Tag Archives: Annie

Annie: Interview With Quvenzhane Wallis, Jamie Foxx, and Will Gluck!

interview-with-jamie-foxx-quvenzhane-wallis-will-gluck-1024x660Recently I had the privilege of sitting down with the cast of Annie to talk about the process of making the movie, and it was a blast! After our interview with Cameron Diaz and Bobby Cannavale, who play Miss Hannigan and Guy in Annie, respectively, we got to speak with Quvenzhane Wallis (Annie herself), Jamie Foxx (Will Stacks), and the film’s director Will Gluck!

The interview started off with a discussion of Will’s feelings on re-making a “classic.” He explained that “we wanted to keep what connected with us in the original Annie— the musical and the movie– the story of optimism, hope, never giving up, finding your place in life, and family. That’s the feeling we wanted to take and connect with the bones of the great music, and we wanted to make it our own. So as long as we kept those touchstones, we felt that we could go off a little bit and make it what we wanted to do. We felt we did that. We felt that the spirit of Annie comes out.”

Jamie added that “If you look at re-makes today, everybody’s doing it… It’s great to grab a wonderful brand like this and then have a wonderful actress– Quvenzhane is nominated at such an early age, and now she steps into this iconic role– I just thought it was the right time… it seemed really fresh. It’s been a wonderful experience.”

Continuing with Foxx, who is an incredible singer outside of Annie with a great album of his own, we discussed how he brought his previous experience to the role. He mentioned that “the songs are so great… anytime there’s music and you have a person [like Quvenzhane] who can bring the emotional energy and then here comes this iconic music we’ve listened to for years, it was a fun time.” Will Gluck added that “it was a really fun set– there’s nothing negative because this message is so positive.”

While the set may have been lots of fun, there is also a tremendous emotional impact to taking on an iconic story like Annie, and particularly a role like Annie herself. Noting this, Foxx turned to Quvenzhane Wallis and asked her “Are you ready for this big ride? For the rest of your life, people are going to [say] ‘That shaped my childhood’ or even grown people: ‘I took my child to see the new Annie.‘ How does that make you feel?” Wallis was all smiles. “It’s really exciting. It makes me feel very happy to know that I’m in the newest version that maybe even, like, three-year-olds will know and then when they get older… this is your original Annie.”

Whether this is your original Annie or you’ve been following the story through its various iterations since 1977, you’ll love the new take on the classic musical. Read our review, check out our interview with Cameron Diaz and Bobby Cannavale, and be sure to go see Annie the next time you head out to the movies!

Annie: Interview With Bobby Cannavale and Cameron Diaz!

interview-with-cameron-diaz-bobby-cannavale-1024x682Recently I had the privilege of sitting down with the cast of Annie to talk about the process of making the movie, and it was a blast! First off, we got to speak with Cameron Diaz and Bobby Cannavale, who play Miss Hannigan and Guy in Annie, respectively.

We kicked the interview off with a pretty simple question: what was Cameron and Bobby’s favorite part of filming? Without a moment’s hesitation, they both answered “Easy Street!” The number, of course, is a classic part of Annie that lays out their characters’ scheme to exploit the reward for finding Annie’s birth parents by setting up a pair of actors to pose as her mom and dad and collect the money offered by Will Stacks. Bobby in particular seemed to have a lot of fun with the scene, revealing that though dancing “doesn’t come naturally” to him, he “did the part to do that number.”

If Bobby’s hangup was dancing, Cameron’s was her fear of singing in front of people. However, just as she conquered her fear of heights by jumping out of an airplane and scaling the face of a thousand-foot tall mountain (“not at the same time,” the actress added, chuckling), she similarly faced her vocal worries by “just charging toward it” and having confidence in the professionals handling her. Ultimately, Cameron had a great attitude about her anxieties in the role, sharing her idea that “if you run from fear, it jumps on your back and takes you down. If you run towards it and you jump on it, then you can take it down.”

Bobby and Cameron had quite a bit of advice to offer in regard to what Annie taught them about life. Cannavale mentioned confidence as a major trait that the film’s rehearsals instilled in him. He explained that the months of training for “Easy Street” in particular prepared him to walk confidently onto the set on the day of the shoot and charge head-on into the number that otherwise would’ve been difficult for him– and he was even comfortable and prepared to add in extra moves that day, like a dip at the end of the piece, that hadn’t been taught to him before!

Diaz also added that her character Miss Hannigan, contrary to the invalidated spinster that the character is typically portrayed as, is more a comment on modern society’s obsession with fame, social media and the like. “She never felt that so she doesn’t feel validated and loved,” and she takes this lack of self-love out on the girls. Cameron spins this into a great lesson for all of us:  “I hope that people realize that they don’t need fame, they don’t need to be seen by others; they just need to love themselves for who they are, not what they aren’t.”

As far as lessons from Annie go, Bobby also imparted some wisdom about the character of Annie herself: “I always liked the idea, just as a general theme of the story, that anything is possible as long as you’re in the moment– and this little girl is so present and in the moment. She teaches other people who come into her life how to do that, and how we can really take advantage of the opportunities that are in front of us as long as we’re in the moment– that’s the only way we can see them.”

There’s plenty to learn from Annie, and lots of fun in the movie to share with your family– it’s a perfect choice for this holiday season. Read our review, stay tuned for our interview with Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhane Wallis, and Will Gluck, and be sure to go see Annie the next time you head out to the movies!

Annie: The Classic Comes to Life in A Whole New Way!

annie-2014The holiday hit of 2014 is here! Annie has been an American cultural icon since the musical’s first production in 1977 (and even longer before that, with the comic strip that serves as its inspiration beginning its run in 1924!) With classic songs like “Tomorrow,” “Hard Knock Life,” “Easy Street,” and “NYC,” Annie has undoubtedly left its mark on the Broadway scene, and it’s no stranger to the silver screen either– the musical has been adapted to film several times before, but never like this!

Annie, which hit theaters on December 19, takes the classic musical and brings it up to date with new songs, new characters, and a completely modern setting. Starring Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) as Annie, Jamie Foxx (Dreamgirls, Ray) as William “Will” Stacks, Rose Byrne (BridesmaidsNeighbors) as his assistant Grace Farrell, Bobby Cannavale (Romance & CigarettesPaul Blart: Mall Cop) as Guy, his political advisor, and Cameron Diaz (ShrekThere’s Something About Mary) as the wicked Miss Hannigan, this movie’s got a star-studded cast that’s simply packed with talent!

If you and your family are heading to the movies anytime soon, Annie is definitely a great choice to see together. It’s got toe-tapping tunes, a great message, and most of all, heart. You can really tell that this movie was made with love by all involved– the cast’s fantastic chemistry is incredibly apparent, and helps Annie to go the extra mile and become a truly special moviegoing experience. You won’t want to miss this heartwarming tale of love, hope, and musical joy.

Check out Annie with your family this holiday season, in theaters now!

And be sure to stay tuned to see our exclusive interviews with the director and cast of Annie!