Emily Blunt and Anna Kendrick were oh-so ready to head Into the Woods and star in a Disney star-studded musical based on the iconic Broadway work of Stephen Sondheim.
“I can’t speak for anybody else, but certainly, it was on my bucket list. And to get to do this piece, in particular, is a trip,” Kendrick said.
As teased in the Into the Woods trailer, the film version of Sondheim’s Broadway hit from director Rob Marshall (Chicago) tells the tale of what would happen if many of the Grimm Fairy Tale characters all were gallivanting, well, Into the Woods. It features Kendrick as Cinderella, Blunt as the Baker's Wife, as well as Johnny Depp as the Big Bad Wolf and Meryl Streep as The Witch.
“I wanted to be Little Red from the time that I first saw it, and was thoroughly disappointed that an actual child stole the role right from under me, being young and whatever,” Kendrick said and laughed.
For her, appearing in a musical was also another opportunity to creatively stretch her wings. “We all just always want to do something different, whether it’s a different genre or a different kind of character. Everybody gets bored easily, so I would imagine that, for anybody who’s ever even once sung in the shower, being in a musical is probably on the list.”
“I’m from England, where we play down most of the things that we can do,” Blunt said about her singing abilities.
“How do I feel about it now? Probably feel the same. I don’t think I’m the best singer in the world, for sure, but I loved doing it. I’ve always enjoyed singing. I find it joyous. This music gave you such space and allowed for you to be an actor within it. You didn’t have to hit a high-C perfectly. You didn’t have to sing live perfectly. It allowed for these songs to be an extension of the character. They were emotionally so challenging and complex. I think we were all encouraged to focus more on making them conversational and making the audience want to listen. I’ll always find it tough, singing in front of people.”
For Blunt and Kendrick, one of the real joys of being in Into the Woods is that they have now added a Disney movie to their resume.
“I grew up watching all of the Disney movies. I remember the first Disney movies I had were Robin Hood and The Sword in the Stone. My sister and I got one each for Christmas, and we watched them 55 times. They were so good. So, I would say, for nostalgic reasons, those two were my favorites because they were my first experience with watching Disney movies,” Blunt said.
For Kendrick, her experience with Disney movies is an interesting one, especially since she plays Cinderella in Into the Woods.
“Cinderella, the cartoon, scared the (expletive) out of me, when I was a kid," she said and laughed. "When the stepsisters rip her dress apart, that was really horrifying. I identified most with Gus, the fat mouse.”
But what was her favorite? "The Little Mermaid was a big one for me,” she admitted.
“My parents got the VHS for me, when I was a kid, for my birthday one year. I didn’t really understand that anybody could get a VHS. I thought there were probably a hundred in the whole world, and I lost my mind. I was like, ‘It’s too much! You’ve done too much! I can’t accept it!’ That was a big day for me.”