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Cast & Crew Talk 'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil'

16 Oct, 2019    added by : Landon H. Johnson
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Screenpicks.com

Not too many brands could pull off a sequel that surpasses the original, but leave it to Disney to break that glass ceiling with the second installment of the dark fairytale franchise, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.

As far as Disney live-action flicks go, this may be their best one to date. A fierce Angelina Jolie and lovely Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning) return, of course. But this time they add even more star power by throwing Michelle Pfeiffer into the mix. Pfeiffer plays the elegant Queen Ingrith, mother to Prince Phillip (Harris Dickinson) and soon-to-be mother-in-law to Aurora. While she’s seemingly thrilled about her son’s engagement, she has an unforeseen vindictive motive to get Maleficent close.

Maleficent, on the other hand, isn’t too excited about the wedding or about giving away her goddaughter — one of the only humans in this fairyland that she can truly connect with. What proceeds is a full-on war between these two powerhouses in what can only be described as containing significant influence from HBO’s hit TV show, Game of Thrones. Seriously, watching livewires like Pfeiffer and Jolie face-off is worth the price of admission itself.

Yes, the war sequences are that epic. As far as visual effects in a live-action film, we haven’t seen anything this astounding in a while. It’s up there with Pete’s Dragon with some insightful Maleficent metaphors about love and acceptance to boot!

At a recent press day, ScreenPicks got to hear from the cast and crew behind Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and here is what we learned:

Director Joachim Rønning said his main objective in taking on the task of a sequel was to try to create “Maleficent 2.0”. He said, “A huge part of the success of the first film was that it had such a strong emotional core. And that was the most important thing for me, to continue telling that story. The story about Maleficent and Aurora. Because that’s something I can relate to as a parent myself”

Chiwetel Ejiofor, who previously worked with Jolie on Salt then chimed in to speak about what it was like acting with her on-screen again on this project, which also has a strong female lead. “We had a great time making Salt all those years ago, so it was really exciting to get a chance to do stuff, ya’ know, obviously it’s completely different.”  But then the Oscar-winning actor spoke to the similarities of the projects by saying they tend to choose roles based on these really “dynamic characters.”

On the fact that this story is such a modernized fairytale surrounding three powerful women, Michelle Pfeiffer said, “Yes, it is a fairytale. But at the same time, it’s an unusual fairytale.”

The 61-year-old actress went on to say that’s what she loved about the first film, that it was “just so surprising… I loved that it kind of played in this grey area and it talked about good versus evil and all of us have a little bit of everything in us and in terms of strength and how that manifests itself, it’s different in everyone.” She then cited Elle Fanning’s character, Aurora, arguing that in many ways, even though she’s not the most manipulative, “she’s the strongest and the brightest.”

“My character is brilliant and diabolical, but I wouldn’t consider her terribly wise,” Pfeiffer elucidated suggesting that each of the women are powerful in their own way.

Fanning, who plays Aurora, then chimed in to speak about her character running into darker situations than she did in the original, given her character’s permanently optimistic “happy” outlook on life.

“In the original fairytale, she’s granted so many gifts as a baby. And I think Aurora symbolizes the good, kindness, and acceptance in the world,” the 21-year-old actress said of her character’s blessed outlook on life.

She went on to explain that while that’s shown in the first film, she was “much younger” and lived with both the Moors and the humans “harmoniously… I love the family theme in the movie because it’s very similar to real-life, ya’ know, leaving the nest,” Fanning said. “And that Aurora takes power. But with kindness and that she does it in a pink dress.” **Laughs

But Angelina Jolie said that this movie and her role as Maleficent strikes a more personal chord with her. “It’s about a few things actually. It’s about family. But Maleficent and Aurora were brought together and became a family.”

She explained how her Maleficent was relevant to her own personal experience with becoming a mother. “I think Maleficent lost the ability to feel soft or feel love. But then, being a mother-which certainly happened for me in my life. Being a mother brought out something in me that completely transformed me.”

Jolie continued by touching on the metaphors within the film itself citing Maleficent and Aurora’s relationship as an example. “We are different. We are different creatures in the film. There are different metaphors in the film.” The filmmaker said she didn’t want to get too deep, but she did exert how valuable it is for young children to be exposed to these types of ideas.

“People tell us that since we are not the same, we aren’t family. Since you don’t look like her, you’re not her mother. And that certainly strikes a chord with me,” the proud mother of three adopted and three biological children emphasized.

“I like how we come together at the end and unite. Diversity makes us stronger. I think that’s a really important message.”

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