Laura Jorden reports from the Maleficent: Mistress of Evil UK press conference…
In the breathtaking ballroom at The Mandarin Oriental Knightsbridge, surroundings fit for any queen, a stunningly relaxed Maleficent played by Angelina Jolie and a few key cast members including new characters Conal and Borra (Chiwetel Ejiofor and Ed Skrein) along with returning favourites, Sleeping Beauty herself a radiant Elle Fanning a.k.a. Princess Aurora, and Sam Riley (Diaval) engaged in a lively Q&A about their forthcoming sequel to Disney’s 2014 fantasy smash hit Maleficent.
Moderated by the lovely Edith Bowman the conference got off to a flying start, as Edith headed down the line beginning with Aurora’s hubby to be Prince Phillip played by Harris Dickinson, asking each a question relating to their individual characters, including what drew them to this part for the newbies or how they and their characters have grown since the original film. The room exploded in a sea of raised hands.
Many of the questions were naturally for Jolie and Fanning, ranging from how the film deals with good and evil and whether that could give us some inspiration on how to fight evil in the real world, to which Angelina insightfully replied about “identifying where some of the darkness is coming from and what is the true darkness and how in this film the Mistress of Evil is less Maleficent and more Queen Ingrith” (portrayed by legendary actress Michelle Pfeiffer) then as a ringtone played around the conference she didn’t miss a beat continuing with “I’m going to have a soundtrack during this answer”.
There followed a few questions about female role models to which, Angelina pressed the point that “we have extraordinary men in the film” concluding her revealing reply with “I think that’s also an important message for young girls to find their own power but, to respect and learn from the men around them”.
Some of the panel shared how it felt working with a new director, Joachim Ronning, whose previous films include the Oscar and Golden Globe nominated Kon-Tiki, and who the helm from original Maleficent director Robert Stromberg.
Elle spoke about how it was so fun to come back show Aurora grown up and how she felt accepted and included as one of their peers, especially by Michelle and Angelina, and “not the kid on set anymore” which was “a really special feeling”.
The conference did end on a bum note as Angelina was asked about how difficult it was to make all that flying and wirework look so elegant, to which she replied “they don’t all look that good, they pick the nice ones” and then included fellow flyers Sam (Diaval) and Ed (Borra), elaborating that it was fun for her to watch others and think “you’re about to break your horn off” and how Sam nearly impaled her once flying, then Ed revealed the secret: “its all in the gluts it’s all in the bum you know, tense your bum and your core then you’re strong up there, you know I’m not sure you guys expected to be talking about bums”.
Nope we didn’t but, it is all part of the magic that is moviemaking and if the early reviews are anything to go by this dark fantasy sequel is a beautiful and entertaining continuation of a timeless and beloved fairy tale.
A fantasy adventure that picks up several years after “Maleficent,” in which audiences learned of the events that hardened the heart of Disney’s most notorious villain and drove her to curse a baby Princess Aurora, “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” continues to explore the complex relationship between the horned fairy and the soon to be Queen, as they form new alliances and face new adversaries in their struggle to protect the moors and the magical creatures that reside within.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is set for release on October 18th and sees the return of Angelina Jolie as the dark fairy Maleficent, Elle Fanning as Princess Aurora, Sam Riley as Diaval, Imelda Staunton as the pixie Knotgrass, Juno Temple as the pixie Thistlewit, and Lesley Manville as the pixie Flittle. New additions include Michelle Pfeiffer (Murder on the Orient Express, Ant-Man and the Wasp) as Queen Ingrith, Harris Dickinson (The Darkest Minds, Trust) as Prince Phillip, Chiwetel Ejiofor (Doctor Strange, 12 Years a Slave) as Connal, Robert Lindsay (My Family, Wimbledon) as King John and Ed Skrein (Deadpool, Game of Thrones) as Borra.
Laura Jorden is a freelance journalist, creative writer, and fashion jewellery designer.