Amanda Seyfried and Gary Oldman discuss this sexy version of the classic fairy tale, Red Riding Hood. Amanda tells us why the size of her breasts are the reason the word "Little" was dropped from the title, and how gross it would be if they had a child actor in her role instead of a young woman. Mr. Oldman is dazzled by the size of Amanda's eyes... See what else these two Hollywood stars have to say about their new fantasy/horror movie:
Izumi Hasegawa: Gary, when you play these men possessed, do you ever have to reign yourself in, or can you go over the top and be an actor possessed?
Gary Oldman: I hope I'm not an actor possessed. And if I were, then I have Catherine (Hardwicke) to reign me in. I mean, it depends what you're playing, but this is a fairy tale, albeit a dark twist on an already dark tale, but it is a fantasy, so you can push the limits a bit in something like this. I viewed Soloman as sort of Shakespearean.
IH: Amanda, did the love triangle or the darker version of the tale attract you?
AS: I actually didn't read the script before I met Catherine. She had crazy visuals to show me, so I thought how difficult it is to make this old timeless tale into a full length movie, and she had these great ideas. Then I met with Leonardo DiCaprio, and that was it.
IH: How did Leonardo DiCaprio get involved as a producer?
GO: I believe it was Leonardo's idea. I think he was looking for something for his company and was sitting down with Lukas Haas and said, "Hey, what about Red Riding Hood? We haven't done that. One of the few we haven't done."
IH: Amanda, how do you define your character? Do you think of her as sexually precocious--a 20th century girl in the black forest 500 years ago?
AS: I separated from the usual damsel in distress, which is in most fairy tales, to somebody that's completely not in distress at all. She's this young, strong female that's going through her life and realizing her sexuality and kind of trying to navigate herself through young adult life in this medieval village. So that's how I wanted to start playing it. Of course, she's the heroine in the movie. It centers on her, so she needs to have balls. That was really attractive because I like playing women that have just no fear, especially in the circumstances. She's pretty brave.
IH: Is she a modern woman?
AS: Yeah, and we added majorly contemporary elements to it, like a love triangle and the coming-of-age element. It's very contemporary, how she's dealing with her parents and the man she loves and the man that she was [betrothed to]. Catherine knows how to work a good coming-of-age story. She obviously is connected to that youthful essence. She just knows how to design that.
IH: Amanda, talk about telling the story with Julie Christie and putting on the hood the first time...
AS: We had to use that, and it didn't seem to fit in any place except for something that was like a dream. I think it works really well because that's the iconic piece of the narrative. To do it with Julie Christie, with prosthetics, big teeth, and huge pupils--it was really cool the way we did it, and we used that lens where you just focus in on one thing. I think that's the only way we could have done it really, that would've worked and didn't feel stupid or that we just threw it in there because we had to. It was just perfectly designed. She plays such a cool character. Then putting the cape on for the first time--it was a big deal when the cape came onto the set because it's its own character because it's the most iconic piece of the story. Then, after a while, it wasn't really a big deal. I just got sick of it because it's really heavy. It was so beautifully designed. It took a lot of time to make that cape really beautiful.
IH: Was there just one?
AS: My stand-in wore a half-cape.
GO: A half cape for close-ups?
AS: No, just to stand in, literally for standing in, like a half-cape. It came down to here and her arms came out.
GO: I thought you meant only from the top up because Richard Burton, when he was playing Henry VIII, would have what he'd call his 'going home trousers' on. So he'd have normal clothes on because he wanted to get up quick to the pub, but he was Henry VIII from the waist up because it was close-ups. That's what I thought you meant.
AS: No, I'm not that clever.
GO: You're professional. You've got the whole thing.
AS: No, I have to be 100%. You know me.
IH: Can you talk about the casting process?
AS: I've got the biggest eyes in the business right now, between 17 and 25.
GO: I think Charlie Sheen measured her. The camera adores you. Always, every time we see you on the screen, you go, "Oh my God, look at that face."
AS: Thirteen thousand men lined up. I did make a joke about that on Kimmel. I said that literally they just came in one by one, I opened my mouth, we made out. Which is not really that false.
IH: Was it on a bed?
AS: It was standing up, actually. I had no time.
IH: Gary, how do you bring the reality to fantastic stories?
GO: The reality is what is really on the page. I don't work too far away from the framework of the script. I think if something is well-written, it gives you the clues, and the answers are there. I always think that if something isn't well-written, then you're working too hard and you know that you're working hard. But they each have a different approach. I mean, the characters that you play, they all set up their own particular hurdles that you jump over. This, to me, is Dracula light, I think. But good words--that's your map of the world. So it was a very defined character on the page to begin with, so all the clues were there.
