Lovely clip of MacKensie and Billy chatting to CineMovie (new scene from Into the Woods too!) …
How many stars can really say they let their hair down for their breakout movie role?
“I kind of didn’t believe it; it was like too good to be true,” MacKenzie Mauzy said of her fairy tale experience playing the famously long-locked Rapunzel in Disney’s “Into the Woods,” which opens Christmas Day.
Landing the storybook role in the movie musical was a “dream,” given how things began.
Mauzy, 26, told the Daily News that she first auditioned for the part of Cinderella. But the glass slipper didn’t fit, and the plum role went to Anna Kendrick.
Yet Mauzy brought a bit of magic to the audition. “They were looking for (Kendrick) first, but director Rob Marshall saw the tape and then brought me back in for Rapunzel,” she recalled.
Marshall told The News that he recognized the “vulnerability” and “emotion” Mauzy could bring to Rapunzel after she read just one line.
“My hope with casting, my philosophy is you have to make no decisions at all because someone comes in and claims the role and they bring it to life like you can’t quite imagine,” Marshall said. “I just thought, ‘There’s Rapunzel!’ ”
Mauzy, a native of North Carolina who now calls New York City home, boasts experience on Broadway, in “A Tale of Two Cities,” and in the soap opera “The Bold and the Beautiful.” Now she’s ready for her starring turn on the silver screen, hair extensions and all.
“They wanted to use my hair. The top is my hair and they just braided it into the extension,” she said of her on-screen coiffure, which she called “a tripping hazard.”
“There were pretty extensions and then there were stunt ones that people climbed!” she added. “There was a full day of climbing hair and I was like hooked in. I could not get out of it unless I had assistance.”
When Mauzy’s Rapunzel finally let down her hair (and extensions) it certainly weighed her down — but nothing could have grounded the young actress enough to prepare her for the moment when she realized she’d be acting opposite Meryl Streep, a three-time Oscar winner.
“You know you hear Meryl Streep plays your mom and you don’t exactly think, ‘Oh yeah, I got this,’ ” Mauzy joked. “I have obviously looked up to Meryl and respected her for a long time, so that was just sort of surreal — at least for me, it was a dream.”
And Streep was nothing like the witchy mom she plays in the movie, Mauzy said.
“She is very aware of the affect she has in a room that people are like, ‘Oh my God, that’s Meryl Streep,’ ” Mauzy recounted. “There was a certain time where she was like a mom character to me (off set), like she was making comments about what I was ordering at restaurants. She was sort of playing that role a little bit in public.”
Filming the music-powered scenes with Streep was, Mauzy said with emotion, “the best day of my life.”
“There was something about it in the moment, obviously because it is her, but there was always a sense of openness to trying this other way of doing it, depending on how it felt,” she said of their artistic give-and-take.
It was a bit of a fairy tale situation for Into the Woods stars Mackenzie Mauzy, who plays Rapunzel and Billy Magnussen who portrays her Prince in the Rob Marshall-directed modern musical twist on the Brothers Grimm.
For both, their Toronto trip was their first time on a press tour with a big studio picture and they were clearly enjoying the experience.
Into the Woods also stars Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, Emily Blunt, Chris Pine and Johnny Depp and includes well-loved tales like Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk and, of course, Rapunzel. The movie opens Dec. 25.
It wasn’t all magical making the movie version of the Broadway hit. Mauzy had a heavy, 10-metre hunk of hair sewn into a braided circle on top of her head daily to play the maiden trapped in a high tower, accessible only by climbing up her lengthy locks.
And then there were the real snakes — unseen on camera but all too obvious to the phobic Mauzy — she had to deal with after leaping into a swamp in one dramatic scene.
As for Magnussen, he had to learn to ride and took lessons to look the part of the Prince. Although he was a novice rider, he had to gallop on his steed blindfolded in several scenes. Spoiler alert: his sideburns are stick-on; Magnussen wasn’t able to grow his own.
Magnussen said his most challenging time on set came when he wrapped on Into the Woods. “It was the hardest day,” said Magnussen. “I didn’t want to leave that fairy tale.”
The Star asked Mauzy (MM) and Magnussen (BM) to answer these five questions:
If your Into the Woods characters were in Toronto, where would you do your scenes?
BM: CN Tower! Boom baby, it’s right there, it’s so high. There’s also the Ontario College of Art. That would be cool.
If you could swap roles with anyone in the film, who would you play?
MM: Jack (Daniel Huttlestone). I think it’s such a fun role. I like giants in the sky and he’s such a passionate character and there’s a great arc to his story.
BM: I guess the Baker (James Corden) because he overcomes such a huge obstacle of breaking the chain of his father’s choices and to have the courage to become the father he needs to be and wants to be.
Both of you are teamed onscreen with big stars. What was it like working with Chris Pine (Cinderella’s Prince, brother of Rapunzel’s Prince) and Meryl Streep (the Witch, who takes Rapunzel and raises her as her daughter)?
BM: I can say I have a friend now (in Pine). He’s generous, a smart actor and just a good friend now. I really think he’s wonderful.
MM: Amazing. (Streep) gives you so much in a scene and you receive it and give something back as a product of that and something new is created … and she’s a wonderful human being. Very aware of the effect she has on a room and does everything she can to make you feel comfortable. She’s a wonderful woman: mother, friend, actress, leader, she really brought this cast together.
