Amanda Seyfried and her Red Riding Hood Hotties!
By: Lynn Barker
In Red Riding Hood, the re-boot of the classic fairy tale “Little Red Riding Hood”, Amanda Seyfried plays “Red”, now named Valerie, in her later teens and the Big Bad Wolf becomes a werewolf. As a wolf stalks the village, Valerie is torn between two hot boyfriends played by gorgeous Max Irons and Shiloh Fernandez, either one of whom might be secretly wolfing out and stalking her.
We’re in Century City, California to get Amanda’s feelings about her character and the new even darker take on the story, how she handles jealousy, what she thinks of her two cute suitors, and we learn their opinion of her. What was it like when Amanda first put on the iconic beautiful red hooded cloak? Check it out!
Kidzworld: Amanda, did the love triangle or the darker version of the tale attract you to being in this movie?
- Amanda Seyfried: I actually didn’t read the script before I met [director] Catherine [Hardwicke who directed the first Twilight film]. She had crazy visuals to show me so I thought how difficult it is to make this old timeless tale into a full length movie, and she had these great ideas. Then I met with Leonardo DiCaprio and that was it. [Note: we learned that Leo DiCaprio was the producer because it was his idea to update the tale as a movie.]
Kidzworld: Amanda, how do you define your character? Do you think of her as a precocious girl looking for action; a 21st century girl in the black forest 500 years ago?
- Amanda: Well, I separated from the usual damsel in distress which is in most fairy tales, to somebody that’s completely not in distress at all. She’s this young, strong female that’s going through her life, [growing up] and kind of trying to navigate herself through young adult life in this medieval village. Of course, she’s the heroine in the movie. It centers on her. That was really attractive because I like playing women that have no fear, especially in the circumstances. She’s pretty brave.
Kidzworld: Is she a modern young woman in an ancient setting then?
- Amanda: Well, yeah, and we added majorly contemporary elements to it like a love triangle. It’s very contemporary how she’s dealing with her parents and the man she loves and the man that she was [engaged to]. Catherine knows how to work a good coming of age story. She’s connected to that youthful kind of essence.
Kidzworld: There is a pretty flirty dance scene in the movie. Max and Shiloh have you been to dances like that?
- Shiloh Fernandez: Yeah, my mom actually goes to “Burning Man” [big, wild celebration out in the California desert].
- Amanda: So you might’ve been at Burning Man [as a kid] and not have known it.
- Shiloh: I don't think it’s been around that long. I had to learn the dance. I had to be taught these moves and it was hard for me.
- Max Irons: I had to do absolutely no dancing whatsoever which I was very pleased about. I think I had to walk around looking grumpy [Max plays the guy Amanda’s character is supposed to marry but, alas, she’s attracted to another boy].
Kidzworld: Amanda, talk about telling the Red Riding Hood story with Julie Christie [as the grandma who has big teeth, big eyes etc.?
- Amanda: We had to use that and it didn’t seem to fit in any place except for something that was sort of like a dream. I think it works really well because that’s the iconic piece of the narrative. To do it with Julie Christie with prosthetics, big teeth and huge pupils, it was really cool the way we did it. It was just perfectly designed.
Kidzworld: You’re the one with the gigantic blue eyes.
- Amanda: I’ve got the biggest eyes in the business right now, between 17 and 25. [she laughs].
Kidzworld: How did you feel putting on Red Riding Hood’s cape for the first time?
- Amanda: It was kind of a big deal when the cape came onto the set because it’s its own character because it’s the most iconic piece of the story. Then after a while it wasn’t really a big deal. I just got sick of it because it’s really heavy. But, it was so beautifully designed. It took a lot of time to make that cape really beautiful.
Kidzworld: Guys, how did you get your parts? Did you have a “make-out” chemistry test with Amanda?
- Amanda: Yeah, I said that literally they just came in one by one and we made out. Which is not really that false. 15,000 men, line up!
- Max: No, seriously, that was it.
Kidzworld: So did you guys practice good kissing?
