Kids should be allowed to be kids and enjoy the freedom of unstructured imaginative play. That's a message that I've spoken of often, and it's one that's placed firmly at the heart of Disney's Christopher Robin. In that film, Christopher (Ewan McGregor) has grown up, and as a father himself, he's forgotten about the importance and magic of play. For his daughter, Madeline (Bronte Carmichael), childhood is headed in a bleaker direction until some familiar characters from The Hundred Acre Wood arrive, reminding Christopher of what once was and what still could be. In Los Angeles last week, I had a chance to meet with the 11-year-old actress inhabiting the role of Madeline to discuss the experience of joining Winnie the Pooh and friends for their first live-action adventure. Already a professional actor with a bright career ahead of her, how does Bronte play?
When I last met up with actress Hayley Atwell, it was December of 2015. I was Los Angeles for the Global Media Event for the theatrical launch of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but in the midst of things my group made a detour. After rolling onto the Universal Studios lot on Burbank, California, we soon found ourselves at the Los Angeles Office for the Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR). An incredible, 360° set located just a quick walk from where The Voice was taping, the 1940's-era West Coast home base for the precursor to S.H.I.E.L.D. was a sight to behold, and sadly, the work that went into creating it was seen in just one season of Marvel's Agent Carter. Just a few months later, that series would come to an end, but like many actors that find themselves welcomed into the Disney family, Atwell would soon find herself embarking on another adventure... this time into The Hundred Acre Wood. With Disney's Christopher Robin (reviewed here) now playing in theaters everywhere, Hayley sat down with a crew of the usual suspects (myself included) to talk about her role as Evelyn Robin in the film that would see Winnie the Pooh and friends brought to the big screen in live-action for the very first time.
Going into the World Premiere of Disney's Christopher Robin on The Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank Monday night, I was in the unique position that I'd actually already done something that much of the cast and crew had not - I'd seen the film in a private screening with my group the night before. Now, writing this review a day prior to its theatrical release, I'm eager to see it again with my family - a prospect that I was already looking forward to before seeing it, and am even more excited about having seen it twice already. Christopher Robin isn't necessarily the film that you might think that it is. Indeed, young Christopher isn't really that young anymore, and yes - the residents of The Hundred Acre Wood do set out to help him (as seen in the trailers), but that's not the point. Christopher Robin is a film about family - specifically about being present and aware of all that is good around us. As I tweeted upon exiting the theater, Christopher Robin is a film that will make you rethink your life, and it's also about something that's very dear to me... the importance of play.
This interview may contain minor spoilers for Disney's Christopher Robin...
It's a sunny afternoon in Beverly Hills as I enter the Montage, immediately complimented by a member of the house staff for the Marvel t-shirt peeking out from beneath my Red Kap button-down. I take off my sunglasses and head for the staircase, en route to a meeting on the second floor with a man whom I've never met, but one whose work I've been enjoying ever since I rented a copy of Danny Boyle's Shallow Grave on VHS from a Hogan's Video store in Davenport, Iowa back in 1995 or so. Taking a seat at the table for a roundtable interview (I feel compelled to point out that in reality, the table was rectangular), I placed my Funko Pop! Vinyl Winnie the Pooh near the head seat just in time for Ewan McGregor to pull up a chair to discuss his title role in Disney's Christopher Robin.
This Christopher Robin Special Feature is presented in collaboration with The Walt Disney Company...
The Walt Disney Studios lot in sunny Burbank, California is a magical place as-is... a place where the power of imagination has been harnessed to shape and realize timeless stories that will continue to inspire audiences until the end of time. But on Monday night, something truly unique happened as that magic manifested itself in new ways. To celebrate the release of Disney's Christopher Robin, the lot was transformed into a wondrous place that had not only been ripped from the pages, but had leaped from the screen. For the World Premiere and red carpet, cast, crew and invited guests were welcomed not just onto the Studio lot, but into The Hundred Acre Wood.
It's officially happening. On August 1, 2018, the as-yet-untitled Star Wars: Episode IX will begin filming at London’s Pinewood Studios. J.J. Abrams has returned to direct the final installment of the Skywalker Saga from a screenplay that he co-wrote with Chris Terrio. The official news hit the inbox here at Rock Father HQ just moments ago, and the list of new and returning cast members is both expected and surprising. See all the details below!