5 Questions is a series by Steve Duffy –
Simon Curtis began as a theatre director and directed extensively at the Royal Court Theatre London as well as the National Theatre, Donmar Warehouse and Lincoln Centre, New York.
Curtis’ debut film My Week with Marilyn received two Academy Award Nominations and was nominated for three Golden Globes and six BAFTA’s. Curtis’ latest film Woman in Gold was the top grossing Indie film in the US in 2015.
In Goodbye Christopher Robin, Simon Curtis tell the story of how A. A. Milne found inspiration for his Winnie-the-Pooh tales through his interactions with his son.
SD: Were you a fan of Winnie the Pooh before this film?
SC: I wasn’t a fanatic of the stories, but my parents did read them to me. The stories are a part of my childhood DNA which is why I was drawn to the film.
SD: Are you naturally drawn to telling real-life stories?
SC: I am drawn to stories that have real meaning. I was really struck by this story. There are so many deep things and emotions that the film coverages: family, childhood, and the lasting effects of war.
SD: Did you feel any pressure of telling a real life story and not Hollywoodizing it too much?
SC: I think as a director you always have to do your best to tell a story that is going to work and have a long-lasting effect on your audience. There was no pressure because this story stands on its own two legs and I know that the audience will really respond to it.
SD: What a great cast! Can you describe your directing process with them?
SC: They are all amazing actors to work with, Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie, Kelly Macdonald, and Will Tilston). I loved going on this journey with them. At times, I gave a lot of input and at times I gave none. They are all true professionals who showed up and did their job with great success. They really make me look good as a director.
SD: What do you want audiences to get out of Goodbye Christopher Robin?
SC: It is a love letter to the power of family. Like nanny says in the movie, “Pay attention while you still have them [children], because you never know what happens next.
Goodbye Christopher Robin opens in Boston this Friday.
For more information on Goodbye Christopher Robin, visit www.foxsearchlight.com/goodbyechristopherrobin