24 March 2012
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When it came to casting Snow White, the evil Queen, and the Prince, MIRROR MIRROR director Tarsem Singh didn't need a mirror to tell him Lily Collins, Julia Roberts, and Armie Hammer were the perfect fairy-tale cast.Tarsem Singh (The Cell, Immortals) focused first on finding the evil stepmother and his first choice was America's sweetheart Julia Roberts who would be playing against type. Her iconic laugh and smile would be perfect to switch up for the role of the evil Queen.
"I didn't have a prince. I just wanted the queen. I said I just have a tone for the queen."Julia is known for her romcons and modern day fairy-tale films but never had an interest in starring in an actual fairy tale until Tarsem lured her in, " it wasn't till I saw the script and realized that there is something here". According to Julia it was fun to play a villain and drew from certain people in her life.
"I could kind of do anything and go off the rails at anytime and it would make sense to me and in that regards it was a lot of fun. You don't have to worry too much about reality, would a person really do this. Without naming names I drew from a couple of people I know better than I wish I did and found it very fun and helpful."Julia did find it hard being so nasty to her costar Lily Collins. In a scene were the evil queen is chastising Snow White, Julia found it difficult to be mean to Lily Collins because it felt like she "was being mean to Bambi." Tarsem didn't understand why Julia couldn't perform her evil ways on Lily but when he put himself in her position and looked down on the "so adorable" Lily, he understood Julia's point of view.
Once Julia was attached to the project Tarsem looked for his prince charming and found it with Armie Hammer. He had to cast a prince who could appeal to both young and older audiences according to Tarsem.
"If you had to draw a prince you would draw Armie Hammer, he just looks like a prince."Then came Lily Collins who read for the role and whom Tarsem thought was phenomenal. When Lily found out she got the part she was in a hotel room with her mom and thought it was a joke. Lily admits that initially she had no pressure and didn't realize the expectations that came with portraying an iconic character.
"I didn't realize it until I started getting all these questions from the press the last couple of days. It was such a blessing to get the role I was just excited to go into it."It wouldn't be a Tarsem Singh film with out amazing costumes and sets. Both Julia and Lily were impressed with the set pieces and wardrobe, Julia thought they were stunning and "completely original and authentic to what we were trying to accomplish". After wearing corsets, ball gowns, and sword fighting for four months Lily admits that she'll never complain about wearing high heels again. The costumes "became a second skin and a process of me turning into Snow White every morning".
Another touch of Tarsem comes into play with the addition of a Bollywood dance number located in the credits. It was Lily's favorite part of the film.
"It was so worth it because I watch that back and I think I really sang and danced in front of 400 extras and didn't care about anything else in the world other then about being there at that moment."
Tarsem had to do very little coach with Lilly when it came to recording in the sound booth. His only advise was basically to go for it and sing her heart out. She didn't have a voice the next day but also couldn't remember being happier then that moment in a long time.
MIRROR MIRROR is in theaters March 30th.