That’s a tougher question. Batman?¬†What does he have?¬†Toys?¬† Don’t write that.¬†It’s going to be Captain America.

Chris Evans Captain America

Q: If you had a 2nd choice for a superhero to play, who would you choose?

Chris:¬†You know, I’ll say it¬†– I miss Johnny Storm.¬†I liked the Human Torch. He was a fun guy to play.

I would say someone like Iron Man, but no one can touch Robert Downey Jr. It’s fun to play someone with life. It’s fun to play someone who enjoys embracing their abilities, and Johnny Storm was a lot of fun to play.¬†And that costume was comfy.was like a wetsuit.¬†It was perfect.

Q: How many different shields did you have to use during the filming of this, and did you take any home?

Chris:¬†Yeah, they gave me one.¬† There’s probably like four or five different shields. There’s the one shield that’s¬†heavy and ridiculous. That’s just for show. And then every now and then, if you have to hit somebody, you get this kind of fiberglass shield. And if you have to throw it, you get a foam shield.¬†There’s a bunch of different shields, but they did send me one.¬†It’s sitting in my house. It usually comes out after everyone’s had a few drinks.¬†Photo shoots happen.

Q: What was your most memorable moment during filming? 

Chris:¬†When I saw Robert Redford walk in the door. Everyone was nervous that day.¬†Everybody was scared.¬†There was a whole buzz on the whole set.¬†But it’s Robert Redford.¬†You know.¬†I grew up watching this guy.¬†He is a living legend.¬†So it was intimidating.¬†It was exciting.¬†It was rewarding.¬†It was surreal.¬†So, for me, just sharing the screen with him, I mean, c’mon. That’s it?¬† All right!

Q: With the fighting styles, what was your preparation like with the martial arts? Are you comfortable with it?

Chris:¬†Comfortable now.¬†In the beginning it’s a tricky process, and it’s tough realizing that¬†certain things, you’re not good at right away.¬† You just want to be like, “I can do that,” and then you’re awful and you’re like, “I guess I can’t do that.”¬† One of the things that I had¬†in between the first Captain America and the first Avengers, I had played the Captain America video game.¬†I don’t know if anyone’s played the video game.¬†I’m not really a video game guy.¬† Someone handed me the controller, and I was playing, and the way Cap moves in the video game, there’s a fluidity and it’s very acrobatic.¬†It’s very aerial.¬† He uses his environment, and it’s almost this beautiful, smooth dance, and when I first met with LaRusso, I said, “Have you played the video game?”¬† And truthfully, I swear to God, they said “You know what?¬† We referenced the video game, too.”¬† I said, “Good, good, we’re on the same page.¬† But that means we need to incorporate a little bit more of an acrobatic approach to fighting.”¬†So they put me in¬†gymnastic classes, which is something I always wanted to do, kind of, anyway.¬† [LAUGHS] I mean, I wanted to go play on like, the balance beam, but they were like, “No”.¬†

It was more like it was tumbling, essentially. Parkour-style gymnastic stuff. Flipping, and spinning, and just kind of getting a sense of your body in the air. So we did about two months of that. We did two months, a few hours, each day, and it was invaluable. It really lends itself to a lot of those fight scenes.

Captain America Winter Soldier Chris Evans

Q: What is next for Captain America?

Chris:¬†Meaning within the structure of the films?¬†Well, that’s going to be tough to say.¬†Marvel is so hush-hush about everything.¬†People ask about the Avengers 2 scripts, and you want to try and give them something, but it’s so dangerous, because you give one sentence, and that sentence is blown out of proportion. I can’t.¬†I can’t touch it. It’s too dangerous. Yeah,¬†Avengers 2.¬†Basically, what happens in Avengers 2.¬† Can’t go there.

Q:¬†How is it, working with Anthony (Mackie – he plays “Falcon” in the film)?

Chris:¬†Did anyone see the press conference?¬†I mean, he’s fantastic.¬†Is¬†he going to come¬†in here at some point? Oh,¬†I want to be in the audience!¬†He’s great.¬†Him and I, we’re very similar people, and this is my third movie with Mackie, you know?¬†We’ve done, outside of the Marvel Universe, we’ve done a couple of things together, and the first time I met him wasn’t even on a film set.¬†We met out one night, and just you know, kind of got along, right away.¬†He just has this innate energy.

Movies can be extremely tedious and tiresome, and I have never seen him drag on a film set. He comes to set, and immediately has an energy, and everybody is smiling and laughing. And, you know, certain days when he’s not there, you’re like, “Why?¬† Why is this day awful?¬†Mackie is not here!¬† Where’s Mackie?” He’s just, he’s a ball of energy, and you know, he’s just a very optimistic person, and it’s infectious.

It was a great interview. As I mentioned Chris was a lot of fun and full of energy. He had us laughing too.

