Momerish received an all-expenses paid trip to Los Angeles to cover #TheBFGEvent. All opinions are still 100% mine!
Before the big red carpet premiere last week, we had the opportunity to interview some of The BFG cast and the director, Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg! First up was Mr. Spielberg and Ruby Barnhill, the little girl who plays Sophie in the film.
Meeting Mr. Spielberg and spending just 20 minutes with him is definitely right up there in the top 5 most incredible experiences of my life. Being in the same room with him was simply incredible!
I had no idea the man would be so kind and humble. He was definitely eager to talk to us as much as we were him. He was in no hurry for the conversation to end either…it carried over to our group photo with him and Ruby at the end.
He told us how our group of mom bloggers reminded him of his mom having lots of other mothers over all the time when he was a child. He knew when everyone was meeting at his house, as his mom would be setting out coffee mugs when we left for school in the morning.
Steven Spielberg Interview
Here’s a look at some questions we had for Mr. Spielberg…
Q: Why Ruby Barnhill as Sophie?
I believe in fate, and that they save the best for last. We casted for Sophie for eight months, and we may have seen 2,000 qualified young people. I was giving up hope and was about to compromise when I saw the audition Ruby and her family had sent in. My whole life changed for the better in an instant.
Talk about bringing all the “awww’s” out of the audience on that one! Like I said, such a kind man and director.
Q: You are such an iconic part of people’s childhood, and now our kids are going to get turned by The BFG. How does it feel that you’re now translating to another generation?
I think of it as having a very large extended family. I didn’t even understand the power film has when I started making movies. I thought Jaws was just a freak of nature…then E.T. happened and lightening suddenly struck twice.
I realized then that cinema outlives the filmmakers. It becomes a part of an extended family of people from all walks of life who speak different languages and believe in different things. Sometimes, movies come along that make you see the same thing with the same feeling. It doesn’t matter what language we speak or what our backgrounds are, sometimes a feeling can be communicated all over the world without any signage.
Q: You are telling Roald Dahl’s story, and under the Walt Disney name. What was that like?
I have never made a movie under the Walt Disney name as a director, and it just turned out that way. I don’t know why – Disney has been in my life for a number of years. They released some of our Dreamworks films over the last 6 or 7 years.
The other thing was that Disney had such a profound effect on my childhood. I was raised in the world of Walt Disney. His movies scared me to death, thrilled me to pieces, made me laugh and made me cry. I never cried in a movie before I saw Bambi. And Mickey Mouse Club came on television, and I was like an extended Mouseketeer. I was like millions of kids who watched in the 50’s and wanted to be a Mouseketeer.
So, to finally make a movie that has Disney’s name on it…I’m so proud when the film starts and the castle shows up and my movie follows the castle.
[Tweet “”To finally make a movie with Disney’s name on it…I’m so proud.” -Steven Spielberg #TheBFGEvent”]
Q: What was your favorite part about making The BFG?
Anytime they (Sophie and The BFG) were in conversation with each other and Sophie’s courage was growing. Also, her empathy for BFG’s problems with his brothers and the horrible things they were doing that made Sophie say they we must find a way to stop the other giants.
Or when they were engaged in conversation about BFG being ashamed of his use of Wigglish language. All those scenes were my favorite.
Q: What made you choose The BFG?
I had read it to all my kids, so I chose it because I was very familiar with it. I have four daughters and three sons, and certainly all my daughters heard me read The BFG. A few of the boys too.
So I bonded with it back in the late 80’s. Then when Melissa Mathison, who wrote E.T. for me, adapted the Roald Dahl into a script, I fell in love with it all over again.
By far, my favorite quote from Mr. Spielberg as we were wrapping things up. He was asked what is one thing you would like our generation to get from The BFG. He said, “I want our generation to know that everyone needs a hug. No matter what age, color, language…Everyone needs a hug.”
[Tweet “”I want our generation to know that everyone needs a hug.” -Steven Spielberg #TheBFGEvent”]
Ruby Barnhill Interview
Ruby was a fantastic young girl, and I was glad we were able to interview her with Mr. Spielberg. The two really formed a bond working on The BFG together, and Ruby learned a lot from him. When asked what she had gained from working with him, she simply said, “Steven helped me realize it’s okay to make mistakes.”
Mr. Spielberg added to that by saying, “Mistakes are just ‘happy accidents’. Sometimes they even make it into a movie…”
[Tweet “”Mistakes are just ‘happy accidents’.” -Steven Spielberg #TheBFGEvent”]
More of the interview with Ruby went like this…
Q: Tell us about getting the part of Sophie in The BFG.
When I heard that I got the part, I was so, so happy. By the look on my mom and dad’s faces…they were literally jumping up and down they were so excited, so I knew it had to be good news. They said Ruby, phone for you.
Nina Gold was on the line and asked how old I was. I told her 10, and she said that’s a shame. You won’t get to drink champagne when everyone is celebrating that you got the part. And I was like, oh my gosh!
I’d always wanted to be an actress, since my dad’s an actor, so since I had been watching him since I was 3 or 4. It was amazing for me to experience that same thing, and my parents were really pleased too.
Q: How do you feel about becoming a new kind of Disney hero, a princess even for a new generation?
That’s quite cool, maybe a Disney princess! A lot of Disney films now, like Star Wars and Brave, have very strong female leads. It’s great to be a part of that, because I’ve watched Disney my whole life.
I was in the cinema and saw The BFG trailer. All the kids – nobody knew it was me, obviously – but they were like, “That looks so good. I want to see it!” It’s nice to know that people are going to enjoy and appreciate it.
Q: What was your favorite part about making The BFG?
Being able to come on set every day and see everyone. I got to act every single day, which I have wanted to do my whole life. I would be on set and ask, “Where’s Steven and Mark?” It was always so exciting. There was such a magical feeling on set. I really enjoyed myself.
Mr. Spielberg intervened here to say that they never waited on Ruby. She was always there earlier than anyone.
These two were quite the pair to interview. Just watching them interact as they sat together at the front of the room, was certainly amazing!