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For his reinterpretation of the iconic Dwarfs for the tale of ‘Mirror Mirror’, director Tarsem Singh found seven extraordinary actors. “We were incredibly lucky in casting this film and these actors are no exception,” he notes. “The level of energy and creativity they’ve brought to this story has been phenomenal.”
Rather than rely on the familiar band of animated figures for inspiration, the filmmakers allowed each of the actors to define an original character. “We hired the actors first and then developed the characters around their personalities,” explains Goldmann. “The actors all participated in a workshop process that helped define the characters. Each of them needed to contribute something special in terms of helping Snow White to grow into the woman she must become.”
With that in mind, the characters of Butcher, Grimm, Half-Pint, Napoleon, Wolf, Chuckles, and Grub (Martin Klebba, Danny Woodburn, Mark Povinelli, Jordan Prentice, Sebastian Saraceno, Ronald Lee Clark and Joe Gnoffo respectively) began to take shape. As Klebba explains, “I’m called Butcher because I was the main butcher in town. Half-Pint owned the local pub. Grimm was a teacher. Each of them comes from a different part of their former society. Their only connection is that they’ve all been cast out because of their height.”
Clark adds, “After being banished from the Kingdom, the seven of us become a family. We quarrel all the time but we’re able to keep things together because we know how much we need each other.” Alone in the world, Snow White has to depend on the seven men to teach her how to make her way. As she gets acquainted with her unlikely mentors, the audience learns about their unique attributes.
“We each train her to do something different—how to fight with a sword, how to wrestle, how to fight dirty and how to think on her feet. Most importantly, we teach her to believe in herself,” says Woodburn. Lily Collins worked closely with them all, developing a camaraderie not unlike the onscreen one between Snow and the Dwarfs.
She says, “Martin, Danny, Mark, Sebastian, Jordan, Ronald and Joe are phenomenal. They’ve created these memorable characters that fit so perfectly into a group despite being so different from one another.”
Rounding out a distinguished cast are Oscar-nominee Mare Winningham as Baker Margaret, Snow’s confidante at the palace, Oscar-nominee Michael Lerner as the Baron, whose clumsy romantic overtures send the Queen into paroxysms of rage, SAG Award-winner Sean Bean as the King, Snow’s benevolent but ill-fated father, and up-and-coming young British actor Robert Emms as Charles Renbock, the Prince’s faithful valet and reluctant traveling companion.
Singh was overjoyed with the efforts of the supporting actors that help populate the fantasy world he created, explaining, “You always want great actors in your film. The hope is to make a movie that stands the test of time and a fabulous supporting cast is what makes that possible.”
The quality of the cast is a testament to Singh’s talent and imagination, according to Julia Roberts. “Everyone contributed an incredible interpretation of their characters,” she says. “I think it’s because all of us were eager to be here for Tarsem and be part of the magical place he invented.”
Image Courtesy of Mirror Mirror