Entering Giant Country with Mark Rylance and Jemaine Clement #TheBFGEvent #TheBFG

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Disclosure: I received an all expense paid press trip in exchange for my honest coverage of Disney’s The BFG, Disney XD’s Future-Worm, and related events.
Photographs courtesy of Coralie Seright, LovebugsAndPostcards.com – Film Images provided by Disney.

As you may have heard or read, I had the pleasure and opportunity to sit down with Mark Rylance and Jemaine Clement last week.   They star in Disney’s The BFG as ‘The Big Friendly Giant’ and ‘Fleshlumpeater’, respectively.  I have to say that all of the interviews were delightful and fascinating in their own right.

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One of my favorite parts about listening to, and observing, Mark Rylance were his facial movements and characteristics.  We had screened the movie the night before and I felt like I was watching it all over again as I watched his expressions and heard him speak.  It seems as though he is the perfect choice being cast as The BFG.

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To get into character each day, it took about an hour and a half with a crew sticking glow in the dark marbles on him and others cast as giants, along with battery packs and having a lot of painted dots painted on, about 45 minutes of having dots painted on your face through something representing a hockey mask, a tight hockey mask. It gave him a lot of time to think, listen to music and although you’d think they need to prepare for their role, Mark stated that it’s really a lot like playtime. For the giants’ roles you kind of just have to act like a child and simply play.

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In order to incorporate that childlike play,  he says he would think, ” What do I do?  What do I need to do in order to distract a 50-foot giant approaching my cave in order for him not to eat my little friend?”  With no rules to the game, you just start to play.  In motion capture, there are no cameras or marks.  It’s like a playground where imagination and speaking the lines meet to create something magical.

Mark and Jemaine seemed to agree, when asked, that it’s difficult to speak ‘giant’.  Rylance didn’t seem to think that any actors could have done what they did.  Jemaine said it’s more like improvising in giant.  Mark, in agreement, felt it was tricky just like improvising sonnets, yet harder.

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We tried to get them to speak in giant, but it would’ve cost us they said.  However, we did learn Mark’s favorite word: telly-telly bunkum box.  I know it’s one of my favorite words/things — television!



Rylance did want to know our opinion on whizzpoppers.  Personally, I think it’s a hilarious and friendly way to say you’ve passed gas (or whatever you call it in your home!).  Clement was in agreement.  Although he does say you’d need to have read the book and/or screened the movie already.



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Jemaine had a ton of fun portraying such a scary giant, Fleshlumpeater.  He and the other actors portraying the mean giants, as he calls them,  would rehearse their motion capture and just walking around like big, lumbering lumps of meat, smashing things and intimidating people.  He remarked that ‘being stupid is fun’ while getting into your role.

As you and your children may soon be, Mark Rylance’s son is a huge fan of The BFG.  Especially when he (Mark) would read it to him.  More specifically, Mark would have to use a certain voice his son adored.  I loved hearing him share that special memory with us.  As a mom, I can completely relate.

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Speaking of children, Mark said his favorite scene with Ruby Barnhill, who stars as Sophie, was also a difficult scene.  When he has to ‘let her go’, it made him think of how his teachers, both school teachers, would feel when they’d say goodbye to their students each year, or as a parent may feel ‘letting go’ of their child for the next stage of life.


Jemaine, who has a younger son, hopes he and other children realize their thoughts are valid.  Children need to know their opinion is important as well.

I couldn’t agree more, as that’s what we also try to do in our home.

Don’t miss my previous posts about walking the red carpet and interviewing director Steven Spielberg and Ruby Barnhill (“Sophie”).


Disney’s The BFG stomps its way into theaters July 1, 2016

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