You know those butterflies you get before you meet someone you admire? This was me the day we were scheduled to interview Hayley Atwell. I knew I loved her acting, but I was about to get an inside peek at who she is as a person. Hayley played the role of Evelyn Robin, in the movie Christopher Robin, and she does a marvelous job.
I can honestly say I was not disappointed. She was everything I thought she would be! She played her role in Christopher Robin so well, but she also has a super sweet spirit about her. Interviewing her was one of my favorite parts of my trip to the red carpet movie premiere of Christopher Robin.
I want to give you guys an inside peek at my interview with Hayley Atwell. I think you’re going to love her!
How did Hayley get the role of Evelyn?
I promise this went down as one of the best interviews ever. Mostly because Hayley is so open and honest about things. She doesn’t hide anything and her storytelling is on point. When asked how she got the part of Evelyn, she told us one of the best stories I’ve heard in a really long time.
I was on holiday on a boat in Greece. I was sunbathing, and I got a call from my agent saying Marc Forster, the director who is directing Christopher Robin. Will you Skype with him, and I said yeah of course. I have quite erratic reception here in the Aegean Ocean, so I went to the captain and I said I need to find a spot where I can Skype someone, and he went you see that rock over there? I went yeah, yeah. He went go past that for about ten minutes, and you’ll find a spot.
So I got my life jacket on, and I went on a jet ski and I put my phone down the life jacket like this (puts it in her shirt), and I went very far until pretty much couldn’t see any form of civilization and then I was able to get reception and I remember answering. I never met him before, and I just went welcome to my office (held out her hand like she’s showing off the ocean to Marc). It’s just how I work here.
How did Marc envision Hayley’s character?
From the other interviews, you know that Marc has had a vision of Christopher Robin from the start. He knew what he wanted the movie to be and who he wanted to play the parts. I love Hayley’s account of this:
He was just talking about how he wanted to tell a story that was classic to the philosophy of Pooh Bear that everyone knew so that these characters are familiar to everyone, not doing anything kind of left field with any of these characters because they’re complete in themselves.
But wouldn’t it be interesting to explore the idea of what happened when Christopher Robin grew up and have that being the access point for adults who would identify with being an adult now, and being I think, being burdened by and lost a little bit by the pressures of everyday life and being on a bit of a hamster wheel and not realizing that your ambitions are kind of getting the better of you, and so we talked a little bit about that.
And then he talked about wanting to create the relationship between Evelyn and Christopher as one where it began with genuine love and joy, and he set it up at the beginning, then you know that what is at stakes for him to lose, and you kind of root for them.
So we also wanted that any scenes or any moments with Evelyn, for her to be someone who had compassion to know that this man who’s come back from war, who’s struggling to provide for his family, whose heart’s in the right place, he’s struggling within himself rather than anything that she could probably criticize him for, and she’s taking on the pain of what, the cost it’s having on the child as well.
So rather than in her in any way seeming kind of unsympathetic or moaning or whining or anything like that, just someone who she’s taking care of her own feelings and experiences in this, feeling lost and left behind by her husband, but knowing she’s in a lot of pain as well.
Isn’t she such a great storyteller?! I could listen to her talk all day! I certainly love this story and it’s just one more reason why Christopher Robin is such an awesome movie.
Where did Hayley get her inspiration?
When it comes to inspiration in a movie, every actor has to get it from somewhere. I love Hayley’s part in the movie and it becomes even more special as she tells us where she got her inspiration. Hayley went on to tell us that a lot of the inspiration she got was from her own mother. The women in her life gave her what she needed to be strong, but also understanding. Hayley plays such a great “mom” in the movie! It was fun watching the movie, especially after the interview because you knew where her heart was in this film.
The type of person Hayley it makes you want to grab a cup of coffee and spend the day chatting. I loved hearing Hayley talk about how she is a prankster! So am I! I could pull pranks all day if I could.
As the interview went on, Hayley was asked how she likes to relax and play. I loved her response from this!
I have games night at my house so we play things from like Articulate to Secret Chameleon, Hidden Chameleon, and then also Escape Rooms I quite like to do. I’m really into that. I’ve been doing them here a little bit. I’ve done some with my dad as well.
Who is Hayley’s favorite character?
Everyone has to have a favorite character in Christopher Robin. Without hesitation, Hayley has an answer for us!
I think in a way all the animals are kind of archetypes of different versions of ourselves based on the day of the week or moods that we’re in or the circumstances. And I think I always found Piglet to be just totally adorable and so vulnerable, and it always made me want to kind of reach out and look after Piglet. Having worked with Piglet though, it’s just neurotic. It’s like he’s got what we call in today’s kind of vocabulary, anxiety, and like treated with haycorns, which seem to kind of exasperate his issues. I think he needs like maybe some therapy and medication.
Christopher Robin is NOW playing in theaters everywhere!
Guys, if you haven’t seen this movie, YOU NEED TO GO. You’re going to have an epiphany and want to live your life to the best you know how.