VB interviews Simon Curtis, director of the new film "Goodbye Christopher Robin"

Infinite Wisdom with VB the Wise
Friday, October 20th

Simon Curtis, director of "Goodbye Christopher Robin" stops by to talk to VB about Hollywood and his current and past films


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

What an episode number two of the infinite wisdom my podcast and it is with great pleasure that I introduce my next guest. I am a big movie fan as you well know and there is nobody I rather talk to any director of the movie cause. I think what directors do is remarkably beyond my capacity to comprehend. I don't know how they juggle all the balls in the that they do when they do it and Simon Curtis the man that is sitting to my left has done that with the excellently exquisite movie goodbye Christopher Robin Simon Curtis thank you for joining me and thank you nice to be hit. First question always Stewart director is why this project and how long. Had this project being in your head why did you choose to go to tour. Facilitating a secret about directing the keys choose the best people net and gentleman that lives. The best actors and the best script and the best and crew. And I was very very blessed and know that is departments on this film. And unlike my preview Steve films my week with Marilyn moment in gold that I threw wheeled into existence that was my passionate about that subject. This is a script that came to me and I mean he left it. Does that difference for you then that like so. Your week with Marilyn for example I just gonna happen is gonna happen and drive them an address. This one comes the U. You're off the throttle a little bit well knows that this does he then come home bullets you bank on that same crazy Jenny to trying cost state and get it because that's nothing. But I would've thought this would have been because for those that don't know good but good by Christopher Robin about a milled in the we need to whom. Books the movies etc. everything that creation. I would've thought that you would have been obsessed with the Winnie the pool with a child and your whole life you had you met I have to do this I'm gonna do it because it felt like. I'm I'm I'm I'm I think that's a good thing it feels like that that no I mean I yeah I carries like most people do memories of my parents reading me green who's an innocent child that. I wasn't one of those at Texas. That I I just love this script because it did get behind the curtain to Kenny about how. The family the mill family lived at the time when you who's written. But it also seem to you script about so much else has while I mean Christopher Robin you could argue was the first child for leprosy. I hadn't realized that when you that the the stores became so famous so quickly because they were away for readers to reconnect with the innocence. Before the trauma of world line and that and now himself was suffering from what we know that speak as PT EST. That radiates a film about family and the dead and that the vital importance of cherishing a funny. About that are around. Sort of Rory obviously that's gonna come up as you. Continue to promote the film is saving mr. banks one of the differences I find here is that in that story I can relate totally because. My kids love Mary Poppins my wife loves Mary Poppins Mary Poppins is as fresh today as she ever was. I have young kids where not a we need to prove family and sought for me I would think one of the challenges your dad is. You've got to get people to understand just how big this was when we are generation removed from. Oh well no coming because it bit about the fifth generation it was the 1920s and recently. The news it was it was voted the most popular children's book little time. So you may not be immediately femme into a lot of families is it is in you like in Europe is it still massively huge or is has it cleaned. Them I think it's one of those things that you know. Children are rated buy that parents him and they become parents they read it to them and sat. It feels that the kind of group that feels different day different points in a life at different ages. And you know I've been amazed how passionate people feel about when the two agendas came in last week. Wearing his union that he tees yet. Carrying. A totally. He Ole the yeah I mean that there's a lot of passion for these stories. So one of the challenges here I would think is that the real life people. Like everybody's very complicated very complex but they're not who we want them to be I think Christopher Robin's mother for example is not who we wished that she was. You've got to have them but not necessarily likable but we have to at least understand where they're coming. Half and they too challenging it is challenging for that very much parents in that loss at that time. Where is perfectly natural for parents that and the baby over to a nanny and can't wait for the wedding I mean rating. And nine as someone who has brought up at that time who says he remembers his mother tucking him ones. You know and that. That they needed to ban met these parents when they outweighed the boy that I am very attentive and adored him. And they always Cilic he's going to lovable loving on me looking often. So if you don't have the right people here as you said forget it you're doomed the casting his interest because. Margot Robbie world bringing suicides water wolf of Wall Street while this is and that obviously can she pull this thing off and one of the things about it is. Hey yes I think she pulls it off the beat it because it's not a likable character. I don't ultimately used to it or not in my reading too far into this that. I'm looking at her gonna here's what I know about her before our this isn't that and I am not sure I'm comfortable with it off the top. But I'm not sure I'm supposed be comfortable with his character. Right I mean I think. Not goes a brilliant actress and she is very bold about taking on this pot both than likable and that the Obama's town likable but. He just isn't the Monday in a in the way most another's I that's the point. And I think that Christopher Robin wrote about his mother later in life and he said that. If she was only around that half an hour after breakfast and half an hour before bed time but during those two she was that an adorable and given in the film she's the one who buys the toys gives him the toys that gives them voices to stoutly and the agency that Joey he has done it sounds. May not be emote in portrait of a month that that I think as accurate as they say and the mother in that class at that time. Am I wrong when you decide this is what we're gonna do I'm gonna take this project on. Is the first thing you say is unless we get the got to play Mel mister Wright guy we're doomed. Yeah epidemic in in this case that that's set Nietzsche and I was very domestic ticket don't know Gleason and things in every film released an amendment that is. And that's that that's our reason was he's a brilliant actor in the very Smart guy. But also in this that we had to find a nine year old boy to play makers to or other means and that's that's easy because. Yeah Meehan doing practice he can see that Iowa and so on that this boy. Will. Had never acted before night in the school play. But the last semi cut the nine Iran to never acted before it was done directly and his best jobs said that gave me confidence. You directed a number of view directed just about everybody it seems like but the one I wanna fight about briefly is the woman who I believe is going to win best actress award this year. It's not for this film but Sally hawkins' idea I don't think is even a question. That she's gonna win