IH: Wasn't the original story a metaphor for losing virginity? Are we missing that here?
GO: I think probably. I had this conversation with someone. If this wasn't PG-13 then I think all those things are there, if you want to look for them. I think you could've gone further with them, if this was for an adult audience. You've got to remember that 14, 15-year-old kids are going to be watching this. But I think, to me, it's about a little bit of S&M. A bit of incest.
AS: There's a lot of incest. You could find that if you look for it.
GO: And it is a dark story that I think most of us...I mean, I can't remember how young I was when I heard it. I was so small, I can't remember. Maybe this was a way of, I think, protecting your kids. You told them these stories so they wouldn't wander off. I mean, if there was a modern day equivalent, 21st century, maybe it's a predator on the Internet.
IH: I thought it was a cautionary tale to young girls against rolling in the hay.
AS: I don't know. I don't think it's going to keep girls from rolling in the hay. I think it's going to make it really attractive, even more attractive than it already is. Or just not ignoring your sexual impulses.
GO: Also in fairy tales is that good is different from nice. There's a chasm between the two. I mean, I think Solomon is good, but he isn't nice.
IH: Amanda, would you like to tell us what you thought of Vancouver, as well as any impressions you had of the set when you first saw it, or the outdoor scene you have?
AS: Love, love. The set couldn't have been better, I think. It definitely felt like I was transformed back to some other time, and it really helped in the moment, especially dealing with all these supernatural elements. Staring at a piece of wood, pretending that that was a wolf that was going to eat me... But everything else was so well-built and beautiful.
IH: I wanted to ask about the visual look, the style of the film, because it's very timeless and modern but at the same time it's kind of gothic...
GO: A lot of it came out of Catherine's imagination. She was an architect.
IH: Did the costumes really add something to your performance?
GO: People say sometimes, "What is your method?" and I just think, "Well, you get the clothes and the shoes and get out there and try and have as much fun as you can. The talent is the method." I had a great [time], but not such a good time in the armor. Honestly, that was very hard.
IH: Which fairytales resonate with you?
AS: Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales.
GO: What's the meaning behind Humpty Dumpty? Ask Ricky Gervais. He knows.
IH: Amanda, in the movie, when Valerie sees Peter dancing with the other girl and gets really jealous and confronts him immediately after that, do you get jealous in real life, or are you totally okay with that kind of thing?
AS: I feel like, in the movie, he's being an asshole and looking at me and being very seductive with this woman. When it's purposeful, I would definitely confront it. Of course, jealousy is what we feel. I think every human being feels it. So yeah, I do tend to get jealous when someone's trying to provoke jealousy. It always works.
IH: Do you act like you're jealous?
AS: No, I usually confront the person immediately and say, "I don't like that. Please stop."
IH: Does it work?
AS: It does usually. It's about being honest about your feelings at all times and then not having to deal with any drama.
IH: One of the things that becomes so classic about a fairytale is that it lasts over time. What one word rings true about this fairytale for you?
IH: Any reason why you dropped "Little" from the title, since we always called it "Little Red Riding Hood"?
AS: The size of my breasts. I actually said that on camera. He says, "Maybe they're not little anymore." I can't be 11 anymore. I can't be 11 years old.
GO: She can't be 11.
AS: Little Red Riding Hood was really young. She was a child. Well, it also can't be that coming-of-age story if it's a child because that's not what children are dealing with in their life at the time. It's just this girl that has all this tension and turmoil and questioning about herself and developing into this young adult. You can't have that with a little child. Also, it makes for an even more exciting story because you have that whole sexuality and romance to it, which you can't do with a five-year-old because that's gross.
IH: What did you learn from Gary Oldman?
AS: Being a bit silly.
IH: Gary, has there been anything that you've learned from young actors that you don't already know?
GO: I hate them. I may have been walking around in my purple robe doing silly voices, but I took one look at these two men, and they're good-looking. Young, good-looking kids tend to interest me. Part of wanting to do the piece in the first place, I think, was to work with Catherine, who I do really think...it's true what Amanda says--she's got the pulse on something, and she seems to know what these kids want. You can't even define it, but it works, and she have a real take on it. It was also a chance to work in the arena with these young guys and work with this one.
IH: Amanda, what lipstick did you wear? Seriously, what was on your lips that looked so perfect?
AS: It was meant to be like blueberries and raspberries all mixed together. But it being a movie, it wasn't really a... I don't know what it was.
IH: Does Catherine still say, "Everybody focus"?
GO: Hundreds of times.
IH: What does that mean?
AS: Focus, people! Focus!
Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Red Riding Hood' is released on March 11, 2011.