Today narniafans.com got a chance to catch up with Georgie Henley (who plays Lucy Pevensie) and Will Poulter (Eustace Clarence Scrubb) in Los Angeles preparing for their Taubman Narnian Ice Palace presentation, which features scenes from the upcoming film, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. (See our previous news article for more info).
We spoke with the two on what it was like during the filming process, what their favourite parts of filming as well as the books were, and what the most significant themes of the film are. We also asked Will what it was like to break in as the “new guy” and what it was like for Georgie to film her last scene, as the major character, plus much more!
We were particularly struck by how thoughtful and articulate Georgie and Will’s answers were, and how warm, gracious, and personally engaging they were as people. In the beginning of the video, we mention Paul Martin’s engagement on the set of the Dawn Treader, the now famous event which he and his now lovely bride Courtney were able to share together, and we also mention some personal info about us who conducted the interview. The full interview starts around 0:40, and the whole video lasts 11 min, 45 sec.
Please see the video below for the full interview. Furthermore, below the video is a full transcript of the interview. Enjoy! (And stay tuned for more coverage of their Ice Palace opening ceremony tomorrow from narniafans.com!)
——————-Begin Interview Transcript——————-
Narniafans.com: I just wanted to ask you guys what your favourite part of this movie was, or this book-both? And why?
Georgie Henley: With my favourite book [Dawn Treader] I really love all the stuff in the book at the end, with all the sea of lilies and everything, I just think it gets you going, you always know something’s going to happen so it’s exciting, but it’s also really sad. It really gets me going, actually. In the film, I love doing stuff on the boat; it’s just a masterpiece that I get to work on. Um, and I think people are going to have such a visual experience when they see it, but we loved shooting on the boat, I love the way it looks on the boat.
Will Poulter: Yeah, and I echo what Georgie said the boat adds a certain type of depth to the film and was such a beautiful set and addition to the film as well. And filming on it was so much fun, you know, and the chance to work with something like that, we felt so lucky.
Georgie: It was a big deal!
Will: It was great! Yeah.
NF: That is awesome! And actually, speaking of that, [to Will] I was just wanting to ask what it was like to join in with these three main characters who had all worked together before?
Will: Yeah, of course! It was a bit like what Georgie has been saying, sort of like the new boy at school, first day at school, new kid on the block kind of feel, and I was quite apprehensive. I suppose I felt quite nervous about this already formed group of really good friends. But these guys are so friendly, they made me feel so welcome, like a house on fire, we had so much fun, it just made it so much easier to me. And I really appreciated that.
NF: And one for you Georgie, how was, you know, maybe you didn’t necessarily film the last scene of the book last, but the last scene you filmed, can you talk about your emotion knowing it was your last time in this major role?
Georgie: It was a really big deal actually. In our last scene, we did tons of stuff in first unit, and then the end of the film was just kind of wrapping stuff up on second unit it was a real anti-climax actually. But our last scene in first unit was Skandar has this huge stunt towards the end of the film which is great, it’s like a Jack Sparrow moment almost it’s fantastic. And we were kind of filming the mechanics of that, and I didn’t really realize it was my last shot with the first unit until [Director] Michael [Apted] came up to the boat, and started making this speech and I just started crying my eyes out. Michael had tears in his eyes and we were all just going crazy and it was really weird, because it was like everyone in wardrobe, everyone in make up, they were all gonna see me again for the next two weeks, but they were still really upset because they felt like it’s the end of something even though it’s continuing. It was crazy!
NF: Kind of how we felt reading the last books, you know?
Georgie: Of course, yeah!
NF: Well speaking of the directors, what are kind of the biggest differences working with the two directors?
Georgie: Well, I think it’s like you said, “differences” they’re both so different, like everyone says who’s better, but you can’t even compare them, and also the first two films are so different from the dawn treader in the film-making style and everything. So I think it’s injected something really different into the franchise. They as people are just complete different. [Director of Wardrobe, and Caspian] Andrew [Adamson] is just so laid back and chilled, and also thinks about bigger picture and always incorporating effects into how he thinks it’s going to look, and thinking about kind of the camera and everything, whereas Michael’s just so dry it’s hilarious, so British.
Will: He’s an actor’s director as well.
Georgie: You can just almost see that he knows his job is the actors and he understands that like camera guys do camera stuff, effects guys do effects stuff. He’s so centered on the acting, like with us the whole time and everything. So it’s a different experience, but they’re such great guys, you know we’re so lucky.
NF: [To Will] Were there any initiation things they had to put you through, the first time?
Georgie: He kept saying sorry all the time!
Will: Well, I kept messing up so much, that’s why!
Georgie: All the time! He just literally, he’d just be like “sorry, s-s-sorry-sorry sorry.” [doing her Will impression], it was so sweet.
Will: Ya know I was so nervous, my first scene, it was actually really weird; my first scene I ever did with these guys was the audition scene that I had done about a year prior, with them.
Georgie: Yeah! You’re right!
Will: So my final audition for the part was with these guys and it was going into narnia, and it was before, and it was actually in Lucy’s room in the house. And that’s actually the first scene I ever shot with those guys. And of course the last scene of the film is going back into that room saying goodbye. So it was quite a sort of strange day and we’d actually almost like rehearsed that enough times.
Georgie: We’d rehearsed it so many times and then I don’t think we used you until like the last shot of the day or something. Because, you know, there’s this bond between Edmund and lucy and then Eustace comes in. And it was just crazy to have him on set, because it was like, we’d never worked with you before! It was amazing!
NF: Who’s this new guy you know? [laughs]
Georgie, Will: Yeah, exactly!
Will: Who is this guy, get him off of here!
Georgie: Loved it though!
Will [to Georgie]: You have to say that though!
