The BFG (Mark Rylance) is 24-feet-tall, nearly six times as big as Sophie (Ruby Barnhill). The biggest giant in Giant Country, Fleshlumpeater (Jemaine Clement), is twice as big as the BFG (the BFG is considered a runt). Can you imagine trying to portray a giant? It was so interesting hearing from Steven Spielberg in our first interview about how impressed he was with both Mark Rylance and Jemaine Clement. He talked a lot about how amazing Mark is at portraying a character and taking on the characters personality.
Meeting with Mark and Jemaine was fantastic. Mark’s voice is honestly unbelievable. I could listen to him read the phone book and be happy. Ok maybe not the phone book but almost anything else.
One of the things I loved about these interviews is how much the actors talked about loving working together. You could see how all of them got along and truly enjoyed their time on set. They had amazing things to say about working with Ruby Barnhill.
I am so excited to share this interview with you! Keep an eye out for more interviews this week plus make sure and check out the interview we posted with Steven Spielberg and Ruby Barnhill!
Q: How did you come into character and get into character every day to play that part?
MARK RYLANCE: Oh. Well every morning it took about an hour and a half of them sticking glow in the dark marbles on us and battery packs and having a lot of painted dots painted on, about 45 minutes of having dots painted on your face like a hockey mask, a tight hockey mask. So there was a lot of time to think and listen to music or just get yourself in a certain head space but apart from that I don’t know how you prepare but it’s just playful, you know it’s the same as ever, you just start to play like a child really.
You think what do I need, here comes a 50-foot giant into my cave who’s gonna eat my little friend, I need to distract him, what am I gonna do? And so it’s clear rules to the game and you just start to play. I mean what was fun for us was in motion capture there’s no cameras, there’s no marks, there’s just a playground isn’t there, you just start to play and imagine it and speak the lines.
How hard is it to speak giant?
MARK RYLANCE: Very hard. Very hard indeed yeah, I don’t think there are any actors in the world that could have done what Jemaine and I have done.
JEMAINE CLEMENT: What is that actually, it’s improvising in giant.
MARK RYLANCE: Improvising in giant, yeah it’s like improving in Shakespeare, it’s tricky. I’ve heard people who can do that actually very well, can improvise sonnets. You can say I wanna sonnet on a fried egg and they will improvise a Shakespearean sonnet on a fried egg, they’re from Liverpool. But improvising in giant is a little tricky.
Q: How did your kids like it?
MARK RYLANCE: My sons really loves it. He helped me a lot actually, I read him the book again when we got to Vancouver, he’d already heard it but he would always, if he didn’t like the voice he’d go, no the other voice, and that’s how I found the voice was he’d guide me.
Q. How much of the movie did you adlib?
JEMAINE CLEMENT: Little parts like that part was adlibbed. But again the vocabulary, reins you in a lot.
MARK RYLANCE: I mean he’s a genius adlibber and a lot of the giants actually were really clever improvisers and comedians and stuff so there was a lot of space. Steven wanted the bad giants to expand from what Roald Dahl had written and each of them to have characters and things like that. I think Sophie and I stuck pretty closely to the script that Melissa had written, the adaptation of the book, I don’t think we improvised much. I probably put in lots of little noises and things like that between the lines.
Q. Jemaine you have a younger son, what do you want him to get out of this movie? What do you want him to get out of this movie?
JEMAINE CLEMENT: As Mark said it’s a lot about letting children know that they have, their thoughts are valid. They can have an opinion that’s important as well.
Check out this amazing video about Mark Rylance and playing The BFG!
OFFICIAL BOILERPLATE: The talents of three of the world’s greatest storytellers – Roald Dahl, Walt Disney and Steven Spielberg – finally unite to bring Dahl’s beloved classic “The BFG” to life. Directed by Spielberg, Disney’s “The BFG” tells the imaginative story of a young girl and the Giant who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country. The BFG (Mark Rylance), while a giant himself, is a Big Friendly Giant and nothing like the other inhabitants of Giant Country. Standing 24-feet tall with enormous ears and a keen sense of smell, he is endearingly dim-witted and keeps to himself for the most part.
Giants like Bloodbottler (Bill Hader) and Fleshlumpeater (Jemaine Clement) on the other hand, are twice as big and at least twice as scary and have been known to eat humans, while the BFG prefers Snozzcumber and Frobscottle. Upon her arrival in Giant Country, Sophie, a precocious 10-year-old girl from London, is initially frightened of the mysterious giant who has brought her to his cave, but soon comes to realize that the BFG is actually quite gentle and charming, and, having never met a giant before, has many questions.
The BFG brings Sophie to Dream Country where he collects dreams and sends them to children, teaching her all about the magic and mystery of dreams. Having both been on their own in the world up until now, their affection for one another quickly grows, but Sophie’s presence in Giant Country has attracted the unwanted attention of the other giants, who have become increasingly more bothersome. Sophie and the BFG soon depart for London to see the Queen (Penelope Wilton) and warn her of the precarious giant situation, but they must first convince the Queen and her maid, Mary (Rebecca Hall), that giants do indeed exist. Together, they come up with a plan to get rid of the giants once and for all.
Directed by three-time Academy Award® winner Steven Spielberg (“Bridge of Spies,” “Schindler’s List,” ”Saving Private Ryan”) from a screenplay by Melissa Mathison (“E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial,” “The Black Stallion”) based on the best-selling novel by Roald Dahl, “The BFG” stars three-time Tony Award® and two-time Olivier Award winner Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies,” “Wolf Hall”), newcomer Ruby Barnhill, Penelope Wilton (“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” “Downton Abbey”), Jemaine Clement (“Rio 2,” “The Flight of the Conchords”), Rebecca Hall (“The Gift,” “Iron Man 3”), Rafe Spall (“The Big Short,” “Prometheus”) and Bill Hader (“Inside Out,” “Trainwreck”).
The film is produced by Spielberg, Frank Marshall (“Jurassic World,” “The Bourne Ultimatum”) and Sam Mercer (“Snow White and the Huntsman,” “The Sixth Sense”) with Kathleen Kennedy (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Lincoln”), John Madden (“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” “Shakespeare in Love”), Kristie Macosko Krieger (“Bridge of Spies,” “Lincoln”), Michael Siegel (“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Rise of the Guardians”), Frank Smith and Naia Cucukov serving as executive producers.
“The BFG” opens in U.S. theaters on July 1, 2016, the year that marks the 100th anniversary of Dahl’s birth.