You both come from daytime dramas. (Magnussen on As The World Turns and Mauzy on Guiding Light, and The Bold and the Beautiful). Who from Into the Woods would you like to see on a soap?
BM: The Witch is the aunt that comes in and says: “I slept with your brother!” I have to say soaps were the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It’s like boot camp for acting.
MM: I think Chris Pine’s Prince is such a daytime drama hunk character.
Do you believe in happily ever after?
BM: I realized at least for Rapunzel’s Prince, you’re not Prince Charming but you can be right for someone. You’re not prefect.
MM: Happily ever after has this thing attached to it that implies things have to be perfect and that’s the misconception. I do believe in long-term relationships that can be really beautiful that doesn’t mean there isn’t gong to be a struggle along the way. There is a level of it that requires work, not just a relationship but happily ever after in a job or whatever that means to you. I think that’s what Into the Woods addresses: these people getting what they wanted and then having to deal with the consequences.
Source: Toronto Star
Here are a bunch of new interviews with Mackenzie for Into the Woods, including her appearance on BT (Breakfast Television) with Billy Magnussen. We will add some screengrabs to the gallery later too.
MacKenzie Mauzy, Billy Magnussen and Lilla Crawford stopped by Facebook to have a chat with the fans about the upcoming Into the Woods movie, here are some of MacKenzies answers. Check out more and follow INTO THE WOODS on Facebook here.
This is for all of you guys: What was your reaction when you got your characters?
I just said “WHAT. WHAT. WHAT.” I couldn’t really process it. It was a Saturday morning. I believed it but didn’t believe it. I kept saying “I’ll believe it when I’m there in London”. It was surreal.
Who is the jokester out of the three of you?
Billy! (laughing). No contest! He’s got a lot of energy, especially at 5:00am. He’s great at waking people up in the morning.
How does it feel to be forever immortalized as these characters?
Surreal but incredible. It’s not something I ever envisioned for myself. It’s a responsibility and an honor.
What is your favorite lesson in Into the Woods? Why?
My favorite line is wishes comes true, not free. Its not saying “don’t wish, don’t dream” – people get caught up in the dream without realizing what those consequences could be or the reality of getting what you want. It may not be what you expected.
How was it working with Meryl Streep and was it intimidating?
It was intimidating initially because its someone who I grew up loving. She instantly does everything to make you feel comfortable. There was never any awkwardness because she’s so good about that. I was intimidated to work with her but I got the nerves out of the way quickly and it just became my life for that four months.
What is your favorite song in the musical?
They’re all so beautiful but my favorite is probably “Last Midnight”. Especially with Meryl singing it.
Since you all have a background in theatre and now film, which one do you find most challenging?
I think they’re both challenging. Theater is live and you’re dealing with those consequences. Film has its own challenges in that its so intimate. You have to pretend no one is there watching you. They’re so different I think they both have their challenges in each medium.
Without revealing too much, what was the most fun to film?
The “Stay With Me” day. It was a day where we filmed almost all the scenes inside the tower in Meryl.
What’s your favorite musical?
Les Misérables and Ragtime were the first two musicals I saw on Broadway but if I had to choose just one it would be Les Misérables.
Check out this wonderful interview with Mackenzie for Into the Woods where she talks about working with Meryl Streep and what its like to play Rapunzel in the upcoming movie. We have added x80 screencaps to the gallery too. Enjoy!
After a trailer or two, we’re finally getting to hear some real singing from Into the Woods. Mackenzie doesn’t sing herself in this clip but she is featured with Meryl Streep singing one of the musical’s most famous songs, “Stay With Me”.
A whole new look behind the scenes of INTO THE WOODS!
Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s celebrated fairy tale-themed musical INTO THE WOODS is coming to movie theaters nationwide on Christmas Day and the new issue of Disney fan magazine D23 aka DISNEY TWENTY-THREE will showcase exclusive interviews with the cast and creative team according to a new announcement.
Earlier this week, D23 revealed the details of the Winter issue, relaying, “To celebrate Disney’s big-screen adaptation of the hit Broadway musical Into the Woods, Disney twenty-three, the publication of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, got all the thrilling details from the stars and creative team behind the new breathtaking, upcoming film. In exclusive interviews with Disney twenty-three, stars Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick and Chris Pine, along with director Rob Marshall and screenplay author James Lapine, detail the excitement and challenges of bringing the Tony® Award-winning musical to the big screen, including explaining how they played a game of hide-and-seek with some (fake) witchy fingernails and how the team gracefully – and sometimes hilariously – handled Blunt’s pregnancy during filming. Additional Into the Woods tales including a “character who’s who” and a discussion with James Lapine and Rob Marshall about the changes made in taking the show from stage to screen.”
The official description of INTO THE WOODS is as follows: “”Into the Woods” is a modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, intertwining the plots of a few choice stories and exploring the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. This humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Jack and the Beanstalk (Daniel Huttlestone), and Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy) – all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife (James Corden & Emily Blunt), their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch (Meryl Streep) who has put a curse on them. Rob Marshall, the talented filmmaker behind the Academy Award®-winning musical “Chicago” and Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” helms the film, which is based on the Tony®-winning original musical by James Lapine, who also penned the screenplay, and legendary composer Stephen Sondheim, who provides the music and lyrics. Produced by Marshall, John DeLuca, “Wicked” producer Marc Platt and Callum McDougall, “Into the Woods” hits theaters December 25, 2014.”