- Max: On the back of my hand, in the shower, endlessly. No.
Kidzworld: Seriously, Shiloh, what was Amanda Seyfried like to work with?
- Shiloh: I spent a lot of time with her before we went to Vancouver, and I just found her to be fascinating, as an actress and as a person. It’s not hard to fall in love with her and have those feelings. The hardest part would be to play that role where you can’t be with her and you have to say no, against your best judgment. I really admire Amanda and think she’s extremely talented. Amanda and the character are both really strong women, they really know what they want, they’re going after it, and they don’t really take no for an answer. All those things were attractive to me and helped me to really fall into it. I just think she’s cool.
Kidzworld: Director Catherine Hardwicke knows how to direct teen-aimed love story/adventures, especially since the first Twilight movie. How did you find working with her?
- Shiloh: She has so much energy and it’s always going, 24 hours a day. I’m a calm person who wants to talk about things and think things through. With her, you’re really thrown into it immediately. That was the great challenge. The fact that she connects with such a powerful, young audience and really gets that is something that I’m so proud to be involved with. She’s very different from any director I’ve worked with before and I cannot wait to do another movie with her.
Kidzworld: Is this a cautionary tale to warn young girls against rolling in the hay so to speak? Don’t go out in the woods, etc.?
- Amanda: I don't know, I don't think it’s going to keep girls from rolling in the hay. I think it’s going to make it really attractive, even more attractive than it already is. Maybe it’s about just not ignoring your impulses.
Kidzworld: You shot this in Vancouver. How did you like the amazing sets?
- Amanda: Love, love. The set couldn’t have been better, I think. It definitely felt like I was transferred back to some other time and it really helped in the moment, especially dealing with all these supernatural elements. You know, staring at a piece of wood, pretending that that was a wolf that was going to eat me. But everything else was so well built and beautiful.
Kidzworld: Which fairytales do you guys like?
- Amanda: “Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales”.
- Max: “The Little Engine that Could”.
- Shiloh: “Humpty Dumpty”. No, I’m kidding. I don’t even remember the story.
Kidzworld: Max, your dad is famous actor Jeremy Irons. Did he have any words of wisdom for you when you were trying to get this part?
- Max: He just said ‘Pay attention to what you’re doing and remember that you’re an actor and that nothing else really matters. Enjoy what you’re doing. Don’t take any of it too seriously.’ That’s about it, I’d say.
Kidzworld: Sounds like wise advice. Amanda, in the movie when Valerie sees Peter [Shiloh’s character] dancing with the other girl and gets really jealous, she confronts him immediately after that. Do you get jealous in real life or are you totally okay with that kind of thing?
- Amanda: Well, [in the movie] he’s looking at me and being very seductive with this woman, and when it’s purposeful, then I would definitely confront it. Of course, jealousy is what I think every human being feels. So yeah, I do tend to get jealous when someone’s trying to provoke jealousy. It always works. I usually confront the person immediately and say ‘I don’t like that. Please stop.’ It’s about being honest about your feelings at all times and then not having to deal with any drama.
Kidzworld: Any reason why you dropped “Little” from the title since we always called it “Little Red Riding Hood”?
- Amanda: I can’t be 11 years old. Little Red Riding Hood was really young. She was a child. [The movie] can’t be that coming of age story if it’s a child. It’s just this girl that has all this tension and turmoil and questioning about herself and developing into this young adult. You can’t have that with a little child. Also, it makes for an even more exciting story because you have that romance to it which you can’t do with a 5-year-old.
Kidzworld: The audience has to guess who the werewolf is. Did you two guys play it with a kind of hint that it might be you or not?
- Max: I don’t think as an actor playing a part you can approach it that way. I think that’s down to editing, the script and director. I think if you start doing that then you’ll put your foot in it basically.
- Shiloh: I felt like it lended itself to mysterious aspects that could be considered maybe dangerous. I thought that the moments where he might be doing something suspicious, it wasn’t necessarily that he felt that way. He was feeling something completely different and the audience’s reaction to it.