Later this week I’ll be sharing our interview with Scarlett Johansson, Producer Kevin Feige, Sabastian Stan and Anthony Mackie. I’ll also be sharing my review of the film. Please keep a look out for these posts.

You can check out what the other bloggers on the trip have to say by searching for the hashtag #CaptainAmericaEvent on the social media sites.

What do you think about Captain America: The Winter Solider? Will you be going to see it when it hits theaters?

Here is the film’s trailer for your enjoyment.

 

Kimberly

*I attended the press junket. My travel expenses were covered. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own unless otherwise noted.

Interview with Songwriter Brett McKenzie about Muppets Most Wanted

 

Muppets Most Wanted Soundtrack

Muppets Most Wanted came out in theaters a week ago today (on April 21, 2014). Have you seen the film yet? If not, what are you waiting for? LOL! It’s a fun film.

One of the things I really like about this film is the soundtrack. The songs are a lot of fun and very “catchy”. I’ve had a few of the songs stuck in my mind over and over again.

I have the soundtrack for the film and I’ve already listened to it more than a dozen times. I even have some of the songs on my iPhone so I can listen to them when I’m out and about.

My kids thought I was nuts (you’ve got to love teenagers) but after they heard a few of the songs being played over and over again they started to like them too.

While I was out in LA a week weeks ago the blogger group I was with had the opportunity to interview Brett McKenzie. Brett is the song writer who wrote some of the songs for Muppets Most Wanted. He also wrote songs for the Muppet Movie that came out on 2011 and he wrote a lot of songs for the series Flight of the Conchords, which he also stared in and was directed by Muppets Most Wanted Director James Bobin.

Brett McKenzie

Brett McKenzie

Here is some highlights from the interview.

Q: While working on the music for this film did you have any pressure to try to meet that kind of standard again? (This is referring to his song Man or Muppet which won an Academy Award for Best Original Song from the Muppet Movie).

Brett:¬†Yeah I was, obviously yeah there was a lot of pressure because of the Oscar, but really what could I do? There is always going to¬†be downhill.¬†I mean I was appreciative but then I had to get on with the job and just, you know, forget about that.¬†I didn’t work on the last Muppet film to win awards.

Q: Do you get any inspiration from Flight of the Conchords for your songs on the Muppets?

Brett:¬†Those guys are a big influence on me.¬†I mean, in some ways it’s the same sort of thing, writing comedy songs.¬†I guess that’s where I learned how to write comedy songs. So I’m using the same techniques, yeah.

Q:¬†What’s the process like for when you’re told like what kind of song, just the idea of the song but how do you get the ideas going in your head and you don’t write lyrics first, the music first?

Brett:¬†They send me a script with the idea of a song…¬†but it’s usually quite a loose idea. For example the ballad¬†was originally called “Love Ain’t Easy,” and it was a Piggy ballad. And first of all I was nervous because Piggy is a great character, a great comedic character, but not a great singer, and¬†I was worried about her carrying¬†an emotional ballad because there’s only so much of her voice that the audience, I think, wants to hear.¬†Thirty seconds is great,¬†then a couple of minutes you’re really start being a bit painful. So I suggested we¬†try and get a singer to help her and we were really excited when Celine Dion agreed.

I would write the song and then adapt it for the characters and¬†go to¬†James Bobin and play it to him. One of the stranger experiences on the job is I go to the Disney offices to play the songs to them.¬†I sit at the piano and I¬†say “This is¬†Miss Piggy’s ballad,” and I’d sit down in this room with all these suits, these Hollywood suits, and I would go, so Miss Piggy, she turns to the camera and she starts doing like this, [IMPERSONATES MISS PIGGY IN HIGH-PITCHED SINGING VOICE] “How can something so right, be so…” Literally a crazy job¬†but kind of fun.¬†I can do all those Muppet voices.

Sometimes you get a someone like Tina Fey who got the role of prison guard and I always wanted to do this doo wop song in there and then I started working with her and I adjusted the song to suit her voice because¬†it was the wrong pitch and we kind of worked together to find out what her strengths are and where her voice sits. That’s one of the benefits of being the songwriter and producer of the songs.¬†If it’s not working I can just change the song.

Brett McKenzie

Brett McKenzie

Q: Do you have a favorite song from this film that you wrote?

Brett –¬†I do like “I’ll Get You What You Want” (Cockatoo and Malibu)¬†which is¬†the bad frog (Constantine) trying to woo Miss Piggy.

It kind of comes out of left field and it’s a genre that I¬†really love, that kind of early ’80s Lionel Richie/Michael McDonald/Doobie Brothers sound.¬†It was kind of fun to make a Russian frog sing like as Michael McDonald.

Q:¬†When you have writer’s block what do you refer to for inspiration?

