Director Brenda Chapman (Brave) spoke to Screen Rant, along with onscreen brothers Nash and Yates, to share why these two classic tales made so much sense together. They also shared their thoughts on the multicultural heritage being portrayed onscreen, and the delicate balance of playing the triumphs and tragedies side by side.
Brenda, Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland perfectly exemplify growing up to a degree I hadn’t even thought about when I watched the movie. What inspired you first to tackle that concept andmesh those two together?
Brenda Champan: Well, it was Marissa Kate Goodhill who had the idea of putting those two together in the script. And then we worked together quite closely, trying to make sure there was a good balance of the two stories.
But for me, it’s just the whole idea of imagination helping you cope with life, and how important that is. Being able to show that, and especially [now], it’s very timely. Did we know that there was going to be a pandemic? Did we know that Black Lives Matter was going to reach the level it did? No. We were making the phone, but it’s just been kind of bizarre how much it’s been needed.
David and Peter have such a lovely relationship at the start of the film. Can you talk about kind of working together off screen and how the siblings really bonded?
Reece Yates: We were really close off screen. I remember that we used to jump in the pool together and stuff quite a lot of the time, and we really started to get a lot of chemistry. We were joking a lot, and I started to feel like we were actual siblings. So, we just brought that into the screen, I think.
Jordan Nash: I mean, I can’t particularly comments on how it is having siblings, really. But I felt we really got along, and I really got along with the whole crew, the whole cast, the set.
I love how amazing Brenda and Marissa Goodhill were at recreating these two films, from the original J.M. Barrie [Peter Pan] version. And I loved the way Marissa changed this character, because I didn’t know I’d be able to connect with the character always being a white boy in the modern day. …Anyway, I’m going off on a tangent. But yeah, I found it amazing portraying Peter as multicultural in the era.
Speaking of the family dynamic in the film, both of you have complicated relationships to your parents based on the past that they’ve brought your family’s present. What was it like balancing that love you have your parents and then also the tension of what might happen to your family?
Reece Yates: It was really a struggle. It was such a hard thing to find, because I have such an amazing family and nothing bad’s ever happened. I don’t really know, I just found if something did happen, and we were in that situation – I really thought upon it every time before I went to sleep and what it would be to be in that situation. So, I just took that imagination and put it into real life.
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Come Away is out November 13 in theaters and on demand.