Tommy Wirkola: Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters Exclusive Interview

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The director of Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters, Tommy Wirkola, talks about his take on the iconic fairy tale. Wirkola also chats why stars Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton were perfect as the siblings who went into a witches candy house and came out killers.

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Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
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Speaker 1: Thank you so much for visiting with me today. Speaker 2: Our pleasure. Speaker 1: This is just an astounding thing to witness, and I wanted to start with you. Now seeing you in the suit earlier, and knowing the work that you had to do, how do you keep yourself calm and relaxed through that whole thing, because I would be going batty on the hours that you must put in inside that thing? Speaker 2: How do you go to the happy place? Speaker 1: Yeah, exactly, it is a happy place. Well, I always say I'm a fan boy at heart, so the adage that pain is temporary and film is forever constantly goes into your mind, at some points it can be uncomfortable, or actually painful, but you think about that final outcome, that this could be something really amazing. So I guess if you're talking about like bleeding for your art, that actually happens. Speaker 2: And your first approach for a project like this, the director obviously has a vision; you come back with your ideas. On this particular film with Hansel and Gretel, you know, how much leeway did you have to kind of create the designs, like the character that this man here has valued? Speaker 1: Yeah, Tommy and Kevin; Tommy [Recollar] our director obviously, and Kevin Messick, producer on the film, were very, really great at allowing us, the artists, to fill in a lot of the blanks, and they gave us a lot of artistic license, a lot of freedom. Tommy had a very clear idea of what he wanted, but at the same time he allowed us to explore artistically, which is you know, the perfect kind of job; when you have a director who knows what they want and they allow you to express it artistically with your team, and come up with something wonderful, you know, and that's the result. Speaker 2: Well, yes, and it shows on every frame. Speaker 1: Thank you. Speaker 2: And it's so clear that you absolutely love what you do. Speaker 1: Oh, yeah. Speaker 2: How did you find your way into this business and where did you start? Speaker 1: It's a very long process that began when I was very young. I loved monster films as a kid, like all of us did, you know. And it sort of gradually became apparent to me that it was something that I could do for a living, that I could figure out a way to find a career in this field. So just step by step, and really just learning on my own, and reading books, and recruiting my friends to being my guinea pigs, though I feel sorry. But that's how it happened. Speaker 2: And Eric, I know you're a big fan of the genre and sci-fi and all these kinds of things. What does it actually mean to you personally as a fan to be a part of some of these movies that are a part of the fabric that many consider a great golden era of this kind of genre we're in right now? Speaker 1: It's mind boggling in a sense, because I'm the guy at home like everybody else who's on the Internet and like reading, who got cast in what, and oh, they're going to make a sequel to a film that I love. And it's bizarre to be able to transform and join and hop into that screen, like for example, with Dead Snow, Tommy Workholder's [SP] film before Hansel and Gretel. I watched it, loved it, and thought, oh, I would love like to hang out and work with these guys someday. Three months later I'm in Berlin shooting with them and I felt, how surreal is this? It's very bizarre. Speaker 2: And you did shoot in Berlin. Speaker 1: We did. Speaker 2: And that's obviously where the story emanates from, the German folklore. How much did that add to it, rather than being on a sound stage out here in Burbank or something? Speaker 1: It's a good point; especially if I had to deal with a wide exterior shot, to give the tone of the film, like when we went to the forest. I forget the actual forest name. Do you remember? Speaker 2: I don't remember. But just like we walk in and getting lost, and like helping like figure out the environment that the film takes place in. It helped me kind of sink in and like settle into the character.

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters Review

Ever wondered what happened to that brother and sister tandem, Hansel and Gretel after they left that witch's house made of candy? In...

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Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (3 Votes)