Hello and happy Monday, my friends!
Summer is the season for great movies and I don’t know about you, but for me and my family, summer is when we go to the movies more than any other season of the year. Already, we went to three good ones since the start of summer and if you’re a family of movie lovers like we are, you know how it is when you have conversations about movies at the dinner table and that your “must-watch movie list” doesn’t seem to end. 🙂
Today, I’m excited to tell you about a new movie! I recently had the wonderful opportunity to be invited to an advanced screening of the new movie, The Little Mermaid + I also got to participate in a media conference call with the main characters, William Mosely and Poppy Drayton and with the movie director, Blake Harris and one of the film producers, Robert Molloy.
FILM SYNOPSIS: The Little Mermaid
Inspired by the 1837 Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale rather than the 1989 Disney movie, this fantasy-adventure film follows a young girl who discovers a beautiful, enchanting woman she believes to be the real “Little Mermaid” of lore. William Moseley (“The Royals”) stars as Cam Harrison, a young reporter following a big story about a Mermaid, Poppy Drayton (“Downton Abbey”), and a magic healing water said to cure all. Together with his sick niece Elle, Loreto Peralta (“Instructions Not Included”), they travel to a small town in Mississippi and uncover a legend that’s as mysterious as the circus they find it in. The film also includes Academy Award Winner Shirley MacLaine, (“The Last Word,”) Gina Gershon, (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) and Armando Gutierrez, (“Walt Before Mickey.”)
THE CONFERENCE CALL/INTERVIEW
During the conference call, the media (including myself) had the opportunity to ask questions about the film and how it came to be – from the main characters William Mosely, Poppy Drayton, Armando Gutierrez and from the movie director, Blake Harris and Robert Molloy, one of the producers of the film.
Moderator: William and Poppy why don’t you guys tell everyone how you came onto this movie.
Poppy: Well I got an e-mail from my agent and I read the script and I immediately fell in love with it. I thought it was a beautiful story and there was so many really whimsical magical moments in it that captured my imagination and as soon as I finished it I called my agent and went “I’d love to be in it” and it was like instant and then we just flew out and I joined the team and that was it really and the rest went from there.
William: Yeah it was a very similar experience for me. I read the script and instantly I knew. I was fortunate enough that I started my career with the Chronicles of Narnia franchise and I felt that the story had a lot of similarity in the fact that it’s a little girl with her belief in this mermaid. And you know there was these magical elements to it and you know I felt there were dynamics and there were story elements that were very similar that I had that I felt that I could play. And so I called my manager and I said I really want to do this. We want to be a part of the story. Rob and Blake then brought me onto the film and I think the script speaks for itself. We all fell in love with it and that was really Blake’s vision and on his story that has made this film what it is.
Moderator: And William you play a big brother and a caretaker in this film obviously and it’s such a touching relationship. Tell us about developing the relationship with Loreto Peralta who plays your little sister your niece in the film.
William: Yeah, you know I am the oldest of three. I have a younger brother and youngest sister. And you know I always try to think about what it would be like if this is my sister or my brother. If this was a family member of mine and then you don’t really have to say much you know you’re just in it – you know you just feel like you’re with your own siblings. And that’s when those fortunate things with the story that you know connects with you. Your own life. That was what I thought about when I was working with the rest of it. And fortunately she was such a lovely actress and a lovely person and the family was so, so great. It was it was a very easy symbiotic relationship.
Moderator: Why did you spend a lot of time with her when you weren’t shooting as well.
William: I did. It was really fun. You know we had a lot of fun on the film, we went off on adventures and we visited things and it was fun to open a children’s story – as opposed to like a horror film… I enjoyed our time and play.
Moderator: So coming into this how much research did you guys have to prepare for your role?
Poppy: I did end up researching fish which is fascinating. And the movement of dolphins. I put a lot of research into that. I just kind of swamped myself in a lot of Blue Planet — don’t know if you guys watched Blue Planet but I was obsessed with that for a long time … And yeah I really tried it to investigate the fish world as much as possible which sounds really weird but I did. I got really into it.