Brett –¬†YouTube. It’s kind of fun writing songs in the studio. We can look through (referencing YouTube) because¬†there’s such a great history of recorded music now. You can look at ’70s and ’80s songs. And¬†power ballads.¬†I’m a real sucker for power ballads.

Q: If you could be a Muppet, which Muppet would you be?

Brett –¬†I would probably¬†be one of the two old guys (Statler and Waldorf) because they get a lot of the best jokes. It’s¬†between them and Animal.¬†Animal’s great.

Swedish Chef is a guaranteed laugh at home. If I do a Swedish Chef impression, I mean no matter what the situation, trying to get kids to finish dinner, they’re, it, something about Swedish Chef, you know, [IMITATES SWEDISH CHEF] Snoop du beshdabeers. [LAUGHS] .¬†Everyone can do a Swedish Chef, and the kids just love that character.

Muppets-Most-Wanted-Movis-Poster1

This was a fun interview. He made a good point about Miss Piggy. I love her and all but listening to her sing a power ballad for too long probably would have got annoying. LOL!

The songs are great. I’m not just saying that. I truly mean it. I wouldn’t download them on to my cellphone if they weren’t.

My favorite song is I’ll Get You What You Want” (Cockatoo and Malibu).

… I can give you anything you want

Give you anything you need

I’ll make your dreams come true

Give you anything you want

Fulfill your fantasies

I’ll make your dreams come true

 

You wanna unicorn, I’ll give it to you

You wanna puppy dog, I’ll give it to you

You want an ice cream cone, I’ll give it you

You want a mortgage loan, I’ll give it to you

 

You wanna satin pillow, I’ll give it to you

You want an armadillo, I’ll give it to you

You wanna diamond ring, I’ll give it to you

You wanna a thingy thing, I‚Äôll give it to you…

The scene where Constantine sings this song to Miss Piggy is also funny.

Other memorable songs are “I’m Number One” (I didn’t know Ricky Gervais used to be a pop star in the UK!), “The Big House” (Who knew Tina Fey could sing – and with a Russian accent too) and “Answer Some Questions/Interrogation Song” (Hear Modern Family star Ty Burell sing with a heavy French accent).

It’s a fun soundtrack. The best thing about it is that it’s music the whole family can enjoy, not just kids. This would be a great CD to pop in on a long car ride. I could see the whole family singing along to the songs.

The entire soundtrack is available for download on iTunes, as well as select songs. You can also buy the soundtrack at Amazon or other retail locations.

For more information about the film visit www.Disney.com/Muppets. You can also check out the film on  the various social media sites;

Facebook

Twitter #MuppetsMostWanted

Miss Piggy on Twitter

YouTube

Tumblr

In addition you can see what other bloggers have to say about the film by  checking out the hashtag #MuppetsMostWantedEvent.

If you saw the film already, what was your favorite song? I would love to hear your thoughts.

MMW

Kimberly

*I was not compensated for this post. I am posting this for the enjoyment of my  site readers. I did attend screenings of the film but there was no compensation  involved (only travel expenses).

Interview with Disney’s “The Pirate Fairy” Director Peggy Holmes & Producer Jenni Magee-Cook

 

The Pirate Fairy

When I was out in Los Angeles a few weeks ago I had the wonderful opportunity to screen the upcoming Walt Disney Home Entertainment release from Disneytoon Studios called The Pirate Fairy. The Blu-ray/DVD film will be available on April 1, 2014. I’ll be posting my review for the film in the next few days. It’s a fantastic film – great for girls and boys.

After we screened the movie we had the opportunity to interview the film’s Director Peggy Holmes and Producer Jenni Magee-Cook. Here are some excerpts from the interview.

Q: This is an amazing movie with an amazing cast.  How did the casting go about?

Peggy –¬†Well the series,¬†the Fairies Franchise series, our main girls Tinker Bell, Silvermist, Rosetta, Iridessa, and, um, Fawn and Vidia have all been cast since the beginning.¬† We have Jason Henkel here who‚Äôs¬†our casting director.¬† And he’s fantastic.¬† And then in this particular case, the cast we added which was¬†Christina Hendricks and Tom Hiddleston, we worked with Jason, we talked about sort of what we wanted the, what the characters were like. And then he brings a list to us. In this case they are our top picks for each character, which was incredible.

Jenni – (In reference to Christina Hendricks being cast as Zarina) … We really wanted you to like her.¬† And we wanted¬†to find a character that was likeable but yet you could understand made a big mistake, and goes away.¬† But also had to be powerful, I mean, she’s a seven inch fairy fighting pirates.¬† So she’s got to be vulnerable and sweet out front.

