Is there something you admire about Snow White?
Yes. It’s strange playing a character that you actually could never truly embody. Her spirit affects people. . . I can’t have Snow White’s effect on people. I can’t actually be completely selfless because nobody is. You can only really play a character like that in a fairy tale and play it with an awful load of integrity. She’s very fully formed, but very farfetched-from-the-reality-that-we-live-in type of person. She also is strong in a very different way than you’d expect. Strength, yeah, but also gusto. I mean, she’s strong. She can kick ass. It hurts very much to do so and so it’s not like you’re watching her go take down a kingdom. You’re not watching going, "Yeah! Kill him!" Really it’s more like you’re watching someone having to do something that doesn’t just go against your sensibilities or that you agree with. It’s gutting. It’s physically gutting, literally. A million reasons, but she’s special.
Do you like that she’s not like your prissy fairy tale?
Yeah, because that’s just a very surface, though she is prissy sometimes. That’s the other thing. It takes her the whole movie basically to become who I’m talking about now. I’m really sort of talking in retrospect. It’s strange. It’s a total identity movie. It’s all about not finding yourself, but actually just being OK with who you always have been and not being ashamed of being the only one who sees the light. It’s an enormous burden and she’s so stunted. She was put away when she was 7 years old and your mother and your father were killed basically right in front of you. We’re not doing the version of a fairy tale that wouldn’t deal with all of those things, where you just sort of skim over all those things, and it's like all of these things are actually really important to the characters. She literally bleeds for her land and her people, and that’s just such a cool concept for me because it’s other people caring about people. It’s very simple, but it’s so common. Every day all the time you see people not caring about each other, and this is just about that.
She learns to be a leader or she’s born a leader inside, do you think?
She’s definitely a born leader. I mean, it’s literally pumping through those veins, but it’s been taken from her. She’s been so stolen from.
Is it helping you get into the character's mindset to wear those cool costumes?
Absolutely. If you look down and something doesn’t feel like you would definitely be wearing it, or if you go to grab your knife and it flops around or — basically [Colleen Atwood] thinks about every detail. It’s so wearable. I also have puffy sleeves. Somehow she manages to make puffy sleeves look butch. I was always expecting to personally wind up in a — basically what I’m wearing underneath it, like that little blue dress, which is just thin and wispy. I was really happy that she’s got something heavy on — a bit of armor before she actually finds her own armor.
How did you feel the first time you put on the armor? Did you feel more badass?
Yeah. That’s the first thing you want to [pound your chest]. Also, my armor doesn’t have a huge top on it. All the guys, unfortunately, they [raise their arms] and they hit themselves in the head. I can run around in mine. Somehow the armor on the men — unless they’re on horseback and they look amazing, but there’s also something kind of dainty about it, too, like pointy toes. It fits a woman’s body better, I feel. I don’t know, the guys running around suddenly look like little toys — slightly feminine little toys.
Both Snow White and Bella had traumatizing experiences in the woods — being led out to die or have her heart broken — compare those two experiences?
Well, it’s funny. I think [Snow White] genuinely lacks that innate fear of death that we all have. She’s got a serious, fierce survival — not skills, but insights. But she isn’t afraid of anything. What’s harder is to have dreams and hopes that you lived your whole life sort of be just shattered in front of you. So I think probably it’s totally impossible to compare the two. And I know that doesn’t make sense, but I kind of can’t compare.
Can you compare the movies in general? Are there similarities at all?
Bella and Snow White both come to find that they’re leaders. I mean, that’s definitely a similarity. They’re different. They’re very, very, very, different people. Also, I guess in a very sort of righteous way as well it’s all very like — everyone’s telling them “no” and both of them I guess see the light. Both of them are sort of a little more intuitive and spiritually, for whatever reason, connected and their gut is always sort of dead right.
What about working with Chris surprised you? Did you have any preconceptions of him?
Before I met him, I was like, "gosh, so charming." You know what I mean? Like he’s so ridiculously, seemingly nice. Movie-star caliber nice. But he really actually just is. But then again, it’s strange working — cause I mean it’s not a secret. It was completely different part before. It was totally like a rethought. So when he came in it was like "Wow! This is f*cking interesting!" I mean, it was like they really elevated it. Chris is an amazing, nice guy and also [has] great instincts and he can roll with everything on set. He’s really relaxed, whereas I’m always like, "oh my god!" I use my anxiety to do this and he’s always sort of like — he’s a good energy for me. I really like working with him.
You actually punched Chris filming a scene and gave him a black eye?
It’s actually a very confidence building experience. I don’t like punching anyone. So, you know, when you dream and your hand just slides right down their face, it doesn’t do that in real life. It really works. God, that really made me feel horrible, though. I mean, like instantly hot tears and I was like "oops!" We were watching it. It looks — it’ll be in the movie.
Favorite fairy tale as a kid?
I honestly don’t — somebody asked this the other day. I wasn’t here til the end of fairy tales. I really liked The Jungle Book. I was obsessed with The Jungle Book.
Chris said Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
He is obsessed with Lord of the Rings and he was always like humming Enya as we were trudging up the mountain. I was saying basically, "You should make a remake of Lord of the Rings. Why are you doing this? . . . We’re doing Snow White and the Huntsman, Chris!"
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