it from I haven't seen that. On the phenomenal luck I I I don't Sally and that. If he wins it and so she deserves it. So for it he blitzes and hypothetically say that happens as a guy who's worked with are you just gonna have a warm feeling here in sunny and beautiful way to goes out and you are sure what Sally Sally we gonna do another thing I would pounds ago coming in I I was very blessed to work with half. The BBC. I guess about ten years ago. And I've been blessed that with her gang. What are you prepared for a as you talk to people about this move because whenever someone has an attachment to something like winning the problem. Like Mary Poppins just Florida's example. They have preconceived notions that they don't want to mention. A lot of people that don't know the story here want these guys to be an idyllic family that. He loved his son to the end of the green did this for his sign and his son was only when it's not that they don't like. Yeah yeah you're a little bit I am well I think it's either ready and dressed and they appreciate the actress accuracy of and the complexity in life is complicated. And the book that we need to go it will stand on that intends and their own right for all time. And a friend of mine who's an offended direct Khatami story that. When he was the county was taken to meet the real Christopher Robin the bookshelf he hadn't and he happened he signed copy we needed painful and sad that many Theo you know that that was a happy ending. I was stunned that lead when we found this out that he'd. Open a bookstore and in the end. I would have destroyed amendment books brought him back. You have that seen as it as a film shows. They didn't destroy him and India that the fame that came it was a welcome. But they came through in endeavor a lot of positives to end. You know unlike a lot of people he had some wonderful times that his parents in and and it got bad the members he charities he says in the film had a wonderful childhood in Ireland that that's what he has to show in the heart of the film. The father and son playing in the woods in the city did making and that. I'm very proud that they sequences. The thing that gets me in the best compliment I can give you on this is that when it's over I think go home and we're talking to my wife about this and I wanna fix what were you presented to me not the movie but the real story like why could the Auburn not sit down with the Simon yeah. Well that's important polling tend in this day and age race to see parents everywhere and in looking at it Smartphones run from looking at decades CNET. And I think this is the and timely reminder that carries the kids running around because as the nanny says in the film you never know what happens now. Is it challenging to win seventeen to. To put together a film that has an owner and he says I don't think any swearing there's no guns there is no. She remarks bank under the gun. That well I think there was a lot of in little bit in their opening world war once said that that's I think that's a lot of interest in this subject and that. We are blessed with folks that site Expedia who's who support it all the way through. We want people to take from this movie when I corrosive well I want them to I think about their own child then you know attack. A powerful film about. Parents and children and as a CIA I think if they to spend a bit more time. Did that children and a little less time on that. That helps then I'd be pleased that two questions and ever let a director give away from me without asking one is who is the director that inspired you if there was one. I'm but I love this American films of the seventies Disco thaci in the low men and Woody Allen and I mean of those films that. Terrence Malick was. A directive that the DP and I watched. I mean making this film processors that have this that and that because why both tree of life and that's a dreamy sequences. In and that. We want today's time in the times in the woods to have that and leave a very lucky as to have filming. In the actual ask them far so when that playing these steaks on the the bridge that the actual bridge that. Millman Christopher would have invented the game on and that when the sitting on the rocket the end that rock is actually. As a sign on the dedicated to an email sent that was quite amazing. Law in the movie when you do in an article my second question but. You you don't really show the books per say in the story lines that are in the books say I assume that was a conscious decision because we're not doing the Winnie the Pooh movie. But when you sort of show Christopher Robin morphing into week almost cartoon character in the morphing back. A very effective very. Almost weird but needs. How did that come to be was that your idea. Yell at this coming week that have experimented with in the on the scene because and shepherd he did the famous story with pot that the race and then. He was fan and he was saying. Real life to making into the sort of artistic. Impression of real life and that we wanted to do about that. Good by Christopher Robin is the film what's the thing you learned user about winning the poor any of these characters that you went. But I just say I think the fact that the books were a way for people that. Recapture the innocence before the former World War I and I think you know we live in troubled times now on the head with them have a similar effect. Didn't know understand that implicitly when he did the eases to your knowledge or did was he is surprised as anybody that they took off Wednesday alive with no long kind of predicted success in I mean it with unprecedented. Yeah and that. I can think there was something about the tone of them that just connected to people and I don't think anyone compete head to that my second question is not what your favorite movie of all time what's the movie as a director that you look at San man I wish I'd correct because at director of this content. I I don't know the exact count of the two films by but the thing direct that that comes to mind up. Jerry Maguire and almost famous kind of crowd and up as the club's. I'm gonna have to make you pay act which one's better I mean c'mon you can't just throw that out like OK almost. The that's. I don't British director here and I'm thinking and I'm assuming you're gonna see something cool brick yeah I don't know where you're going to act comes I don't know and that's why I love yet. It's I just another actor rule rib remain nameless who inspired him as a director it was a throw away a seventies drive in movie director had never heard the press like what you never know where what motivates somebody here move somebody it's terrorists that. That's pretty good you know what's coming next everybody asks and I know but yet if a couple of things that thins that that made they make collapsing on that embarrassed myself by. Why I appreciate your candor on now I look forward to whatever it is. Good by Christopher Robin is the movie congratulations. On thank you how many hours do you think. You put into this thing wrong well at least two years. Just let that sink permit them. Because it's amazing because. You you're putting two years of real life and it's all day every day yeah. Somebody sees it for ninety minutes and lea I nice job and want to. Yeah but I have been a lot of it is it as screenings of its films and and have been a good way that that. I think it has an impact because I think it's if it's a warm and complicated film. And I'm thrilled by the way within his reacting some phone. Simon Curtis thanks for stopping by infinite wisdom congratulations on the movie good luck on form thank you appreciate it payments.