NF: Well, I guess another question about the books, I read that Georgie’s favourite book is Voyage of the Dawn Treader…
Georgie: Definitely, yeah.
NF: I just wanted to know [to Will] what your background with the books is-favourite one, when did you read them? You know, were they important to you growing up, anything like that?
Will: Yeah, actually, well, when I was a kid, I read Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, loads. And it was one of my favourite books. And like we [to Georgie] have said, it’s kind of like a rite to passage in everyone’s childhood, to just read the books.
Georgie: Especially British children, yes.
Will: Exactly! Yeah, absolutely. And I think lots of people we so happy to see the books being converted into films, because they’re all so popular and ingrained in the culture in so many people. And obviously I read Voyage of the Dawn Treader a number of times kind of as research, but it’s by far my favourite book, and I hear a lot of people say that, and I think that’s why a lot of people are so excited about this film, because it is portraying their favourite book, there’s new characters, there’s new creatures and it’s just, it’s just exciting, I think! And as you said it’s more of the magic and adventure of the first film coming back in a completely new context, as well, on the boat. So it’s exciting, really really exciting!
NF: Well, that is great, we’re very very excited about it. So, let’s see what haven’t I asked yet…What are some of the most significant themes in the movie or book?
Georgie: I think the most significant theme is temptation. I think that’s the main one. Because every character faces its own temptation. Kind of out of the main four I guess you could say-Caspian, Euastace, Edmund, Lucy-everyone goes through their own…
Will: Battles and temptations.
Georgie: Temptation, and also their own transformation as well. Like how they overcome that temptation. Kind of cause them to have a transformation in their character. So I mean, for Eustace, it’s kind of a physical transformation but for the rest of us, it’s more like emotional transformation, kind of becoming even more mature, or learning something you didn’t know before.
Will: And also, subsequent to the battle and temptation, there’s sort of a theme of redemption as well, you know. I think Georgie certainly experiences that and you know [Edmund Pevensie’s character] Skandar [Keynes] experiences that as well and Eustace does certainly with the transformation of the dragon. You know it’s just a very influential theme in the film, and certainly very important.
Georgie: I think one of the really cool things about this film, is that it actually takes a lot of things from the book which aren’t played upon a lot…
Will: So implicit
Georgie: Yeah, in the characters, for instance, you do find out a little bit about Lucy’s jealousy of her sister, but it’s not really explained a lot, whereas in the film, it’s kind of the whole arc of my character-yeah, and it’s really great to have something grittier to put my teeth into instead of always playing very sweet and very [*smiley facial expression*] roles.
NF: Well, speaking of that, which Lucy version was your favourite one to play in? Which of the three films?
Georgie: Um, I really did like playing her in Voyage of the Dawn Treader, because she also got a lot more stunts. And I did like taking on the idea of her taking on a more action woman role. But then, I mean, she is sweet and naive so of course, I think everyone prefers her in Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, because she is, I think, she’s cute, [joking] I mean I was quite cute back then!
Georgie: So everyone, you know…oh, I’m so embarrassed now.
NF: No, no, you’re great!
Will: No, don’t be silly! It’s true!
Georgie: So you know, I think that’s kind of people’s favourite film for Lucy, because that’s when they fell in love with her, but I hope they like her in the Dawn Treader.
NF: I think most of your fans would disagree, I think they would all agree that you’re absolutely every bit as cute in the second and third movies.
Georgie: Thank you!
NF: Along similar lines, Will, was it more fun to play the Eustace pre-dragon, or Eustace post-dragon?
Will: Ya know I was so fed up with being such a brat on set the whole time
Will: I love being kind of like a nice-ish character. But it was really fun playing…Of course, I didn’t get to play much of the transformation, because a lot of that happened in special effects, you know during that time that I was a dragon, and Reepicheep almost kind of mentoring him if you like and sort of you know, guiding him towards a better future for him and everyone else, I think! And it’s a bit of a shame I didn’t get to play that but I did get to play the two sides of him afterwards, and he’s almost a different person after that transformation and that was quite cool. And I enjoyed that opportunity you know, to play his different dimensions. Because, you know, he was a really fun character to play, as annoying as he was in the beginning it was really tough, but it was amazing.
Georgie: He is hilarious in the film!
NF: We can’t wait! I’m sure.
Will: I’m a bit nervous for it, [to Georgie] wouldn’t you say?
NF: Oh no! Well, actually, yeah, how are you guys feeling, as far as like you know, it’s going to hit the screen, everybody’s going to see it December 10th, what are your feelings looking forward to that?
Georgie: I was really nervous. Then I saw the film, and actually, it was the first time that I’ve walked out of a Narnia film and thought…Well, because I’m always very critical of myself, but I came out of Dawn Treader and I actually had watched the film as a whole instead of just criticizing my performance, for the first time I watched it which kind of, to me, makes it seem like it’s such a visual experience like the colors, the effects…
Will: It looks incredible!
Georgie: Yeah, especially, we didn’t even see it in 3D, but I’m very excited.
Will: Yeah, it’s so right for 3D, there’s so many visuals and creatures and just the sorcery and all that kind of-it’s hard to explain-but when you see it, just all the magic of it is just gonna enliven it.
Georgie: And I love the comedy aspect to it as well, because we’ve never really tried much with comedy, we’ve kind of had a few jokes every now and again. But I mean, this guy [jokingly punches Will] this guy! so funny, literally, and there’s plenty of comedy from the other characters.
NF: That is fantastic! Well, we can’t wait, thank you so much!
Georgie: Give us a high five!
Georgie: And it’s really nice to talk to someone who’s really passionate about it.
Will: Well, it’s quite true, it’s been the best interview we’ve had so far.
Georgie: Yes, it’s been really great, thank you!
NF: Well, thank you so much!