But then she’s got to be tough when she’s a pirate, so it took a really big range of acting and Christina Hendricks is amazing.¬† And we all knew her from Mad Men and we knew she could have that sharp tone- tough wit, but she has such a sensitive soft side to her also.¬† And she has such a passion for this passion and really excited by coming in and doing a fairy.¬† She’s a, a huge Disney fanatic, so remember we showed her around the building and we were in the story room showing her art and¬†hee just was totally in the story about how it dawned on her.¬† She was going to be a fairy.

Peggy –¬†Tom Hiddleston was¬†first choice yes, he did it, which was just amazing.¬† And one of the great¬†things about Tom is first of all he’s a triple threat right.¬†He can sing dance and act, which is amazing.

And that’s what Tom understood was how to then get a bigger than life character, a bigger than life performance that was believable for today‚Äôs audience.¬† And Tom got that right off the bat…¬†¬†Our thought was that¬†Hook is not as bitter, and evil as he is in Peter Pan yet.¬† Because he hasn‚Äôt had all the failures.¬†But you can see he’s going to start to have a lot of failures and a lot of things that go wrong for him.¬† And he’s got big ideas that just don’t work out.¬†Tom really had a handle on kind of how to make this a character super charming and loyal and¬†very unassuming.¬†And then make that flip, which was great.

Pirate Fairy display in the Disneytoon Studios lobby

Pirate Fairy display in the Disneytoon Studios lobby

The ladies discussed how the whole pirate theme for the movie came about.

Peggy –¬†We knew we wanted Zarina to make a mistake and run away from home.¬†And I wanted her to come back because that is what Disney is all about, is what Tinker Bell is about.¬†She has a huge heart, Tinker Bell knows all about making mistakes and kind of owning up to those. That’s the kind of gal she is. And she’s super loyal.¬†We know that from Peter Pan. So we¬†wanted¬†Zarina running away from home, they live in Neverland. Where was she going to go?

So we were in a story meeting with Jenni, myself, the other directors and writers… and John Lasseter.¬† So we’re in a meeting, it’s a two hour creative meeting, on the idea of this movie. And we’re throwing out ideas, where could she go,¬†what could happen, because that would basically build the story.¬†And¬†almost two hours had gone by and all of a sudden John Lassiter pounds his¬†fist on the table, which always means something is coming.

Jenni –¬†Like the light bulb just pops in his head.

Peggy – And we all looked at him, and he goes, pirates, she could run away and get hooked up with pirates, the pirates of Neverland. And from there a whole story just unfolded.¬†So once he said that, we’re like, oh my gosh, we could introduce a young Captain Hook, oh my gosh, we could bring in the crocodile, oh my gosh, you know, it just started, we could see¬†many ideas were thrown out in the room.

Jenni –¬†But it is a huge responsibility to take on that legacy of Peter Pan and to start introducing those, and we couldn’t change the world.¬† And we had to make sure it¬†was believable to go to where we all know, where Tick Tock Crock came from and where Hook came from and all.¬†So there is a big responsibility in that.¬† It’s same with working with the fairies… And it creates¬†an incredibly challenging in a positive way creative team.

pirate-fairy-director

Peggy Holmes (L) and Jenni Jenni Magee-Cook (R)
Photo Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images North America

Q: Start to finish what was the time period? 

Peggy – We actually made this film in fifteen months.

Jenni –¬†Yeah it was¬†an incredibly fast project.¬†Peggy had a really clear idea for the emotional track she wanted to take Zarina on.¬†Having the clear story really helps unfold everything else.¬†Because¬†that helps you drive your character design, your visual development.¬†Because everything is about telling and supporting that story.¬† So clarity of that was great.¬†The help from the entire studio to put it together and our families understanding they‚Äôd see us in fifteen months.

Q: I really liked Zarina’s costume. What was it like working with fashion? 

Peggy –¬†Amazing.

Jenni –¬†Incredible.

Peggy – (In reference to fashion designer Christian Siriano who designed the costumes in The Pirate Fairy). He’s really fun. He¬†could relate to this character.¬†And he could relate to her kind of being a little bit on the outside, as we know he has kind of forged his own way in his own career.¬† So he really¬†liked her and so basically once¬†he was interested, we got on the phone with him and talked to a little bit more about the character.¬†And he actually said he started sketching while we were on the phone.

The¬†film takes place at the turn of the century…¬†So we had done¬†research on¬†different things that can be part of her costume.¬†Like her sword is a hatpin¬†and her belt is a watchband… (it’s a)¬†watchband from the turn of the century. And we said to him maybe she could wear a napkin ring as a belt. We¬†sent him all these ideas and that just got his mind rolling. And then he did these fantastic sketches.

But he did all these amazing sketches, came in here with the studio, worked with our character designer.¬†We had certain ideas about her, we knew we wanted her to have long boots.¬†And we wanted her to have some sort of classic pirate thing, but definitely feel hip and contemporary. And what we found as we started to sketch her outfit was, pirate can go Halloween costume very quickly.¬†And we didn’t want that. We needed it to be fashion. So that’s where we really relied on Christian to help us make the line and the silhouette be classic but contemporary.

