An interview with Penelope Wilton and Rebecca Hall from The BFG
So today I get to share with you about that one time I interviewed the Queen of England. I mean, sort of. That was maybe misleading. Let me start over. The BFG opens in theaters on July 1st and I have another wonderful interview to share from our stay in Los Angeles. I’m thrilled to share snippets of our interview with Dame Penelope Wilton who plays the Queen and Rebecca Hall who plays Mary from The BFG. As with our other interviews, Penelope and Rebecca were as charming as can be. Below I will share a few of the highlights from our conversation.
Photo Credit Lovebugs & Postcards
Question : Can you tell us how you both got involved in the project?
Penelope Wilton answered first.”Well, my agent got a phone call and said Steven Spielberg wants you to do this film, “The BFG,” and um, I said yes. If Steven Spielberg wants you to do a movie, you do it.” (and then in Rebecca’s direction she added) “Wouldn’t you say?”
Rebecca agreed. “Yes, I would. I had exactly the same thing. I got a call saying “It’s not a very big part but he has asked specifically for you to do it.” so I’m like I’ll do it, of course I will.” Also, BFG is, you know, a book that as a child I loved. Even before I’d read the script or knew what the part was, I was like yes, certainly I want to be a part of that, of course, you know?”
Some may know that Penelope Wilton was recently given the honor of becoming an actual Dame. We were excited to hear what she thought when she first heard.
“Well, it’s, it’s rather surreal actually, to be quite honest with you, being a Dame. Also when I found out about, when they asked me to do it about seven weeks ago they sent it to the wrong address. So, then another one went out to my agent and um, then it said priority because obviously they, they hadn’t heard. So they asked “If they put your name forward, if the Prime Minister puts your name forward to the Queen, would you accept it?” So, I said I would. And then they said you must not tell anybody until it’s, it’s released which was six weeks after. And then there was a total silence and of course then I thought I dreamt that. That didn’t happen. I made that up. I just had a dream. And then it wasn’t until Sunday, a week last Sunday, that, then it came. Saturday it came out on papers and it did actually say my name so then I thought oh thank God. I hadn’t told anyone but my daughter. I told my daughter and my sisters. They would have been a bit disappointed as indeed I would have been.”
When asked about what it was like working with newcomer Ruby Barnhill, both had only good things to say.
Penelope said she was a darling girl with a wonderful sense of humor who took direction well.
Rebecca said she was ‘a consummate professional‘ and that she was ‘brilliant‘. She also shared that Ruby worked hard at knowing everyone on the set.
One interviewer asked “The story has so many lessons. What is something you want people to get from this story, from the movie, from just the general idea of this, what do you want people to capture from it?”
Penelope had a wonderful answer. She shares about how Sophie is a little girl who has very little, and she meets a giant who has even less, but they work together. “It’s the same in that there’s always a pursuit and a pursuer and in the end you have to turn around and face the bully and if you do that, the world opens up and I think in a very, very, in a wonderful way, not in the sort of preachy way….”
Rebecca added “A magical way.”
Fun fact! Rebecca and Penelope go way back! They shared that Penelope used to work with Rebecca’s father, Sir Peter Hall when he ran the National Theater. She shared that she remembers when Rebecca was born. The crowd found that very charming that now they are working together on this family movie together.
If you have not yet seen the official trailer for The BFG you are in for a treat!
Thank you so much to Dame Penelope Wilton and Rebecca Hall for bringing these iconic characters to life and also for taking the time to sit down and speak with us.
The BFG opens in theaters on July 1st and is a perfect summer film for the whole family!
I have a crush on Mary from the movie. She’s so sexy/beautiful!