ELLA ENCHANTED - Q&A with Anne Hathaway, Hugh Dancy and director Tommy O'Haver
Movie Interview by Neils Hesse
Tommy was the 'S' word mentioned at all during the production of this film, S as in SHREK?
TOMMY O'HAVER: Yes it was and we were trying to avoid it, we also tried to avoid any similarities to Princess Bride as it got mentioned as well.
Anne were there any similarities between this movie and the PRINCESS DIARIES that may have initially put you off doing it?
ANNE HATHAWAY: I was initially very apprehensive but then Tommy explained the story to me and I realised that they are very different - this one is much sassier.
Hugh, did you know it would work out?
HUGH DANCY: I didn't have a clue whether it would work but I did sit down and have a chat with Tommy and he described all the happiness and marriage involved in the movie.
ANNE HATHAWAY: You say it so disdainfully, "happiness and marriage."
HUGH DANCY: Well that is the normal fairy tale
Tommy, why did you get Eric Idle for the role of the narrator?
TOMMY O'HAVER: Well my inspiration came from films like TIME BANDITS and BARON MUNCHAUSEN and in previous cuts it was a much edgier film, so I always wanted to have some MONTY PYTHON influence so it was great to get Eric.
ANNE HATHAWAY: Yes much edgier and anyway the film is still very quirky.
Tommy, why did you choose to film in Ireland?
TOMMY O'HAVER: It had a lot of green spaces and I was trying to make a fairy tale version of the American suburbs and places like Prague seem too dark and also for the budget it was cheaper. Prague is beautiful, but it seems more suited for movies like FROM HELL and at one point it came down to Prague or Ireland so we went for Ireland.
Anne and Hugh, what was it like for you two over there?
HUGH DANCY: I was there for KING ARTHUR as well so when I got back I checked into the same hotel and same room. It is a very small film community, very personal but also very professional.
ANNE HATHAWAY: The film crews are great over there.
TOMMY O'HAVER: It helped that I have an Irish last name. I thought that when I got there they would hoist me up on their shoulders and make me drink Guinness, and that's exactly what they did!
ANNE HATHAWAY: There's like one and a half film crews in Ireland, so when someone falls sick in the major film crew they get a guy from the small time one to cover him or her and it becomes quite a big issue.
Tommy, Anne and Hugh what are your favourite fantasy films of all time?
TOMMY O'HAVER: MARY POPPINS
HUGH DANCY: BRAZIL
ANNE HATHAWAY: PRETTY WOMAN
Anne what have the reactions to your movies been so far in your own personal experiences?
ANNE HATHAWAY: On one occasion a nine year-old came up to me and said that she had been waiting her whole life to meet me. It is great to know that this film and other films that I have done have had such an effect on kids.
HUGH DANCY: Kids can be very endearing.
Tommy, this film is to some extent simply great pantomime, why didn't it have a Christmas release over in America?
TOMMY O'HAVER: Well maybe you should ask Harvey. Everybody thought it would be good for Christmas but then we opened up at the same time as THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST now over here we open at the same time as LEMONY SNICKET'S.
ANNE HATHAWAY: Well this movie seems to have found its home on the DVD market, it's doing very well.
Anne, Hugh and Tommy are there any old stars that you admire?
ANNE HATHAWAY: Audrey Hepburn, although very recently I just met Olivia de Havilland and she was very influential in establishing morality clauses in the early days of Hollywood that amongst other things allowed for female stars to smoke in public. She is wonderful!
HUGH DANCY: Cary Grant
TOMMY O'HAVER: I would have loved to have worked with Gene Kelly and Marlene Dietrich.
Anne, your character does some singing in this film is all of it entirely by you?
HUGH DANCY [whilst Anne Blushes]: She did it all and she was great!
ANNE HATHAWAY: Yes I did all my own singing.
Tommy so did the film originally have a darker ending?
TOMMY O'HAVER: No it was pretty close to what we wanted. We did have to throw in a few things and I always wanted a dark edge like when she was about to kill him and some people thought that the snake was scary, but in the final analysis it ended up a little softer.
Tommy, was there a lot of work to make it more appealing to a mature crowd?
TOMMY O'HAVER: Yes but a lot of it didn't make it in the final cut for example, the scene where she is chained up and her fairy godmother finally turns up to find her chained she says, "I remember you the obedient one", well originally she adds, "submissive too!"
Anne, are there any roles that you would love to play?
ANNE HATHAWAY: I would love to do MY FAIR LADY that's my dream role.
Tommy why did you add the character of the snake and why did you call him Heston?
TOMMY O'HAVER: The writer chose the name and I liked the snake character from the animated ROBIN HOOD.
Anne, any plans to advance your singing talents?
ANNE HATHAWAY: I would do an album of standards, no pop stuff. I can see myself in some smoky jazz bar that's the kind of music I'd want to do.
So for all of you what's next?
ANNE HATHAWAY: I am going to Cambodia to do a documentary that is being developed by Angelina Jolie for The United Nations. Basically she has got different people in various parts of the world to all turn on a video camera at the same time so that we can see what is happening across the globe in the same instant.
TOMMY O'HAVER: Well mine is less grand I am doing a movie for DreamWorks called MAGICK about a guy and a girl who swap bodies and end up falling in love.
HUGH DANCY: I just finished a movie called SHOOTING DOGS in Rwanda with John Hurt and directed by Michael Caton-Jones.