When it comes to remaking a film that includes a memorable performance, audiences are bound to draw comparisons between the original and the latest versions of the film – which could be said for Anne Hathaway’s portrayal as the Grand High Witch in Robert Zemeckis’ The Witches following Anjelica Huston’s iconic performance in the 1990 adaptation directed by Nick Roeg.
However, in an interview with ET, Hathaway explained that she attempted to craft a new take on the character of the Grand High Witch that would resonate with audiences today rather than copying Huston’s performance which was memorable to audiences in the 1990s.
“I wanted to give a performance that felt as memorable to the children of today as her performance felt to me,” Hathaway said. “It felt like it would’ve been, in a way, disrespectful to crib her performance. Hers is hers and it was for Nick Roeg’s brilliant movie, and mine was mine and it was for Robert Zemeckis.”
Hathaway continued to explain that she initially felt nervous about taking on the role after the iconic performance given by Huston in the original film, however, she quickly realised she was overthinking it.
SEE ALSO: Read our review of The Witches here
“Any moments that I felt, like, a little nervous about, ‘Are people going to let there be two Grand High Witches in film history?'” she continued. “I just went, ‘you know what? In the last 30 years, there have been four Jokers. There have been six Batmen. There have been I don’t know how many James Bonds.’ Like, people can do this. We’re just not used to doing it with actresses.”
The Witches is directed by Zemeckis from a script he’s written alongside Kenya Barris (Black-ish) from an earlier draft by Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water). The film features a cast including Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables), Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones), Chris Rock (Grown Ups), Octavia Spencer (Ma), Kristin Chenoweth (Glee) and newcomers Jahzir Kadeem Bruno and Codie-Lei Eastick.
Zemeckis’ reimagining of the classic children’s book tells “the darkly humorous and heartwarming tale of a young orphaned boy (Bruno) who, in late 1967, goes to live with his loving Grandma (Spencer) in the rural Alabama town of Demopolis. The boy and his grandmother come across some deceptively glamorous but thoroughly diabolical witches, so Grandma wisely whisks our young hero away to an opulent seaside resort. Regrettably, they arrive at precisely the same time that the world’s Grand High Witch (Hathaway) has gathered her fellow cronies from around the globe—undercover—to carry out her nefarious plans.”
What did you think of Anne Hathaway’s portrayal of the Grand High Witch? Did you enjoy Robert Zemeckis’ new take on Roald Dahl’s The Witches? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter @flickeringmyth…