I recently had the opportunity to interview the cast of Disney’s Cinderella movie. I was captivated by their candid responses and the twinkle in their eyes when they spoke about the making of Cinderella, the Costumes and the Shoes.
The live-action Cinderella movie is inspired by the classic fairy tale, “Cinderella” and brings to life the timeless images from Disney’s 1950 animated masterpiece as real life characters for a whole new generation. The film stars Cate Blanchett, Lily James, Richard Madden, Stellan Skarsgård, Holliday Grainger, Derek Jacobi and Helena Bonham Carter. Directed by Kenneth Branagh from a screenplay by Chris Weitz, “Cinderella” is produced by Simon Kinberg, Allison Shearmur and David Barron. The costumes were designed by Oscar award winning designer, Sandy Powell.
The production team carefully selected the period for the film and drew inspiration from the 15th, 16th and 17th century architecture in Northern Europe for the set of CINDERELLA. There was also that spark of magic that can only happen in the creation of a Disney movie to make CINDERELLA come to life.
The Making of CINDERELLA – Candid Interview with CINDERELLA Director Kenneth Branagh
Although the original animated Cinderella of the 1950s is perfect, the cast stayed true to the movie with romance and Disney magic. CINDERELLA Director, Kenneth Branagh hopes CINDERELLA speaks to a new generation of movie goers. Unlike the animated version Cinderella of the 1950s, CINDERELLA brings two people together that bring the best out of each other. As Director, Kenneth Branagh wanted to stay true to the traditional storyline, but also stay true to the times and brought in modern elements to bring CINDERELLA to life. An example of the modernization is Cinderella’s courting. Branagh wanted Cinderella to find a man who had respect for women not just a prince to “save her”. On casting of Richard Madden as Prince Charming, they wanted to build out a character who has ideals and a father.
Kenneth Branagh also advised that Lily James originally came to audition for the part of the “ugly step sister”. After the reading the casting team asked her to read for the part of Cinderella as well and true to Disney magic, he knew they had found CINDERELLA after hearing her voice. When Kenneth Branagh heard Lily Jame’s voice, he recalled that he could hear kindness and fragility in her voice and knew that they were listening the voice of CINDERELLA.
On casting of Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy God Mother, Kenneth Branagh felt she was loving and whimsical.
Kenneth Branagh also advised that one of the real challenges in making the movie was to make it modern, but not so modern that the audience is out of touch with the movie. They built big sets such as the hallway and the stairs to bring CINDERELLA to life. He wanted to tell the story of CINDERELLA, not a makeshift version, but a celebration of kindness.
According to Kenneth Branagh, CINDERELLA is an underdog that transcends and transforms everyone around her. It appeals globally. It is not gender specific. We agree.
The Cinderella Costumes – Candid Interview with Costume Designer Sandy Powell
Sandy Powell is a three-time Oscar award winning costume designer. She designed all the incredible costumes for CINDERELLA. She wanted the costumes to be bold and full of color. On designing the coats used by Prince Charming and all male leads Sandy Powell advised that she had all the hand-crafted embroidery done in Pakistan. Richard Madden wore a white hand-embroidered coat with white crystals which looks stunning at the ball.
The breathtaking CINDERELLA ball gown has 12 layers of fabric, 270 yards of fabric and 10,000 Swarovski crystals. Sandy Powell advised that the crystals were not placed and glued one at a time. Instead the Swarovski crystals were already placed on fabric rolls and were already on the fabric she used to design the dress. Sandy Powell wanted the dress to be light and just right for dancing, running and jumping. She used a crinoline cage and layers and layers of fabric (inside and outside crinoline) to give the dress a light and flowing look. She used silk fabric, silk crepline and polyester fabric to achieve the desired design. Sandy Powell made 8 dresses of the CINDERELLA ball gown for the movie. She only made 1 wedding dress.
Sandy Powell’s designs took thousands of hours to complete (500 hours per CINDERELLA ball gown) and were instrumental in bringing CINDERELLA to life.
The Famous Cinderella Swarovski Crystal Shoes
Swarovski partnered with Disney to design the famous shoes. Sandy Powell also designed the famous Swarovski Crystal shoes. She knew that glass would not sparkle and used Swarovski crystal to create the effect. None of the shoes were worm in the movie. Instead they used disney magic (with help of the digital team) to create the effect of CINDERELLA wearing the Swarovski crystal shoes.
There were 8 pair of Swarovski crystal shoes made for the movie. The shoes have inspired several designers to create CINDERELLA inspired shoes.
The entire movie will inspire a whole new generation of movie goers, designers and writers. The movie truly appeals to a whole new generation of movie goers. Stay tuned for my movie review on Friday
CINDERELLA opens in theaters everywhere on March 13th. Make sure to set your dates with the person your love and let me know what you think about the casting and costumes. I won’t give it all away, because I want you to be captivated by the costumes and casting yourself.
Additional CINDERELLA movie information
Visit the official CINDERELLA Website: http://disney.com/Cinderella
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