A behind the scenes look at Sir Kenneth Branagh’s “Cinderella”!
We’ve all been excitedly anticipating Sir Kenneth Branagh’s (Professor Lockhart) live-action Cinderella, starring Downton Abby star Lily James and Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange), and it’s very nearly time for the film to be released. In the build up to the release next week, a number of behind the scenes photographs have been released.
In the pictures, you can see Kenneth directing the actors, as well as an exclusive look at some of the scenes from the film, including those with Helena. Check them out in our gallery below:
Kenneth gave an interview alongside the pictures, where he explained the concepts behind the pictures and how the film came to life. On creating the film and the riding scenes, as shown in pictures 1 and 2, Kenneth said:
In the Disney animation, Cinderella and Prince Charming first meet at the ball. In our version they meet on horseback after Cinderella, or ‘Ella’, played by Lily James, helps a stag being hunted by the prince, Richard Madden, to escape. Unaware that he is a prince, she has a feisty conversation with him about why he is hunting. Ella’s relationship with the natural world is fundamental to the film. We chose not to focus on the rags-to-riches story but on her compassion – her mother’s dying words were, ‘Have courage and be kind.’ We shot this in a beautiful part of Windsor Great Park among oaks that are older than Shakespeare. Both were semi-experienced riders, but because we wanted the riding to be real they worked with a horse wrangler for several months, and Lily practised hard at staying on a horse at full gallop.
Kenneth also tells us a little bit more about Helena Bonham Carter’s role as the Fairy Godmother:
Helena Bonham Carter plays a deliciously ditzy and well-meaning fairy godmother who seems not necessarily to be in perfect control of her powers. We see here that look of slight apprehension. Helena wanted a touch of the yummy mummy and talked about Mae West and Marilyn Monroe. She was also very keen to have wings. Sandy was a little anti-wing to begin with, but came around. Her dress was lit from the inside – there’s a whole disco rig underneath there – and we had guys following her with a battery, so it would light up when she lifted her wand. We had real and CGI pumpkins, plus a huge inflatable one. This is made from polystyrene and the sculptors inserted a weight because we wanted it to have the weight of a real pumpkin.
Kenneth further spoke about the infamous blue ball dress, which Cinderella wears to the ball:
When I look at this picture I just remember Sandy Powell [the costume designer] saying 3,000 sequins would be sewn into the dress, and the months and months of us waving fabrics around, talking about weight, movement and the number of butterflies around the collar. There were seven different versions of the dress: a spectacular one for the entrance to the ball; one for dancing; another for outside, because that was going to get muddy, and so on. Swarovski made some glass slippers, and they were very beautiful – but unfortunately unwearable, so the actual glass slipper is made from Perspex. The coach was designed by Dante Ferretti [the production designer]. It was originally too heavy – one and a half to two tons. We replaced some of the ironwork with light-weight sculptures, until it was something real horses could pull.
You can read more about Kenneth’s thoughts on some of these images here.
It has also been revealed that the soundtrack will contain one track sung by Helena. The track, called “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo (The Magic Song)”, features as one of the end credit tracks. The original music on the soundtrack has been composed by Patrick Doyle and recorded in London with the London Symphony Orchestra. Patrick has previously worked with Kenneth on several occasions, and even scored the music for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire! Check out the full track list here.
Kenneth has been busy talking about the film in interviews. Recently, he spoke to Seth Meyers on Late Night. Check out a clip below:
Cinderella is released in US theaters on March 13, and in the UK on March 27. The soundtrack to the film will be released on March 10.
Are you looking forward to the film? What do you think of the new pictures? Let us know in the comments!