James Corden Talks INTO THE WOODS; Calls Sondheim: 'Best Musical Composer Alive'
In a new interview in today's Deadline.com, James Corden, who will soon be seen in the role of The Baker in the big screen adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's INTO THE WOODS, spoke about his experience making the highly anticipated film.
The soon-to-be late night host explained that his casting came about soon after receiving a Tony Award for his performance in Broadway's 'One Man, Two Guvnors.' "I got asked to go and sing for Rob and John because they were pulling together a rehearsed reading of the movie version of Into the Woods to show Alan Horn and the executives at Disney," he shared. "The only people who are in the movie from that workshop are myself, Anna Kendrick and Christine Baranski. We finished the presentation and he said to me, "I promise you, if we ever make this into a film, you're coming with us."
Depite the promising words, the actor still did not believe the project would really come to fruition. "I was hugely touched by that, but in the back of my mind thought, "Well, we'll see." Not that I ever thought he wasn't telling the truth, but I know how studios and the process works, and to Rob's credit it shows how he widened the casting net. I think that's a very rare thing these days in a director, who could have gotten a bigger budget to make the movie if he had gone with some bigger names. I will always be indebted to him, and also it was a great learning experience for me."Corden compares his character in the film to "the man on the street." He comments, "The thing with the Baker that I always tried to hang on to was that he always reacted in the most everyday manner because he is just an everyday guy himself, which can be quite hard at times because you can feel like, "Oh, when do I get those pizazz moments?"-because it's a musical, you know? Then you realize that's not who the character is. It's maintaining that consistency and that heartbeat."
And the 'One Chance' star has only the highest of praise for 'Woods' composer Stephen Sondheim. "Sondheim is never fluffy," he begins. "He's never writing for writing's sake. He is always driving the story, and it always comes from a point of truth... What Stephen is is a storyteller, and it's all rooted in truth. He is, I think, the best musical composer alive right now."
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INTO THE WOODS is a modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, intertwining the plots of a few choice stories and exploring the consequences of the characters' wishes and quests. This humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Jack and the Beanstalk (Daniel Huttlestone), and Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy) - all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife (James Corden & Emily Blunt), their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch (Meryl Streep) who has put a curse on them. Rob Marshall, the talented filmmaker behind the Academy Award-winning musical "Chicago" and Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean: OnStranger Tides," helms the film, which is based on the Tony-winning original musical by James Lapine, who also penned the screenplay, and legendary composer Stephen Sondheim, who provides the music and lyrics.