"I wanted to tell a very different version of Cinderella because I have two
daughters," says director Andy Tennant. "I didn’t want them growing up
believing you have to marry a rich guy with a big house in order to live happily ever
after." Tennant’s spin on the story is that "Cinderella’s magic comes
from within, not from some fairy godmother."
"it's an adventure with a completely unexpected
Tennant was passionate about delivering a realistic, different Cinderella to the
screen. Ever After is not a cartoon or fairytale – it's an adventure with a
completely unexpected attitude. He also insisted on giving the tale a sense of logic, that
there be specific reasons for certain actions and choices. "This Cinderella isn't a
victim," Tennatn states. "She stays on in her father's house after he dies, from
choice. There are reasons given for stepmother Rodmilla's appalling behaviour. We also
tried to provide some realistic touches to the famous glass slippers and masked ball.
Crucially, Tennant brought together two stars who represent two Hollywood dynasties.
Drew Barrymore, the youngest member of the famed acting family (she's the granddaughter of
John), plays Danielle, the orphan child who, in Tennant's film, is anything but the
passive victim most often depicted in legend. Angelica Huston, daughter of famed filmmaker
John Huston and granddaughter of Walter Huston, portrays Rodmilla, Danielle's upwardly
"a Cinderella for a new generation"
For Barrymore the role of Danielle offered an irresistible opportunity to play someone
she sees as 'a very positive role model for young women, someone classy and fun. She's
athletic and protective of people. She's adventurous, very strong and a survivor. She's
well read, too, because her father gave her wonderfully eloquent, elaborate literature. In
short, she is a Cinderella for a new generation," Barrymore adds.
"It's nice to be wanted," Huston says of Tennant tailoring the role for her.
The story's positive values were another enticement. "It's good to be doing this kind
of movie at a time when there are so many films being made about tough, evil
subjects," she says. "Being involved with something sweet and tender was a
Starring with these two formidable actors is relative newcomer Dougray Scott. The
native Scotsman has his biggest role thus far as Prince Henry. But the film had
attractions other than the size of his role. Ever After is unashamedly romantic, without
being sentimental. The prince is such a famous character, but when I read the script I
didn't see him as a fairy tale figure. He's a realistic and flawed character who has a
life, a history – and his own agenda."
Legendary actress Jeanne Moreau makes a special appearance as the Grand Dame of France,
the only woman who knows the truth behind the Cinderella legend.
"Cinderella's godmother is no fantasy lady"
While the beloved fairy tale has also pictured Cinderella's stepsisters as homely (or
downright ugly), in Ever After, they are attractive young women whose beauty, alas, is
only skin deep. Megan Dodds, who makes her film debut, plays Marguerite and Melanie
Lynskey, who made her film debut in heavenly Creatures, is Jacqueline.
Cinderella's godmother is no fantasy lady, but a flesh and blood Leonardo da Vinci
(Patrick Godfrey), thus grafting a whole new element onto the Brothers' Grimm tale. Also
co-starring are distinguished British actors Timothy West and Judy Parfitt as the King and
Queen of France, and Richard O'Brien (The Rocky Horror Picture Show) as the odious and
lascivious Pierre le Pieu.
Yet, for all the changes, the essence of the story is all there: take your grandma and check it out.