Thank you to Sony Pictures for providing my travel and accommodations to the press junket for the new Peter Rabbit film. See #PeterRabbitMovie in theaters February 9.
The chemistry between actors was obvious at the Peter Rabbit movie press conference and the laughs flowed freely. It’s a good thing everyone was having fun because it was an unseasonably warm February day in Los Angeles, and I’m not sure anyone was prepared for it.
It was a whirlwind of questions for the talent which included: James Corden, Rose Byrne, Elizabeth Debicki, Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie and director, Will Gluck. I’m sharing some of my favorite quotes and moments from the interview along with some fun facts about the movie. I hope you enjoy!
ON CHANNELING HIS INNER BUNNY
James: “I don’t know that I ever… It was never really about channeling an inner rabbit, it was mostly about how do we find a way to honor this character that is so beloved by Beatrix Potter. How do we unlock this kind of loveable, mischievous character that has been created in these beautiful books and honor it now in a film.”
ON WHY THE RABBITS WEAR JACKETS
James: “If you don’t know we can’t tell you… This is something you need to figure out by yourself….”
ON SIMILARITIES BETWEEN STAR WARS AND PETER RABBIT
Domhnall: “On Star Wars, I had a stunt team who took the heavy hits, and on Peter Rabbit, they just threw me into a wall.”
ON THE SWEET SPOT AGE RANGE FOR FILMGOERS
Director Will Gluck: “From 2 to 98. There is a lot of stuff for both kids and adults… There is never a joke or a scene that is just for the adults and the kids don’t understand. Almost every beat works on both levels concurrently… and we think we hit the sweet spot.”
ON THE ANIMATION PROCESS
Elizabeth: “I think finding the voice is so interesting… you contribute some and then you see what the character starts to look like because the animation grows and then that might change what you do with your voice a little bit.”
ON VOICING A BUNNY WITH A LISP
Margot: “I loved it… There is something quite endearing about a character with a lisp and you can understand where her frustration comes from sometimes as she cannot articulate herself in the way that she wants to, but more than that she is trying to win a status quo with her sisters sometimes… and I love that dynamic… who’s the oldest and that sort of thing. I could relate to it and had a lot of fun with it.”
ON ACTING OPPOSITE INVISIBLE CHARACTERS
Rose: “It’s weird. It’s like, Where’s the blue ball? It’s my scene partner! Where did it go? You kind of adjust to it and gradually you catch yourself going, What am I doing? But you’ve got to commit, right?”
ON NAMING THEIR OWN RABBITS
Rose: She had one named Bunsk
James: Five bunnies named after the Spice Girls: Scary, Baby, Sporty, Posh and Ginger.
ON CARPOOL KARAOKE
James: “It would have to be with all the animals. They would sing a whole collection of songs that have animals in it like “Who Let the Dogs Out” and songs like that.”
ON KEY MOVIE TAKEAWAYS
James Corden’s son picked up an important lesson, one we can all appreciate. Everyone makes mistakes. What’s important is how you react to it and the person you become after the mistake.
Fun Facts About the New Peter Rabbit Film
🐰 Because Beatrix Potter’s paintings are very, very tiny, they found an artist who could mimic her style in a scaled-up size.
🐰 Some of the Peter Rabbit film cast members played more than one character. Domhnall played Mr. Jeremy Fisher the frog, Rose played Jemima Puddle-Duck and Sam Neill (who was Old Mr. McGregor) played Tommy Brock, the badger.
🐰 Sam Neill’s (Old Mr. McGregor) costume was exactly as Beatrix Potter created him, right down to the shirt buttons. He wore an air-conditioned fat suit with cashmere and wool, so they plugged him in to cool off between shots.
🐰 The film was shot in London, in the Lake District (a part of the countryside where Beatrix Potter lived, wrote her stories and painted her pictures) and in Sydney, Australia.
🐰 They grew 22 varieties of fruits and veggies for Mr. McGregor’s garden, and every single plant had to be something that would grow in the Lake District. The garden scenes took eight weeks to shoot, so they grew everything in a pot, used liquid fertilizer to get them ready quickly and monitored the weather carefully.
🐰 Very few films have been given permission to film in Harrods, and PETER RABBIT is one of them. They filmed overnight when the store was closed.
🐰 During scenes where the actors and animated characters interacted, the actors interacted with objects like a stuffed Peter Rabbit and VFX balls with different colors, fur and material so light, wind and touch could react to them appropriately.
🐰 Bea’s cottage was constructed with a complete interior — very unusual for a feature film, as interior scenes are normally shot on a sound stage. It also had to be weatherproofed inside and out.
🐰 The giant tree had a hinge so even though it fell over, it could be used in multiple takes!
🐰 To represent firecracker explosions, they built soft fruit and small guns to shoot it exactly where it needed to go.
Be sure to see Peter Rabbit in theaters beginning February 9!
More Peter Rabbit tales:
See the press conference in its entirety here.
Find out how to make your own Peter Rabbit stuffed animal here.
Read my thoughts on a modern day Peter Rabbit story here.
Visit the official movie website here.