MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL has finally landed, a continuation of the story of a surprisingly family-focused fairy known far and wide as the titular mistress of evil. We recently had the chance to sit down with director Joachim Rønning and the stunning group of actors to learn more about the film.
Over the course of the press conference, we heard from Golden Globe®winning, Emmy® nominee and three-time Academy Award® nominee Michelle Pfeiffer (Queen Ingrith), Oscar® and three-time Golden Globe® winner Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning (Aurora), Ed Skrein (Borra), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Conall), Harris Dickinson (Prince Philip), and Sam Riley (Diaval).
Revisiting the story of Maleficent and Aurora the audience will take away the beauty of the Moors and the expanded collection of characters and lands. When describing the richness of this sequel Rønning says, “as a filmmaker it was important to make something original and take Maleficent to the next level, Maleficent 2.0. A huge part of the success of the first film was that it had such a strong emotional core.”
“We didn’t want Aurora to be in armor, have a sword and fighting and that makes her strong. That isn’t Aurora’s true nature.”
— Elle Fanning
Fanning on Auroras’ growth and kindness said, “She lives between both worlds, she’s a human but she’s Queen of the Moors and has grown up amongst the Moor folk. She lives harmoniously with both sides, she doesn’t understand why the world can’t do that.” She continued, “I love the family theme in the movie. it’s very realistic, of growing up, separating, of leaving the nest. Making your own choices in life. Aurora stands up to Maleficent, it’s a very strong moment in the film. Aurora is taking charge of her own life but with kindness. We didn’t want Aurora to be in armor, have a sword and fighting and that makes her strong. That isn’t Aurora’s true nature. I love that she symbolizes that for young girls. I was that girl, always soft and wanted to be a mom and wanted to get married and very feminine and there’s nothing wrong with that. We get to show the strength in accepting your femininity and Aurora does it in a pink dress. Very badass.”
The film’s strong focus on the true definition of family is the backbone of the film. Jolie reaffirmed, “It is about family, Aurora and Maleficent were first brought together and became a family, they weren’t really expecting it. Maleficent was harmed in her life, she’d lost herself, she lost the ability to be soft or to feel love of a child. Which certainly happened in my life, being a mother brought out something in me that completely transformed me.”
“We are different, we are different creatures in the film,” Jolie continued, “There are metaphors in the film and not to be heavy about it, but always a good film for young people has these messages. We get pulled apart, people tell us because you are not the same you are not family. Because you are not exactly like her, you are not her mother. And that certainly strikes a chord with me. I think Maleficent questions whether she’s good enough to be a mother, and whether she is her mother. We go through this period in the film where everybody is focusing on their differences. How different we are and we go to our own corners with our separate backgrounds, ways of being, or who we are or how we are born. There’s a real push to say this is not how it should be and this is not how to live. Diversity makes us stronger and there must be a better way forward and we have to come together. And so we do that in the film with the humans and the creatures and Moorfolk coming together we do that as a family. We come together and we fight against this separation and we unite. We say that this is the world we choose to live in and I think that that is a really important message.”
Maleficent has been a fun character for Angelina to play, “When I first got the call and they said, ‘we thought you were the only person who could play Maleficent. It’s so obvious.” You just think, ‘I’m really not sure how I’m supposed to take that’ and yet I love her! So maybe I need to fully embrace it at this time in my life. Maybe years ago when we first did it I thought, well I need to find the other aspects of her and it’s obviously not just completely that she’s a bit wild and full-on, a bit much, and fun. Now I’ve been through different things in my life and I was happy to be strong again and to have some fun. I adore being her. I’m now very proud that I am associated with her.”
MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL is now playing in theaters.