IAR Press Conference Coverage: 'Mirror Mirror'

Tuesday, 27 March 2012 20:15 Written by  iamrogue
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IAR Press Conference Coverage: 'Mirror Mirror'

Opening in theaters on March 30th is the hilarious and family friendly re-telling of the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale Snow White entitled Mirror Mirror, which was helmed by visionary director Tarsem Singh (Immortals). The film stars actress Lily Collins (Priest) as Snow White, actor Armie Hammer (The Social Network) as Prince Andrew Alcott, and Academy Award winning actress Julia Roberts (Erin Brockovich) as Queen Clementianna, as well as a supporting cast that includes Nathan Lane (The Producers), Mare Winningham (Turner & Hooch), Michael Lerner (Barton Fink), and Sean Bean (HBO’s Game of Thrones). Mirror Mirror is rated PG and promises to be a comedic fantasy adventure for the whole family that shows us the iconic fairy tale in a whole new way.

IAR recently had the pleasure of attending the Mirror Mirror press conference, along with several outlets, to hear what the actors and director had to say about the new film. On hand was director Tarsem Singh, actress Lily Collins, and of course … Oscar winner and Hollywood icon Julia Roberts.

We began the press conference by asking director Tarsem Singh about his public mixed reaction to the film’s trailer. “It’s a very alien world to make trailers. I had made an hour and a half long family movie that I adore, and to see it distilled, cut down, whatever you want to call it, without special effects at a particular time, I completely just went like that (makes “wash your hands of it” gesture) to it. Since then, it’s moved on, and I haven’t really seen too many of them because all my focus is on the movie,” he explained.

The accomplished director also spoke about agreeing to do the project and his unique take on retelling the classic fairy tale. “The line between homage and lawsuit is very thin,” Joked Singh. “So for me, it just said Snow White. I looked at it and I just thought; do I have a take on it? Funny enough, my take tends to be visual, but in this particular case, it wasn’t. Once I laid that out and I realized they wanted to make the same movie (that I did), not an edgy take but instead a family-friendly film, I was on board.”

Both Roberts and Collins wear intricate and elegant costumes in the film and the two actresses discussed how the movie’s wardrobe helped them create their characters. “Well, they’re stunning and I really think they are such an integral part of the film,” said Roberts. “It’s the same as having these amazing sets and then being in these kinds of clothes. They were completely original and authentic to what we were trying to accomplish. As Tarsem would say, in these great, huge spaces, we needed to fill them in every way and physically dominate these spaces. So they had to be quite architectural and, in that, not terribly cozy, but that’s not really the point,” she laughed.

“After four months of wearing corsets and ball gowns, sword fighting in these crazy forests, I promised myself I’d never complain about wearing high heels again,” added Collins. “They became really a second skin, and they became the process of Lily turning into Snow White every morning. They were so beautifully made and so incredible; they truly were pieces of art and a privilege to get to wear. They really, really started to become part of maneuvering around a set in the way that Snow would and not necessarily how I would. So, they were intricate and so, so beautiful.”

Since so many of Roberts films have been compared to modern day fairy tales, the actress was asked if she had always wanted to do a traditional fairy tale film. “No, nor did I have any interest in this one really. Not until Tarsem lured me in, in his luring way and looking at the script I realized there was really something here. But just the one sentence pitch of it on the phone – hey, they’re doing a Snow White adaptation – that didn’t grab my attention,” she confessed.

Actors and actresses often admit that it is more fun to play the villain than the hero and Roberts was asked if she agreed with that line of thinking. “Well, it was fun to play this villain because there aren’t any real rules of syntax or reality that apply to her. So, I could kind of do anything and just go off the rails in any direction at any time and it would make sense to me. So in that regard it was a lot of fun.” A member of the press followed up by asking the award winning actress what is the most evil thing she has ever done. “Lied to the press. But it was only one time,” Roberts joked.

