A couple of days ago, Cinematical posted an interview with Amelia Warner, the 25-year-old actress who plays Maggie Barnes in The Dark Is Rising (which has apparently finished filming!). She doesn’t come across as extraordinarily eloquent, but there are a few items of interest in the interview.
First, given her description of her own character, it seems the movie veers off a bit from the book’s plot (which may be fine, if it’s well done–but I’m not reassured of that yet). Warner says of Maggie, “I’m not really allowed to say very much about her — she’s kind of like a mystery. You don’t really know what side she falls on, and in the story, she appears to be a new girl at the school. The character of Will sees her in the village and kind of develops a crush on her, and she’s just kind of lingering around. But she’s there to look after Will and to make sure that nothing bad happens to him, and she’s going to protect him.”
Hmmm . . . an 11-year-old boy has a crush on a 25-year-old girl at his school? Granted, I assume Warner is playing younger than her actual age, but still . . . why add adolescent sexual tension when Will is still very much a child, albeit an Old One? In the book, it’s Maggie who has a bit of a crush on one of Will’s older brothers. And she’s very much on the side of the Dark.
The next bit has to do with director David L. Cunningham’s religious affiliation (he has family connections to Youth with a Mission and University of the Nations, both evangelical Christian organizations, and has spoken of himself as a missionary to Hollywood). Here’s the Cinematical question and Warner’s response:
“There’s been some talk about why Fox chose David Cunningham, who is known for being an outspoken evangelical Christian, to helm this movie — did you get that vibe from him on set?”
AW: “No! I didn’t know that David was kind of known for that. I didn’t know that he was at all until, like, two days before we wrapped. I’m really unobservant. But I mean, you know … people say that Walden is really Christian as well. It’s difficult because the story, in essence, I guess it is about those kind of things. It’s about light and dark. So you could look at that and say ‘that’s really Christian,’ but I mean, I think the themes of most stories could be seen that way. So I don’t think that he … I didn’t get the feeling and there was absolutely no talk of Christianity or those kinds of things being pushed forward, I don’t think. I mean, you could definitely read the script and go ‘Oh wow, that has a real Christian undertone’, but I think you could say that about a lot of things that are kid’s stories. They’re always about good and bad, and about being on the good side.”
I’ve been interested in the choice of Cunningham as director since I first heard about it. The only previous work of his that I’ve seen is his World War II prison-camp movie To End All Wars, which, in addition to numbing you with gruesome violence, suggests the healing power of forgiveness. But, given that, in spite of the good-vs.-evil themes (and it doesn’t really turn out to be as simple as that) in Cooper’s books, there’s a bit of a condescending–some would even say “hostile”–tone towards Christianity in The Dark Is Rising, and I’ve been curious to see what Cunningham would do with that. I still don’t know. The tone of the question-and-answer is interesting, though–it seems almost akin to “Did you know your director was a neo-Nazi?” or something like that.
3 comments June 26th, 2007