Snow White and the Huntsman

Snow White and the Huntsman

Snow White and the Huntsman is the latest fairytale to be re-imagined for the big screen as director Rupert Sanders tackles this well known tale.

Kristen Stewart takes on the role of Snow White and is joined on the cast list by Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron and Sam Claflin.

And we caught up with all of them when they were in London to discuss their new movie.

- Rupert, Snow White is a classic story but you have brought something quite different to it as this is an epic story so where did you begin bringing your vision to the script?

Rupert Sanders: I think I went back to the original story because that story is so rich and so relevant and has survived so long.

There are so many great images, ideas and themes in there that an audience know what they expect to see, there are certain iconic things they are going to see, but it was about turning it on its head and creating something very epic and modern.

Then it was about bringing this cast together to give very strong, dynamic, frightening and grounded performances.

- Sam what was the experience of making this movie like for you?

Sam Claflin: It was ok really; it was fine (laughs). It was somewhat of a dream come true really as growing up I ran round the school playground pretending I was Robin Hood or a knight from the Round Table so to get the opportunity to wield a sword and bash a few stuntmen was certainly a privilege.

- Charlize you shot the movie in the UK so what was it about working with us Brits that attracted you to the project?

It was probably the only negative thing about the movie for me (laughs). I actually lived here last year as I did two films back to back and that was really nice.

However you never get the chance to shoot in the city you are always driving and hour or two to Pinewood studios every day.

- Kristen what was it about the role of Snow White, which is such an iconic role, that attracted you to the project in the first place?

Kristen Stewart: I have always wanted to find something where I could really challenge myself physically and I really liked that, as Charlize has said before we really will hurt yourself for the job.

You have got someone who has the gusto and as an audience member you can take a lot of satisfaction from watching her kick ass but she is not a dude she remains so steady. We are not built to be physically strong you have to outsmart someone; you have to be quicker and have a stronger heart...

Charlize: I am bigger. I am a man.

Kristen: I hate girl power movies where the people you are rooting for are not girls and that is what I was mostly attracted too.

- Chris you are now for your action and you have swapped Thor's hammer for an axe this time so let's talk about the fight sequences, did you get your teeth stuck in?

Chris Hemsworth: No I got my nose busted by Kristen actually, this is the first time that we have met since that incident. I would prefer that she was sitting down the other end of the table.

Kristen: Can you see the tears about to stream down his face? It's been months and months and he is still so...

Chris: I am just waiting for an apology. I didn't choose it because of the action that was a bonus.

At first I thought it was a little too similar to what I had done before because it was fighting and a fantasy based world but I soon realised with Rupert's vision and this cast and the script it was a completely different take on the fairytale that I had known previously.

It is a much darker, edgier, gothic almost version and it kept me guessing and I think that is what it does with an audience too.

- In terms of the punching in the face incident that you had was that during a scene or were you fighting over something in the canteen?

Chris: We both reached for the same muffin at the service station - I won't do that again.

- Charlize how did you approach the character to get the tone right as it so easily could have gone way over the top? And how do you feel about your director describing you as 'Margaret Thatcher meets Kate Moss'?

Charlize: You really have started some shit.

Rupert: I don't even remember saying that.

Charlize: Working backwards I love that description and I going to be referred to forever as that. I think that you have to trust your director because, at the end of the day, that tone is up to what the filmmaker wants to do and how he wants to tell the narrative.

The initial meetings for me are usually to try and understand what film my director is trying to make and if I can service that.

I don't know how to work not having a foundation of something that is based in reality, I need that as an anchor and I think if you have than anchor then you can go big and you can go loud because you always have that at the foundation and it's always there at the core and it sets those things up.

I think it's when you don't have... if you haven't set up circumstances to somewhat explain why they are the way that they are then you are going to run into trouble where it is always going to real a little mechanical.

So I always try to work from a place of real and if I have the piece of real then you can push the envelope a little. But it is tricky and there is a fine line as it can be either f***ing amazing or horrible.

This is one of those showy characters where every scene could go so many different ways in reality and we did try that a lot and this guy (Rupert) did a great job because he went into the editing room and really found the pace of the character and figured out what worked and what didn't.

Rupert: I think with those archetypes you are expecting something big as well and we kept saying to ourselves 'this is a fairytale so we can go a little further that you would in a kitchen sink drama'.

She (Charlize) did an amazing job of grounding it in reality and having those moments when it can pop up a bit, which is great.

- Kristen you have already touched upon the fact that Snow White is a bit of a warrior but she has a vulnerable softer side. So which side did you prefer playing and which side did you relate to more?

Kristen: It's a tough one because, as you say nothing is that simple, every time Snow White has to get up and do something active and not be crippled by fear and turn it into this forward moving thing I'm into that.

Like I said one of the reasons why I did this movie was to see how far I could push myself - the reason that they hire these big huge burly dudes to be in these movies is because it is hard.

- Rupert can you talk about how you shot the dwarves - were the CG enhanced?