Q: With all the fairies, will there be spinoffs? 

Jenni – We¬†haven’t¬†talked about it because¬†it’s a director driven studio.¬†So what we really do here is when the directors have a story they want to tell, that’s what they bring to the table and they¬†decide to tell that story.¬†And they talk about it with our teams.¬† But we don’t mandate that they must make anything.

Peggy –¬†But we are in production on the next fairies film.

Q:¬†I love the way it’s for boys and girls, the sequel was more for both?¬†

Jenni –¬†Yeah it’s¬†doing really well with boys, I mean,¬†in general boys don’t tend to always be the market we have for this audience.¬†But every time¬†we screened¬†it we’ve brought boys in for our general audience screenings.¬†And I have boys. And¬†my boy is almost thirteen and he said “I’m not just kissing up to you, mom.¬† I actually like your movie.”¬†It’s almost like as if he said he loves me in public.

Pirate Fairy display in the Disneytoon Studios lobby

Pirate Fairy display in the Disneytoon Studios lobby

In reference to that fact that the main pirate in the film is actually a young Captain Hook (I had my suspicions early on).

Peggy –¬†We screened it¬†for an audience¬†in a regular theater.¬†We talked to them afterward.¬†Different people discovered that it was Hook at different times in the story. And I thought that was great.¬†It’s something we never had thought of.¬†I personally hadn‚Äôt thought of that, you’re just sort of making your movie, you know.¬†But¬†different people discovered at different times.¬†One girl goes “when he put his hat on” and somebody else¬†didn’t know until he grabbed that hook at the end.

Jenni –¬†It was fun.¬†We put a lot of little¬†things in there that not all of them were obvious. I mean one of the ones that you wouldn’t know that‚Äôs really fun to tell people is the clock.¬†The tick¬†tocks.¬†That sound of the clock tick tocking we pulled from the original Peter Pan the archives and we reused the actual sounds, we mixed that into it.¬†So then that’s a little for us we got really excited, because we like those little geeky things that we like to do.

Peggy –¬†That’s my son‚Äôs initials on the clock. That is one of the fun thing I would have never thought about. The¬†art director said “you know, we’ve got to¬†design this clock“. It’s¬†very simplistic.¬†It’s two dimensional –¬†it’s a very simplistic clock.¬†So we do always have the responsibility¬†to take those elements and bring them into CG (computer generated animation),¬†and you have to put more detail in them.¬† They just didn’t have a lot of detail.¬†So we brought the clock in¬†and he showed me the clock and it needed to have a maker on it, and he used my son‚Äôs initials.¬† And I was like, wow.

Jenni РHer daughter, who’s amazing, is under the cigar box where Zarina is filtering the blue dust. Her daughter’s name is on there.

Peggy –¬†Yeah Gabriella,¬†a cigar smoker,¬†a fun little tidbit.

Jenni –¬†It’s fun for us because it’s our world that we live in, and we put little geeky things like that in there and get excited. But it’s also just adds the whole flavor and¬†some people catch it and some people don’t, but when you do it’s kind of exciting.

Pirate Fairy display in the Disneytoon Studios lobby

Pirate Fairy display in the Disneytoon Studios lobby

Q:  This was my first Disney fairy movie, and it was great. Were you trying to appeal to boys?

Peggy – We just want to make the best story we can.¬†That’s¬†the goal. That is John’s (Lasseter)¬†goal with us,¬†to¬†tell the greatest story you can.¬† So that’s always it. There‚Äôs never ever any sort of¬†goal. That is never in any¬†of our creative story meetings, any of our creative thoughts about any of our films here. We’re never, that’s never part of the conversation (referring to marketing).

Q:¬†Why didn’t the movie run in theaters?

Peggy – Internationally we’re in forty-two markets. Internationally in theaters.We just make our movie.

Jenni –¬†The powers that be (in reference to Walt Disney Studios deciding how the movie will be released).

In addition we also learned that they had their very own pirate consultant who worked with them on the film. Who knew there was such a person. How does one get a job as a pirate consultant. LOL!

His name is Peter Twist. He was the same consultant on all the Pirates of the Caribbean films. He taught them about the hierarchy of pirates and the pirate language. Pirates also have their own code of ethics. That is a little fun fact about the film.

It was a fun interview.

The Pirate Fairy will be available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Download on April 1, 2014. For more information about this film and to learn more about the characters, visit the official Pirate Fairy website. There you will also find activities, videos and more.

Here is the film’s trailer for your enjoyment.


