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Ewan McGregor & Hayley Atwell Interview: Christopher Robin

Ewan McGregor and Hayley Atwell in Christopher Robin

To fans, Ewan McGregor will always be Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi from the Star Wars franchise. And fans know Hayley Atwell as Agent Peggy Carter from the Captain America films and the Agent Carter television series.  Now, they play husband and wife in Disney’s newest film Christopher Robin.

Christopher Robin is an adaptation of the original Winnie the Pooh books as well as the Disney animated films and television shows.  It stars Ewan McGregor as a grown-up Christopher Robin, with Hayley Atwell playing his spirited wife Evelyn.  Bronte Carmichael plays their pre-adolescent daughter Madeline Robin.

Christopher Robin, who played with Winnie the Pooh and his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood, has grown into a sensible man.  But his job has taken all his time leaving none for his family. Pooh magically appears in Christopher Robin’s home in London. And together they set out on an adventure that reminds Christopher Robin what the most important thing in his life is.

Working with Nothing

Ewan McGregor as Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh in Christopher Robin

When asked about his experience with CGI characters, Ewan said:

“Yes, I've done it before. I did it all in the Star Wars movies. Quite a lot. It's like a sort of like a skill.  Just something else that you have to learn to do. Sometimes you end up doing it when you can't see each other on set for some reason.  Nothing behind the camera and a little mark on the matte box or something. So, it happens anyway. It's not something that's only exists in these kinds of movies, but yeah.”

Finding Wonder

Ewan McGregor as Christopher Robin in Christopher Robin

In the film, Christopher Robin must rediscover his sense of childlike wonder. When asked if she found it easier as an actor to find that wonder, Hayley Atwell said:

“I think so. Yeah. I mean, I don't know. I'd say my personal life, my mates would say I was very childlike, not childish, that's different [LAUGHTER] Very mature when I need to be.  I think that might be also partly because I'm in a world where I'm using my imagination a lot.

“When you're doing any kind of scene with an actor, you are playing with each other. Or I find that the scenes are most enjoyable, it can be most creative, when you're both kind of freely trying things out. And there's no ego or judgment there. You're just having a go and living in a world of kind of imagination really with each other. And I love that. I think it's kind of, they both feed itself.”

The Enduring Bear

Winnie the Pooh in Christopher Robin

Winnie the Pooh has endured for almost a century.  Ewan McGregor said, “I think it’s one of those great, beautifully written characters. And the way Milne wrote about him and Christopher Robin is so clever and interesting.”

Hayley Atwell added:

“It is so clever. Because also when you're young it’s just the innocence and the purity of it. Of these wonderful animals. And then I read it again as an adult and it's so funny. I found, he's not been kind of arch with it, or condescending, but he's definitely kind of showing how children are naturally funny without meaning to be. Or not trying to be or say things.

"Or even Pooh says things.  He says things that he doesn't know the, it's not quite what he means. But we get what he means and [are] more endeared by it. And actually, what he means he doesn't realize he's being incredibly wise and profound. And so, as an adult, that's what also appeals as the adult-self reading it.  Going, oh, you see this whole kind of this beautiful nonjudgmental irony that kind of runs through the whole thing. That you wouldn't have had the experience of the child reading it.”

MORE: Marc Forster Interview for Christopher Robin

Key Release Dates
  • Disney's Christopher Robin (2018) release date: Aug 03, 2018
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