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Narnia Interview

The third instalment in the Chronicles of Narnia films sees Lucy, Edmund and their cousin Eustace return to the land of Narnia via a magical picture. Recently in London to talk about their experiences filming The Voyage of the Dawntreader, Georgie Henley, Ben Barnes, Will Poulter and Skandar Keyenes spoke about their time with Aslan, growing up on set and which props they most wanted to keep.

Was it hard to say goodbye to Aslan?
Georgie Henley (GH): Definitely. It was really great to kind of be working with Liam but also not with Liam, if you know what I mean. I'd kind of had a lot of experience listening to his voice, which had been on the first and second films, but it was definitely a really emotional moment and I'm really glad that it kind of comes alive in the film and it's definitely a tear-jerker, I think, for the audience.

Will, congratulations on stealing the film. Who did you base Eustace on and is there anything of you in that at times quite appalling character?
Will Poulter (WP): Oh, well, I hope there's not much of me in the character, I have to say, but I'm afraid I disagree with you – I didn't at all and I was just very honoured to be part of this and actually when I sit at this table with all these actors I feel immensely proud and I was hugely honoured to be part of it. I hope there's not too much of me in the character but really I got a lot of help from this man in particular [indicating director Michael Apted] – to work with someone as experienced as Michael was a huge honour, I think for anyone, at any stage of their career, at any age, but for me, Georgie and Skandar in particular, to work with Michael at the age we have done is a real, real privilege. But that was a huge help to me and really, the book is such a fantastic resource, the character is there, the character was on the page and it's in the script as well. So we talked about making it comical and Michael thought I was an idiot anyway, so it was a lot easier than it looked.

Have you known children like that? Was there anyone you based it on?
WP: None in particular, no. No, we've got C.S. Lewis to thank for most of that.

What are you doing next in your lives? And Georgie, how do feel about being compared to Emma Watson in the press recently? Will you also be going to university and modelling?
GH: Um, there are certainly worse comparisons to be made. I'm very thankful to be compared to her - I mean, I don't really see it myself, but I understand why the comparisons are being made, because we're both in fantasy franchises and we've been in them from a young age. I definitely think that she handles herself extremely well and she's very talented and she's done very well to be so – also, intelligent. And I myself would like to go to university but I can't imagine myself being a model, because the thought of seeing my face blown up on the side of a shop actually makes me quake and shake, so probably not the best of ideas.

Skandar Keynes (SK): I've started my first term at university and I'm really enjoying that. I'm basically doing a four year course and I know a lot can change in four years and I'm really going to see how I feel at the end of it and I'm really enjoying not having any sort of definitive plan right now.

So will you stop acting?
SK: Well, no, I'm just going to see what happens, really. I'm going to focus on my degree for four years and I'm not going to do anything that's going to compromise that and I'm going to see what happens after four years.

Ben Barnes (BB): I'm thinking of becoming an actor. I haven't made any firm decisions.

The three of you went through quite a transformation in the film, didn't you? Georgia, would you see that as a message to young people, based on what you go through?
GH: Yeah, I guess one of the main challenges that I faced shooting this film was that I wanted to make Lucy as accessible and as relatable as she could possibly be to young girls who were facing the same issues that she was going through with insecurities and also, you know, a slight streak of vanity. But she definitely goes through a really hard time and it was really wonderful to kind of play a more three-dimensional character, in which she wasn't so sweet and nice all the time, she had a slightly darker side and that was really wonderful to relay that message to the audience watching the film.

What's the best prop or souvenir that you've gotten from working on this film or any of the other films? And also which memento would you like to get your hands on?
BB: I've actually got – I rang up Richard Taylor at WETA after the end of this film and asked him to make me a copy of Rhndon, the sword that I use in this film with Aslan's head on the handle, so I have that in my bedroom to ward off – so that's the one that I do have. And I asked if I could keep Will, but … [laughter]

WP: That's weird, because I asked if I could keep Ben but his agent told me to go away.

GH: We were very lucky. On the morning of the first premiere we were given replicas of our weapons that we received. You got your sword and I got my dagger, so that was really lovely. And I'd actually like to take home the sword that I use in this film as well, because I went through quite a lot of things with that little sword.

How did you feel having to be so nice and positive all the time?
BB: Was it a problem that there was no dark side to Caspian or whatever? Well, I think - I read these stories when I was eight and I watched the BBC TV series of it and, you know, 1989 and Sam West was playing King Caspian and I thought he was amazing, diving off that ship in white at the beginning. And I think they have a lot of beautiful messages to them, these films, about growing up and I think Prince Caspian does a lot of his growing up in the last film and he's more of a man, more comfortable in his own skin, so it is a simpler task for me, in a lot of ways, in this film. And he's made interesting with the chip on his shoulder about not having had a strong male role model in his life, but you know, I can play villains and creeps in other things. It's nice to play virtuous.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawntreader Film Review

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Content updated: 23/05/2019 14:12

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