Trailer – The Pirate Fairy on Disney Video
 

Kimberly

*I attended a free screening. My transportation and accommodations was provided for. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

Interview with Muppets Most Wanted Director James Bobin

 

Muppets-Most-Wanted-Movis-Poster1

Muppets Most Wanted opened in theaters across the country this past Friday (March 21, 2014). Have you had the opportunity to see the movie yet? If so I would love to hear your thoughts about the movie. Did you like it? What did you think about the songs? Do you have any of the songs stuck in your head? LOL!

While I was out in Los Angels a couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to sit down with other bloggers and interview the Director of Muppets Most Wanted, James Bobin, along with the other wonderful bloggers who were in the group with me.

James Bobin directed the last Muppet Movie (2011) along with the comedy series Flight of the Conchords. He also co-wrote Muppets Most Wanted along with Nicholas Stoller who wrote the last Muppet Movie with Jason Segal.

There was more to the interview with Mr. Bobin but I didn’t want to make this post too long so I chose to highlight a few of the questions which I feel might be questions readers might have asked or were curious to know the answer to.

Q: So who is the most difficult Muppet to work with?

James Bobin: [LAUGHS] I’ll let you guess who the most difficult Muppet is who I work with. None of them, they’re all a total joy to work with. I’m¬†a huge fan. I grew up watching the Muppets as a kid, so working with them for me is like working with my¬†heroes.

Q: So what is the difference between shooting the first movie and then the second movie?

James Bobin:¬†The first movie I’d never worked puppets before, so it was a very big experiential learning curve of how to frame shots, how to make this world feel realistic, that these puppets were alive, breathing people who are interacting with humans and the world’s just, the world we live in, the recognizable world we live in happened to have puppets in it. That idea I love, and that’s a very important part of it.

And that was quite, the training of the first movie was just getting, I think just getting to that level for me was an achievement. I could make a movie that¬†worked on that level. And so for this one I just wanted to push that a bit further. Because the last movie is kinda set in the theater for a lot of the final act. And the last, you know, most of it was and so I thought this time, well, we should just get out and about a bit more and just do some slightly more adventurous, bigger stuff. And, obviously, the fact that the movie’s kind of a caper movie with some criminal stuff in it, feels like you can do bigger action sequences.

Obviously, you never want to put the words “puppet” and “action sequences” in the same sentence [LAUGHS] as a director, because that is very hard. But I like the idea of trying difficult stuff. It’s ambition about the movie I really like about it, it feels like a very different film to me. And the way I love both movies equally, but this film I feel like has slightly more ambition which I love about it and I think that’s when you’re doing a sequel there’s all sorts of things you have to deal with. One of them is you want to try and make a different movie. You don’t want to make the same movie twice, and that’s very important. Yes?

Q: When writing The Muppets did you take any inspiration from your funny show Flight Of The Conchords? And then do you think that adult humor and children’s’ humor are closer than we think?

James Bobin: ¬†¬†[LAUGHS]¬†Good questions. Uh, adult humor and, I’ll do them in the reverse order. Adult humor and child humor, yeah they are kind of different but they can be the same. I mean, we’re all big kids, really, I am, I know for sure. And so often I find things like, things falling over, I will find that funny forever. Like Tom and Jerry makes me laugh as much as my kids might laugh. And that’s always going to be that way. But sometimes it’s useful to have a thing that works on two levels, that they like it for some, a reason, and we like it for a different reason.

Often that’s because we’re putting clever words into the mouths of puppets and so they see a blue thing with a funny nose and white hair, which is funny, but we hear them say smart words. And I love it, that idea works for both adults and children.

(In reference to Flight of the Conchords)¬†I think whenever you make anything you can’t help but put an imprint of yourself in it to a degree. So when you do like a show like Concords and move into Muppets you can’t help but bring a bit of¬†that, your personality, with you.

Especially when you have half [LAUGHS] of the Conchords working on the movie with you.¬†Brett writes the songs and so Brett and I worked together. And so be it set out on the streets of New York and Conchords or set on the streets of London and Muppets, there’s some of it’s Bert in many ways. And then, you know, in many ways the Conchords Muppets aren’t that different, they’re both quite innocent.

I don’t know but Conchords is the quite accessible innocent, sure they’re very kind of likeable innocent people. And the Muppets are also [LAUGHS] very innocent, likeable people. So it didn’t feel like a huge leap going from Conchords to Muppets, so. Yes?

Muppets Most Wanted Director James Bobin

Muppets Most Wanted Director James Bobin

Q: How much filming do you actually do?

¬†James Bobin: ¬†A lot, I mean, it’s the principal photography, which is¬†95 percent of the film, was in London. We shot on¬†the stages at Pinewood,¬†which is just about a half an hour outside London, and then even places like Berlin and Madrid are also shot in or around London. Because going to Berlin with the entire Muppet cast and crew would’ve been a very expensive endeavor in doing it. And London is, as you know, a very ancient historical city, and therefore has lots of different architectural styles in it.

