Interview: Mark Rylance & Jemaine Clement from Disney’s “The BFG”

Disclosure: Disney sponsored my travel, accommodations, and activities during my stay in Los Angeles. 

I’m back with another post from my adventure to L.A. for “The BFG” event! If you missed my last post that includes my interview with Director Steven Speilberg and Ruby Barnhill (Sophie), you can read it here.

For today’s post, I’m sharing my interview with Mark Rylance (BFG) and Jemaine Clement (Fleshlumpeater).

Interview: Mark Rylance & Jemaine Clement from Disney’s “The BFG”

First, though, let me catch you up on what “The BFG” is all about.


About “The BFG”

The talents of three of the world’s greatest storytellers – Roald Dahl, Walt Disney and Steven Spielberg –finally unite to bring Dahl’s beloved classic “The BFG” to life. Directed by Spielberg, Disney’s “The BFG” tells the imaginative story of a young girl and the Giant who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country. The BFG (Mark Rylance), while a giant himself, is a Big Friendly Giant and nothing like the other inhabitants of Giant Country. Standing 24-feet tall with enormous ears and a keen sense of smell, he is endearingly dim-witted and keeps to himself for the most part. Giants like Bloodbottler (Bill Hader) and Fleshlumpeater (Jemaine Clement) on the other hand, are twice as big and at least twice as scary and have been known to eat humans, while the BFG prefers Snozzcumber and Frobscottle. Upon her arrival in Giant Country, Sophie, a precocious 10-year-old girl from London, is initially frightened of the mysterious giant who has brought her to his cave, but soon comes to realize that the BFG is actually quite gentle and charming, and, having never met a giant before, has many questions. The BFG brings Sophie to Dream Country where he collects dreams and sends them to children, teaching her all about the magic and mystery of dreams. Having both been on their own in the world up until now, their affection for one another quickly grows, but Sophie’s presence in Giant Country has attracted the unwanted attention of the other giants, who have become increasingly more bothersome. Sophie and the BFG soon depart for London to see the Queen (Penelope Wilton) and warn her of the precarious giant situation, but they must first convince the Queen and her maid, Mary (Rebecca Hall), that giants do indeed exist. Together, they come up with a plan to get rid of the giants once and for all.

“The BFG” will be in theaters on July 1, 2016.

Now, on to the interview!

How did you get into character every day to play the part?

MARK RYLANCE: Well, every morning it took about an hour and a half of them sticking glow in the dark marbles on us and battery packs and having a lot of painted dots painted on, about 45 minutes of having dots painted on your face through a tight hockey mask. So, there was a lot of time to think and listen to music to get myself in a certain head space.

Interview: Mark Rylance & Jemaine Clement from Disney’s “The BFG”

How hard is it to speak giant?

MARK RYLANCE: Very hard. Very hard indeed. I don’t think there are any actors in the world that could have done what Jemaine and I have done.

JEMAINE CLEMENT: What is that actually, it’s improvising in giant.

MARK RYLANCE: Improvising in giant, it’s like improving in Shakespeare, it’s tricky.

Do you still speak a little giant now?  Can you do it for us now?

MARK RYLANCE: My favorite word I’ve decided is telly-telly bunkum box.

Interview: Mark Rylance & Jemaine Clement from Disney’s “The BFG”

Jemaine, how much fun did you have with this particular giant, he’s very scary but at the same time he’s hilarious.

JEMAINE CLEMENT: He’s really fun. The bad giants would get to rehearse our motion capture and just walk around like big lumps of meat and that was really fun. Smashing things and intimidating people and being stupid is fun.

How did your kids like it?

JEMAINE CLEMENT: My son really loves it. He helped me a lot actually, I read him the book again when we got to Vancouver and if he didn’t like the voice he’d go, “No the other voice,” and that’s how I found the voice.

Was there a particular scene you enjoyed filming the most?

JEMAINE CLEMENT: I think the first time that I come and see Mark in his cave. And I love that part where I ask if you’re there and you say no.  

What do you hope kids take away from this movie?

MARK RYLANCE: The film tells a story of what kids have to offer older people, that older people get tired, they lose faith, they think maybe the world is just a jungle, a dog-eat-dog kinda thing and nothing will change, so best to just do the best I can, give some money to charity, maybe, be kind to some people, but the big problems, nothing’s gonna change and we get tired.

Young people don’t have this, there’s still the bravery and the hope like Sophie does to say, no, we don’t have to put up with this, we can stop this.  


Disclosure: Disney sponsored my travel, accommodations, and activities during my stay in Los Angeles.