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Interview: Akiva Goldsman, Colin Farrell, Jennifer Connelly, Jessica Brown Findlay, Eva Marie Saint Talk Winter’s Tale

‘Winter’s Tale’ is a supernatural drama based on the 1983 novel by Mark Helprin, that marks Akiva Goldsman’s directorial debut, who won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay in 2001, with the film ‘A Beautiful Mind.’

Goldsman’s first feature as director is set in mythic New York City and spans more than a century, exploring themes such as miracles, crossed destinies, the power of love and the battle between good and evil. ‘Winter’s Tale’ is the story of Peter Lake, a master thief who never expected to have his heart stolen by the graceful Beverly Penn, who is dying of a deadly form of consumption. Peter tries to desperately save his one true love, across time and the forces of darkness, embodied by his-one time mentor, the demonic Pearly Soames. A miracle is needed and will take a century  to find.

The film stars actors Colin Farrell, Jennifer Connelly, Jessica Brown Findlay (who has become known to the public through TV’s ‘Downton Abbey’), Eva Marie Saint (legendary Broadway and screen actress), who have joined Akiva Goldsman in telling us about the making of the film.

What did you enjoy most in the making of this film?

Eva Marie Saint: Colin Farrell, please write that! And I loved to see his beautiful love scene with Jessica Brown Findlay and brings tears to my eyes.

Jessica Brown Findlay: For that love scene, I found stupendous finding the naivety and joy of the moment. How love is new to both Beverley and Peter (my character and Colin’s).

Colin Farrell: I also thought that creating that scene, where there’s an authentically profound sense of human touch, was special, and I loved working with Eva Marie Saint. I was aware of her works since my early teens and I cherish the opportunity to work with actors who have had such rich experience in the industry, Eva Marie worked with Kazan, Hitchcock, and I love her to the bones simply as a human being.

Akiva Goldsman: The beauty I found in the making of this film was in this particular genre, drenched with magical illusion, which can either come across as delightful or aversive. Naturally it drew me. I liked the potential of making a film with a secret message, that could nod and wink to people who have had a loss.

Is love overrated sometimes?

Colin Farrell: Probably it’s underrated. Love provides peace, harmony. The Beatles’s song “All You Need Is Love” expresses the importance of caring for each other. I think that love is what makes it all spin.

Jennifer Connelly: There is nothing more powerful and magical than love. In this film it’s capable of bending time and changing the world.

Eva Marie Saint: Well I’ve been married for 63 years and I don’t know how I would got through without my husband. Love has a very strong forgiving power.

How did the adaptation process of the novel occur?

Akiva Goldsman: The book is very long, 800 pages and it had to be condensed very much. I basically started writing an outline from my memory, so that a distilled version would span out. I used my own memory and imagination as a template. There is also a lot of science in the novel that has a more complex notion of light and its grammar in form of magic, there is a world behind the world that is discussed, whilst I try to show it.

This seems to be a fairytale for grown-ups…

Akiva Goldsman: It’s an interesting object. Life isn’t that simple and includes loss, just as it requires life beyond loss. In this way it is a fairytale for adults and a Hail Mary to faith.

winters tale

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Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi, is a film critic, culture and foreign affairs reporter, screenwriter, film-maker and visual artist. She studied in a British school in Milan, graduated in Political Sciences, got her Masters in screenwriting and film production and studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York and Los Angeles. Chiara’s “Material Puns” use wordplay to weld the title of the painting with the materials placed on canvas, through an ironic reinterpretation of Pop-Art, Dadaism and Ready Made. She exhibited her artwork in Milan, Rome, Venice, London, Oxford, Paris and Manhattan. Chiara works as a reporter for online, print, radio and television and also as a film festival PR/publicist. As a bi-lingual journalist (English and Italian), who is also fluent in French and Spanish, she is a member of the Foreign Press Association in New York, the Women Film Critics Circle in New York, the Italian Association of Journalists in Milan and the Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean. Chiara is also a Professor of Phenomenology of Contemporary Arts at IED University in Milan.

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