So you can kind of get a rough idea, “this looks a bit like Madrid,” ” this looks a bit like Berlin,” and certainly enough with some, you know, added set dressing and stuff, you could really feel like you’re there. And so most of the movie was shot in London, and in or around London. Which is kind of¬†nice because the Muppet show back in the ’70s, uh, was made in London and not many people know that, you know. I mean, it feels like a thing that just, well it felt very much like a homecoming for Muppets.

Because of the Muppet Show being from London, these guys felt like they were coming back. And they actually ended up hiring¬†a lady name¬†Louise Gold, who is the only female puppeteer and who back in the ’70s worked on The Muppet Show and hadn’t, is always, and still puppeteering but, and being back in London now I could hire her again to do the characters that she did in the show in the ’70s. So she‚Äď‚Äď she reappears in this movie as Annie Sue Pig, which the Muppet fans amongst you will know as Miss Piggy’s great rival from Series 4 and 5 Muppet Show, has this kind of blonde afro. And she’s back in the movie, because Louise Gold was available. And that’s a really fun thing.

Q: Do you approach celebrities to do cameos, or do they come to you and say, “I want to appear in the movie?”

James Bobin: Generally we write them in for the right specific idea in mind, then we have a person, or a type of person in mind, quite often it’s the actual person who we write in. Like, you know, the Usher is going to¬† be played by Usher, that’s a good, that’s that joke, you know? Sometimes there are roles which are just like “a guy who’s delivering something,” or “a waiter” or something where by it could really be anybody. And then we start finding out just subtly who are Muppet fans. And people who we know, and we hear about who like the Muppets. For¬†example,¬†Christoph Waltz I knew, we heard liked the Muppets, and I thought, “Well if here’s a Muppet show today, obviously what you do with him, his name is Waltz, you are going to do a Waltz with him somewhere, [LAUGHS] and somehow that came about that way. So it’s kind of¬† mostly us writing people in, but sometimes we hear about people that want to be in the show too.

Q:¬†On the last film you were just the director, on this film you’re the writer and director. How does that transition feel?

James Bobin: Yes, yes two hats. It’s fine, what you find about it, though, is often you’re writing brain is writing checks so you’re writing brain can’t cash. [LAUGHS] And in this sense then often as a writer you have like the sky’s the limit, you can do anything. And you really want to try and, you know, be as ambitious as you possibly can. And then your directing head’s going, “Wait a minute, this is going to be really [LAUGHS] difficult, and take a longer time and be very expensive.”

So you have to be¬†on both, generally the writing head always wins because you want to try to make the movie the best as you possibly can. But at the same time for me it¬†feels slightly more of a personal one because obviously you can’t help but be, you know, when you write it’s really you. So for me this felt slightly more, I guess,¬†well it’s more of a comedy so it felt more personal to me¬†because I want a comedy. But I’m not,¬†to be fair, on the last one as a director you also often help out with just a bits of writing here and there.

So I did a bit of writing on the last one. It wasn’t a completely new experience. And I also have been writing for a long time so it’s not my first go, wasn’t the first movie, this is something I’ve been working on for a while and I knew Nick really well, and he’s our good friend outside of work. He’s just my friend. And so I knew working with him would be a, you know, and that’s one of the most important things about writing partnerships is having just a friendship. Because, you know, it’s like your friends, you just get on and you laugh together and we just write stuff down, and that’s the movie.

Q: The scene where Constantine was dancing on the rail or whatever, was that difficult because it was the whole body?

James Bobin:¬†That was difficult, yes, that’s whole body and, again, that, that generally is a situation where you have guys, sometimes they’re just all, yeah they’re going to blue in blue, those guys were in blue on the set and you remove them later on. So that Constantine part is being manipulated by I think six guys. So they’re all in there kind of a doing this or this or this or this, and so it, that’s my rule of thumb is always there has to be puppeteering involved. I never want to do a full animated Muppet ’cause it feels wrong to me.

The whole point of this film is that you can come to say a meter marker and you can hope, you know my daughter comes and sits and hugs Kermit, I love that idea, you know. It’s really really sweet [LAUGHS] but you can’t do that if he’s CG. And I feel that’s important about Muppets that they’re the last kind of bastion of puppeteering and this kind of tactile entertainment. So I think it was really important that we keep it that way. So generally I’m filming, we always always have a puppeteer operating a puppet, even if it’s like big blue screen moment.

It’s going to¬†be¬†a guy doing it somewhere. Um, but yeah that was, that was a thing where we’re on the set and Matt is doing Constantine but we have five or six helpers doing each limb, basically. So it gets [LAUGHS] really complicated, but you know,¬†it takes a while but it’s always, when you get it, you know it. And it just goes natural and organic and real and that’s really fun.

James Bobin - Muppets Most Wanted Director

James Bobin – Muppets Most Wanted Director

Q: Do you have a favorite scene?

