While in LA for the #ChristopherRobinEvent, we were delighted to interview Hayley Atwell about her role as Christopher Robin’s wife, Evelyn Robin in the Disney movie Christopher Robin. From the minute she walked in, we enjoyed her vivacious spirit.
Hayley Atwell’s Thoughts on the Movie
I loved watching Christopher Robin and feeling a sense of childhood and memories. I completely understood Hayley’s thoughts about seeing the film for the first time.
“I saw it by myself which is just as well because I started crying in the opening credits and what I felt coming out of it was the feeling of what a wonderful antidote this film is at the moment because without it being too sentimental it’s quite profound as the books are. When I was reading them as a child there’s this kind of sweet, endearing quality about them. These animals come alive. ….. the profound simplicity of it just made me feel that this is kind of already a wonderful film. It’s just something that’s very refreshing.”
On Her Interview For the Role
I always find it amazing how actors either audition or become a part of a film. Listening to Haley describe how she became involved was quite interesting.
“I was on holiday on a boat in Greece. I was sunbathing and I got call and from my agent saying Mark Foster, the director is directing Christopher Robin. Will you skype with him and I said yeah of course. I have quite an erratic reception here in the ocean so I went to the captain and I said I need to find a spot where I can skype someone and he said you see that rock over there. I went yeah, yeah. He went go passed that for about ten minutes and you’ll find a spot.
So I got my life jacket on and I went on a jet ski and I put my phone down the life jacket like this and I went very far until pretty much couldn’t see any form of civilization and then I was able to get reception and I remember answering. I never met him before a and just went welcome to my office. It’s just how I work here. It’s just what I do and so we broke the ice that way and he was talking about how he wanted to tell a story that was classic to the philosophy of Pooh Bear that everyone knew so that these characters are familiar to everyone, not doing anything kind of left field within these characters because they’re complete in themselves.
But wouldn’t it be interesting to explore the idea of what happens when Christopher Robin grew up and have that being the access point for adults who would identify with being an adult now and being I think, being burdened and lost a little bit by the pressures of everyday life and being on a bit of a hamster wheel and not realizing that your ambitions are kind of getting the better of you and so we talked a little bit about that. And then he talked about wanting to create the relationship between Evelyn and Christopher as one where it began with genuine love and joy and he said at the beginning that you know that what is at stake for him to lose and you kind of route for them”.
I normally wouldn’t share a quote that long but I thought it was enjoyable to hear how she connected with March Forster and how she became Evelyn Robin.
On Working with an Iconic Character Like Pooh
Hayley explained that her the role of Evelyn is new and she is not a character in the books. This alleviated any pressure to recreate a classic character. Then she shared how one of her costars played a role in the feeling of comfort.
“I walked in feeling very much in safe hands and because also you have Jim Cummings who’s been our Pooh since the 80s. He’s our third Pooh right now I think and kind of have that incredible privilege to work with him. As soon as I heard Pooh’s voice I went oh, he’s here. Oh, he’s here.”
On Set Souvenirs
How cool it must be to take home a piece of memorabilia from the set when filming has come to an end. Hayley was able to take home the gramophone and director Marc Forster had a special surprise sent for her too.
“Weeks after we wrapped I got a package in the mail and Mark Foster had commissioned the art department of the film to paint a beautiful painting about this size of Pooh and my dog because my dog was on set every day and he was very welcome on set. He would come into the rehearsals with us and he’d sit on some of the set and he would just be one of the animals. Mark adored him and would always go oh, bring Howard. My dog’s very calm and very quiet so had a quite a therapeutic effect in the workplace so Mark took a real shine to Howard. He had this painting of Howard and Pooh in matching red sweaters. It’s really cute.”
As our interview came to an end, Hayley shared that she always found Piglet to be totally adorable. I take a shine to Piglet too!
Hayley was gracious and joined us for a group photo at the end of the interview.
Feel free to pin the interview of Hayley Atwell.
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CHRISTOPHER ROBIN is in theaters now!