Moderator: Where did you go to research?
Poppy: It was just my own self-directed research that I did in my flat back in London and I did go to the pet shop one time and hung out with the fish; I did!
William: Did they talk back?
Moderator: This is probably a question for Blake and maybe Robert: What inspired you to set this film in the south and give it the Southern twist?
Blake: You know, it’s a lot of open land, a lot of woods — it’s water based, it’s a lot of it. I think that. You know traveling from somewhere in the Northeast and going somewhere like Mississippi or Georgia or Alabama, it’s a shock right? There is a huge difference to someone who has only seen big cities. That means it’s your world. Your eyes open wide to how different it is.
Robert: You’re literally the fish out of water. And in many ways I think that was what was so compelling about this. The displacing of it … You know these things were real– these traveling circuses went around selling things; they were kind of snake oil salesmen.
Blake: And it became kind of known in the area that they would sell real mermaids. If you looked up you could see these old posters and these old advertisements that they would make for this and it was a real thing – selling. You know coming to see the mermaid selling, healing water, all these kind of things were actually real. So bringing that air of reality to it in mass…Well wait a second what if it really was? What if you went to one of these traveling circuses that were so big at the time and you really discovered that there actually was a real mermaid? When we really discussed it, there was something interesting because Mississippi is another fascinating element of all this which – because you know in the movie – the story takes place in Mississippi and I think that you know that’s a compelling thing and the Mississippi River; you have so many legends, so many stories and so many things kind of revolving around that.
And you know it helps that it’s a river and you know kind of give some definition on where a mermaid can kind of venture out as a writer you have all these answers to kind of prebuilt stories that you never necessarily see on screen but that’s one of them where it’s if you are controlled and you know there’s a brief scene where we’d see a rushing river where Cam and they’ll run into the woods. And the idea there is that you just went for a swim along the river and came out. So yeah, the south and all that was compelling really just because it does have this hint of old kind of mystery and magic to it. But mostly a lot of it is the fact that this was real this was really happening in that era.
Moderator: Armando Gutierrez plays Locke in the film and he’s also a producer on the film. Armando, since we have you on the line now, why don’t you tell us what it was like to be an actor and a producer – a villain and a producer?
Armando: Too much work! I think Rob and Blake had enough of me by the end! It’s fun. I enjoyed the challenge. The movie was totally worth it. It’s one of those things that from day one we all want just to create. It’s just a fun journey. Every day was different. Challenging. And it’s just finding the answers.
Moderator: Armando, what message do you want the viewers to take away from this movie?
Armando: I think for me personally it’s very easy– it’s just the power of belief, to believe in magic. Believe and wonder in all these kinds of things and really just to believe that anything’s possible.
Poppy: And I think fish can speak because if you believe it, it’s true.
Blake: It can happen if you believe.
Poppy: Yes indeed.
Blake: Just allow your inner child to believe and to play and to get swept up in the wind of it because I think as adults we get led by our brains. We’re always thinking and we’re always processing and we’re always analyzing and with the pace of life is so quick and you don’t really stop and just play and just allow yourself to believe in things that aren’t real you think aren’t real. You just we intellectualize too much instead of just. Keeping ourselves open to lots possibility. So I think if it unlocks a playful child inside to the adult to go and watch it then that then little victory for us.
Blake: I have a question you all could ask that would be interesting if you’re curious because I’m going to be the blogger now. I’m thinking over this this question. So as Cam is wandering to the circus to set up it’s magic. The mystical fortune teller played by Shana Collins. And as Cam is exploring, he happens to hear a beautiful voice coming from the distance which he follows and sees Poppy Drayton singing. So there is actually a musical number in this film. So what was that like for you to actually sing?