James Bobin:¬†Favorite scene? Wow, that’s a good question. Uh, what do I like? I‚Äď‚Äď I, uh, I really like Piggy’s song about Constantine and Kermit, that thing “Something’s So Right” song, with Celine. Because I really felt that that’s going to¬†because it’s like, Piggy’s wanted this thing all of her life, and she’s finally got it and it’s not going to¬†feel the way she thought it would felt, uh, feel, and I think that’s a very common thing to all of us. That’s something we’ve all experienced. And so to sing about that and say, “Why aren’t I feeling the way I would,” and “why aren’t I happy that I am about getting married” is really sweet I think.

But also at the same time it’s kind of funny ’cause it’s got [LAUGHS] Celine Dion in it, and it’s like, it’s weird projection of the future and whatever, weird kids sitting there, the pink frog and the green pig, and that sort of stuff. It’s just really fun. So all my favorite scenes tend to have an element of humor to them and emotion, they’re both kinda working at the same time, and that’s pretty much my aim for the whole movie. You should feel emotionally engaged but laugh, be laughing at the same time. That’s a very difficult part of the trip. But that sequence I feel works very successfully like that.

Q: How much input did you have in the writing of the songs?

James Bobin:¬†Uh, quite a bit ’cause I’m, Brett and I have worked together for a long time, so generally what happens is that when I write the script I write an idea for where a song’s going to¬†go, and always I write, I usually write more songs than we have to end up with. I always write like 10 or 12 ideas in and then we cut them down to six or seven. But usually it’s because at this juncture of the story it feels like a song would be funny, or is a good idea for a song goes here. So normally in this which I write, you know, the title of the song, hopefully a funny title if I can, if I have a good idea. Or not.

And then a brief, like, paragraph/description of what the song is about, and what it’s going to¬†do in the story. And then Brett just has that paragraph to work from and goes away and then comes back [LAUGHS] in about two months with an incredible song I usually like. And then I then say to him, “Well how about this,” and it still goes back and forth about the visual of bit, the storytelling of it, and the musicality of it, in one kind of go.

So a fair amount, but in the actual of the writing of the music I have nothing to do with that. That is purely Brett’s genius and melody, that’s not me at all. Occasionally, I’ll help out with lyrics, but generally that’s also Brett. So, you know, I have often the initial idea and then he just does everything else, and I just say, “Great,” at the end.

Q: The first movie was kind of like a comeback movie for the Muppets. What are you hoping to accomplish with this movie?

James Bobin:¬†I think the last movie I loved but it was kind of like we were in this situation we couldn’t deal with the Muppets until kind of halfway through, because they have to get back together again, just by the nature of the movie. This time we have all the Muppets in the very beginning. So it’s kind of slightly more Muppets-focused, I guess, which I really like about it. So for me it feels like this one could really show you what the Muppets do, like what they do in a movie, like what they do, what the roles they can play, how they can interact with each other,¬†mainly just by being brilliant on stage and doing acting funny things in the show, but also outside of that, just being, you know, any, at any kind of movie genre situation they’re going to be¬†interesting and funny. And I think that’s a really, it’s a good showcase for the Muppets and what they can do.

I hope that means that in the future there will be many more, so I think this sets it up so nicely that they can do any sort of thing, any genre and it’s, you know, and as I said, it’s the last, for me it’s the last form of this kind of entertainment. So I really hope that they keep going.

Q: Have you started on the next Muppet movie?

James Bobin:¬†[LAUGHS] No, too tired, sorry, no no no, no no no, I’m exhausted. Ask me again in another year’s time, but¬†no they’re sadly not, but, I mean, maybe, who knows. I love working with these guys, and as you know they’re my heroes, so I really loved it. So I don’t know when in, in what capacity it would be, I don’t know, but I would love to do more ’cause this is really fun. I mean, I’m incredibly lucky to have this job, it’s like my dream so, you know, I’m so pleased. [LAUGSH] Really.

I’ll be sharing the interview with Songwriter Bret McKenzie on Friday. If you would like to read (and listen to!) the fun interview with Kermit, Miss Piggy and Constantine you can find it here – Chatting with Kermit, Miss Piggy and Constantine from Muppest Most Wanted. That was a super fun interview.

You can also read my review for Muppets Most Wanted here – Muppets Most Wanted Review.

For more information about the film visit www.Disney.com/Muppets. You can also check out the film on  the various social media sites;

Facebook

Twitter #MuppetsMostWanted

Miss Piggy on Twitter

YouTube

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In addition you can see what other bloggers have to say about the film by  checking out the hashtag #MuppetsMostWantedEvent.

Here is the film’s trailer for your enjoyment.


Kimberly

*I was not compensated for this post. I am posting this for the enjoyment of  my site readers. I did attend screenings of the film but there was no  compensation involved (only travel expenses).