We didn't CG enhance them that much because it was very important for me to keep the performance and the person together, I didn't want to have little people carrying around Ray Winstone's face because then it's only a quarter of his performance.

I chose those guys because they are the best actors at what they do; at creating those incredible characters. So it was really a decision that came from who are these people? And who is best to play them?

It's surprising when you first see them but they are damn funny and they are big tough guys with big guys who love each other and that is a really nice part of the film.

- There is a lot of sexual tension but there are only two kisses so was the idea to leave the audience on the edge of their seat and wanting more?

Charlize: Actually we all made out with each other. (Rest of the cast laughs). No because you (Sam) are me when you kiss her so I was making out with Kristen through your mouth.

Sam: That was the best day of my life.

Charlize: How was I Kristen?

Kristen: Errrrrr

Chris: Well you were great because I kissed her right after you kissed her.

Charlize: Are you kidding me these guys are professionals.

Kristen: I don't like to be deceived.

Charlize: Sorry about that. It thought it was a little sexy.

- Chris you have a Scottish accent throughout the whole film so how difficult was that for you?

Chris: Yes it was. We talked about a few different sounds and things but the biggest thing I didn't want to do an English or a mid Atlantic accent because it was too close to Thor.

We had imagined it being a fictional world and that was where we landed and it was just a warmth and a feeling of a Scottish accent but it was non specific necessarily. I find that it is a bit like a costume that it's not until you put the costume on that you find something that you can grab on to and you go 'right this is who it is'.

Then is took on a life of its own and I love the music of it and it's a very earthly sound and he is a man of the woods so it was fitting.

Kristen: But it is also transient because he is so not like us and you wanted to know where this guy was from and who he was.

- Rupert why was Kristen the perfect choice to play Snow White?

Rupert: I looked at a lot of actors, both unknown and known, but when we met Kristen I think we saw someone who had a rebellious spirit, she is a bit like a wild horse as she is hard to hold down.

The Snow White character couldn't be demure and quite she needed to be someone tough. She is an unusual person and that is what is so great about her playing this character as she has a craziness to her which I think is right for the character. 

- What was the scariest part of filming?

Kristen: Riding a horse, I know I have said it a thousand times but dynamic between horse and rider is not for me. Don't put a saddle on him I want to watch him run round a pasture, I will run with him.

Chris: The most uncomfortable scene with the horse riding was when we needed a close up for Kristen and I on the horse and it was the first day of shooting.

We all arrived on set with all the Spanish horse riders who had been brought in and they were all very professional - I married a Spanish woman and they were like 'why do you deserve her? Show us how you ride' - and I was like 'where is the horse?' and it was half of the mechanical horse.

So we were on this thing going like this (moves up and down) you couldn't have felt more ridiculous.

Kristen: You do feel so ridiculous.

- Charlize do you think that being a mum will affect the way that you work and the roles you will take?

Charlize: I am about to go and do a re-imagining of Mad Max and I thought that I wouldn't want to go and make this movie when I heard that my son was coming into my life and all I would want to do is mope around in my pyjamas and roll with him on the carpet - we did that for a couple of months and that was great.

But the crazy thing that happened that I wasn't expecting is that it made me feel really creative and I started developing like crazy and selling movies and developing more with my production company and the more I think about going and shooting the movie the more I get excited about it.

I feel that this little innocent child is making me more curious about the human condition.

- Did you have to cut anything you were sorry to lose?

Rupert: No, there were scenes that I liked on their own but you are not making a collection of scenes you are making a film.

The big picture is what you have to look and you always make a little more than you need. The story in the cutting room is like a sculpture and some things go but I don't think that anyone is upset by what was left out.

Charlize: I actually think that that is a sign of a great director, a lot of first time directors can get very attached to everything and it's a great sign when you can step back.

- Apart from your nose were there any other injures, not just here but in Avengers as you have had a rough few months?

Charlize: Except for your ego

Chris: This was more exhausting than anything that I had done before because none of it was on a green screen, temperature controlled sound stage we were working amongst the mud and the dirt and the rain when it was freezing.

You live and breathe the characters and the story and I have never felt more in it for a longer period of time on a film than this. We were this tight little cast and crew and we went off to obscure locations. There was this one scene were Sam and I had to ride in on horseback…

Sam: Oh no

Chris: Just before it was like 'when you fly on in there with the other hundred behind you just jump off the horse at the last second and charge in and form a triangle' - we didn’t rehearse this.

'Action' next minute we took off and Sam was little bit in front of me and I aw his foot get caught in the stirrups as he tried to jump off.

Sam: I was in full armour aright not like him who was in a light jacket and flexible trousers. I ended up flat on my back in full armour.

Chris: I went to help him but them I was like 'nah I will save the shot' I just stepped over you.

Sam: I remember, after smacking my face on the floor, hearing Rupert going 'carry on'. And I was like 'mate I can't get up'.

Kristen: And when he lifted his arm above shoulder height he would knock his head to the side.

Sam: Comedy gold.

Snow White and the Huntsman is released 30th May   FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw

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