Poppy: I am by no means a singer. And I think that’s why Blake can bring it up because I was terrified to see that scene because I mean it’s by no means a thing. I was really worried about actually shooting that day and the morning that we were shooting it. I got a Skype call actually from my dad to say that and say that my grandmother had passed on. That was it. It was a tricky start to the day and it was bizarre because oh my. All my anxiety and fear and worry about shooting the singing scene that we were doing that they all sort of dissipated. The song itself is a very emotional song and it was obviously a very emotional day just to me personally. So there was something about it and that as difficult as it was to do it was actually quite cathartic in a way and I kind of just lost myself in my own mind and the worry and the fear that I had built up over the preceding week just so this fell away and it actually ended up being one of my favorite dates to see bizarrely. Yeah. And then we actually did this the top a voice recording singing recording. When I came to L.A. not that long ago really knows who you are. Yeah. And then we spent like the whole day in the recording suite and late because of amazing and helping me out. And we just sang through the whole song and we were there for hours. But I think eventually we were all sort of happy with it and the team and the crowd were incredible. I was happy to make that happen.
Blake: It was a beautiful moment. We did it with Jimmy Roebling who scored our film and incredible imaginary. This was such a great movie integrating that kind of work share everything. And I think that you know it’s acting as I have so much respect directors because it’s always such a vulnerable thing being you know being on camera and you know other people are dictating the look of you the feel of you how all you know there are there’s so much trust that actor has to have and a director or a writer producer or make a border. All of these different components and it’s always such a vulnerable spot. And so you know taking that into going to this other level of singing and being on you know letting your voice kind of come across straight and tell the story and the scene is very it’s not meant to feel like a big musical moment it’s going to feel very intimate and like cameras witnessing this really heartfelt song from the heart. This huge call to adventure this longing to be free and to want to be loved not on the scene in a romantic way but just accepted and loved for who you are. And you did such an incredible job humbly letting that that truth in that reality resonate as we witnessed it through Cam’s eyes. It’s a really, really beautiful moment in the film.
Moderator: Poppy thank you for sharing that with us. That was really lovely and I’m glad that you could have such a momentous day in light of what had happened. So guys I just want out and we’re going to wind things down here. I’ve asked all the questions that were submitted for the most part; a couple you guys covered on your own. Is there anything else you guys would like to share with the bloggers on the call? Any last thoughts?
Blake: We just hope that people enjoy it as much as everyone here – every single level of love from the bottom of the pecking order to the top put so much love and attention into this. And hopefully that translates on screen. And setting ambitious movie you know you know an indie movie with this amount of ambition and you know it really takes a total team effort. And for me it’s great when you know you really want to go out and make something that everyone can put their heart and their soul and their magic into is really and really you know looks at it through that angle and through that you know with just being very happy that you know that we were all a part of it and that we all got to go and do it. And you know making movies is a hard thing and getting a movie made is a hard thing. And you know a movie like this requires all to make it anywhere near complete or to tell a story. It’s just 24/7. Yeah it wasn’t like days off when we had a day off… Big thanks to Armando and Rob for believing in this and you know, really just taking on their shoulders to wheel this thing into existence to say “we’re going to make this movie.” It is ambitious it has all these fully scripted things that does all the things that we’re told not to do but we’re going to believe it anyways and we’re going to go make it and we’re all going to believe in this thing together.
-End of conference call-
So, I hope I got you excited about this film without giving it away too much. 😉 If you and your family are still looking to get entertained this summer, head to your nearest AMC theater on August 17th and see “The Little Mermaid” – a live-action family film that will sure to please movie-goers of any age! It’s the perfect summer movie and you’ll leave the theater feeling great and you’ll learn a valuable life lesson or two as well. I highly recommend it!
Here’s the trailer of the movie, The Little Mermaid:
If you like this post, pin it here!
So what do you think about the movie, “The Little Mermaid”? Will you go watch it? Tell me in the comments!
Enjoy the rest of your summer! 🙂
*This post was sponsored by Conglomerate Media. All views and opinions are mine.