If you stay through the end credits of the film, you will be treated to a “Bollywood” style dance number featuring Snow White and her pint-sized friends. Collins, who is the daughter of Grammy Award winning musical legend Phil Collins, was asked what the experience was like for her shooting that scene and singing and dancing. “That was the most fun for me,” answered the young actress. “I’ll never forget being in the sound booth with Tarsem just telling me to go for it and to sing my heart out. I didn’t have a voice the next day, but it was so worth it because I watch that back and think, wow, I really sang and danced in front of four hundred extras. I didn’t care about anything else in the world but being there at that moment, and everything I was saying and singing I truly felt within my whole being. I watch it back and I can’t remember being happier than at that moment in a long time. It was the embodiment of everything I had hoped to experience.”

Quickly, the director was also asked about the end credit dance number and if he had ever envisioned the scene being part of the actual film instead. “It was originally in the film but an American audience quite unanimously pushed it back. But internationally, they embrace it. I felt with that, the question probably was that we hadn’t given people license to think they were expecting that type of fairy tale. I tried to find that license, but I didn’t really succeed,” Singh said. “The children loved it, but in general, the adults were actually dissecting it. They just thought it was coming out of left field, so then it ended up where it did. But I was very happy with that, and then the international people saw the other one and just said, ‘No, our culture is very used to it, at very tragic points we start singing, so put it in.’ So then I had to fight with them and say, I’m happy with the American version but then they have it at a very crucial point, but not in the end. So, we just had to find what was acceptable and what was alienating to most people. It’s funny enough, I love the song, but actually when I showed Julia the cut, it didn’t have it, and the only comment she had was, ‘Does the song make it?’ So I was so glad that it made it in the end titles.”

Next, Collins was asked about her initial reaction to being cast as the iconic fairy tale princess. “When I first got the phone call it was on April 1st of last year, April Fools' Day, and it was too good of a joke to think that it wasn't a joke,” the actress explained. “At first I was shocked and I thought it really was the best April Fools' joke ever! But then I broke down crying, laughing and just screaming. I was in a hotel room with my mom and I was just breaking down, everywhere crying because I was so excited.”

The two actresses also discussed their experience working with actor Armie Hammer, who was unable to attend the press conference due to his shooting schedule on his next film The Lone Ranger, which co-stars Johnny Depp. “He's good on the chin, that one, because you just look way up, he's so big,” joked Roberts. “He's gone off to another movie now, so I don't think we should give him too much attention, but he's so wonderful. He's a lovely guy, and he really brought a very clever dimension, I thought, to the Prince. Because he really could've just stood there, just talked and it would've been terrific, but he wanted to really be clever about it and put a lot of consideration into it. I thought he made some great choices, and he's really professional. He always had some really clever thing that he was bringing to it, and that made it very entertaining to watch that whole thing unfold.”

“In real life, he's very much the same,” added Collins. “He’s a mixture of being goofy and funny, and at the same time such a gentleman. He’s almost regal in the way that he stands and makes you feel like you're the most important person in the room. Yet you can start talking about anything and he knows something about what you're talking about. It's almost scary how smart he is. But we went through all this training together, and he is a strong man. When it comes to the sword-fighting, I had to ask him at some points to tone it down a little because he was practicing with the stunt guys, and we didn't actually do the sequence together until the day before (we shot it), so I had to remind him that I was a little smaller than who he was practicing with. But he always gives you the most that he has.”

Finally, Roberts was asked what Singh said to her to get the actress to agree to do the film and what exactly her criteria is for picking projects at this point in her career. “It's kind of the same criteria that it's always been, really. It's just a feeling that I have. You know, I am such a fan of Tarsem, and so when I heard that it was his movie, his interpretation, I thought okay, well I'd love to meet him. And if I have to go and sit and hear him talk about Snow White for an hour to then just talk about other things, then that's what I'll do,” explained Roberts. “But he had such a great take on it and he has such a vibrant personality. I read the script that he had and I was really taken and really surprised by it. I thought, Oh wait a minute, this is all kind of coming together in this unexpected way, and off we went from there.”

Mirror Mirror begins to enchant audiences in theaters on March 30th. 

Full Disclosure: Mirror Mirror is produced by Relativity Media, iamROGUE's parent company. 

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