Home » International Update » Stars step out for world premiere of Into the Woods

Stars step out for world premiere of Into the Woods

Tracey Ullman, Lilla Crawford, Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, MacKenzie Mauzy and Christine Baranski attend the premiere of Into the Woods in New York. PHOTO: Kevin Mazur

Tracey Ullman, Lilla Crawford, Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, MacKenzie Mauzy and Christine Baranski attend the premiere of Into the Woods in New York. PHOTO: Kevin Mazur

Celebrities took to the red carpet for the world premiere of Into the Woods at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City on 8 December. Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick and Emily Blunt were among celebrities that attended the event for the movie to be released in theatres on 1 January 2015.

Michelle Rasic, spokesperson for the Walt Disney Studios, says Into the Woods is a humorous and heartfelt musical of the classic tales of Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Jack and the Beanstalk (Daniel Huttlestone), and Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy) tied together by an original story. She says the story involves a Baker and his Wife (James Corden and Emily Blunt) who want to start a family, but are placed under a curse by the Witch (Meryl Streep).

“When the Baker and his Wife learn of the curse, they venture into the Woods to seek out ingredients to reverse the spell and restore the Witch’s beauty. On their journey into the Woods, they encounter Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, who are each on their own quest to fulfill a wish,” says Rasic.

According to her, the film is directed by Rob Marshall and is based on the musical stage production by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine who also wrote the screenplay. She says Meryl Streep was the first actor to come on board and had turned down similar roles in the past, but broke her bias to star in Into the Woods as the Witch who longs for beauty and companionship.

Streep says she changed her mind when this role came along because she felt this Witch is quite different. She says this Witch transforms and her whole reason for being is to reverse a curse that has been placed on her.

“She sets in motion all sorts of devices and causes a dramatic upheaval in everybody’s lives. This is a musical with a brain. There is an intelligence at work because it is Sondheim and Lapine. It is visually fun and emotionally satisfying, but it also has this other element that engages us as artists and makes us want to bring everything we can to it,” she says.

Marshall says he has loved this show since he saw the original in 1987 and says he remembers being completely transported by this beautiful, joyous and important piece.  He says it was this unique combination of characters coming together and creating a tapestry of classic stories of an incredibly profound nature, exploring what happens after ‘happily ever after.

“It’s okay to wish and want and hope and dream, but this piece deals with the reality of the world and the struggles and hardships that we face along the way, and I think it’s important for people today, children especially, to understand that. The Woods of the story is universal and can mean so many things. He says it is the place you go to find your dreams, confront your fears, lose yourself, find yourself, grow up and learn to move forward. It’s all part of life,” says Marshall.