Family movie this weekend Check out Goodbye Christopher Robin in theaters
Have you ever wondered about the little boy in the Winnie The Pooh books? Well if you watch Good Bye Christopher Robin you will be shocked to know the real story behind the famous little boy. I was privileged to be able to attend a pre-screening of the film and participate in a Q&A with the director Simon Curtis.
GoodBye Christopher Robin gives a rare glimpse into the relationship between children’s author A. A. Milne and his son Christopher Robin, whose toys inspired the magical world of Winnie the Pooh. The film introduces audiences to the inner lives of author A.A. Milne (Domhnall Gleeson), his wife Daphne (Margot Robbie), and their son, Christopher Robin (Will Tilston & Alex Lawther),or as he likes to be called “Billy Moon. During the time the family moved from the city to the country side Milne playing with his son in the woods is where he comes up with the idea for Winnie The Pooh, with of course Billy Moon’s help. While Winnie The Pooh becomes the most successful children’s book series in the world at the time, it ends up tearing Billy Moon away from his parents. In the film both parents threw their son into the public spotlight in order to promote Winnie-the-Pooh. This leads Billy Moon becoming rebellious teen and as a grownup Billy Moon holds both of his parents accountable for their actions when he was a child.
QUESTION: What was filming like at the original place where A.A. Milne lived with his family?
SIMON CURTIS: “I think it’s kind of moving that we were thinking that if they would have sat on that actual rough foot bridge, the bridge, the pooh sticks bridge, is the bridge that the father and son would have invented that game on. It was meaningful for us to go back.”
QUESTION: How did you get the boy the to stand next to the bear?
SIMON CURTIS: That’s a very good question. Do you want the real answer that spoils the magic? The umm, obviously the boy was in the real London Zoo and we were supposed to do it with a trained bear in London, but unfortunately the trained bear passed away before we got to do it. So we didn’t know what we were going to do, actually, because you can’t use and uh, and also in fact, that bear was in a zoo was in California and the magic of cinema we put them together. But good question. Because actually I couldn’t believe that when we were doing the research that that photograph which we put on at the end there actually happened. The health and safety meant something very different in those days.”
QUESTION: How did you find Will? That boy is just magical.
SIMON CURTIS: “We were very very lucky with him. He, well first of all, we were told that we had to have a 9 year old boy. Because 9 years olds in the UK, I don’t know what the rules are here, can work more hours in the day than an 8 year old. And I was terrified because some 9 year olds come in and they are like teenagers, you know, but when I saw him he was definitely a candidate. But, he’d never acted before, he had joined the drama club two days before the casting people just wrote to the club saying do you have any boys and it wasn’t like he was their star person, he was just a boy. And we did lots and lots of auditions and lots and lots of rounds and but eventually we settled upon him and it was a very happy accident because he is a wonderful kid. He’s a magical kid actually, in real life as well. And then I would just kind of watch him and found my job was to keep out of his way somewhat you know because he just had an instinct.”
AUDIENCE: His looks you will never forget…
SIMON CURTIS: “Yeah that’s right. That’s exactly right. And also, I was very struck when he was playing with the toys. It wasn’t like an actor playing with the toys it was actually…. He was just playing with them…totally.”
QUESTION: Why doesn’t Billy like being called Christopher Robin?
SIMON CURTIS: “It’s quite a complicated idea, but in the family they think the character in the book is Christopher Robin, and their boy at home is called Billy. So they were able to make the distinction between those two. Ahh, but the world didn’t see it like that. They just assumed they were one and the same and that was part of the problem and the books became famous because he got all the attention he didn’t want.”
QUESTION: So, I know AA Milne as English, that’s it , so before you took this role on did you know anything about the author and the story behind the book?
SIMON CURTIS: “No, not that much, no to be honest. I was at a school that Ernest Shepard, the illustrator had been at and there was a class called Ernest Shepard, so his name meant something to me. But I didn’t know anything about it really, no. Or that he was like a successful playwright before.”
Watch my Facebook live on the unboxing of the Classic Winnie The Pooh bear for #NationalBringYourTeddyBearToWorkDay
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by the Role Mommy Writer’s Network. All opinions are 100% my own.