Keep­ing it real

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Cover Story -

Bambi where you could see Bambi’s eyes in the dark. I must be the only kid in the western world who was afraid of Bambi. But I know Merida is def­i­nitely a bit out­side the Dis­neyPixar box.”

She con­ferred with her Board­walk co-star Steve Buscemi, star of Mon­sters Inc and in­com­ing se­quel Mon­sters Univer­sity, about the voice work but still found it chal­leng­ing.

“It was re­ally hard work,” she says. “Usu­ally it’s go­ing into a booth and recit­ing some lines. For this we were on a huge sound stage. The di­rec­tor, Mark An­drews, would say ‘Now say it like you’ve been hit with a branch’. So I’d think about that and then give it a go. And then he’d say: ‘Now do it like you’re get­ting hit by a big­ger branch. On a horse’.”

She en­joyed be­ing a tomboy teen though ad­mits she was a failed tomboy in real life.

“I couldn’t have been re­bel­lious be­cause I had noth­ing to rebel against,” she says. “I wanted to be a tomboy rebel. Calamity Jane was my big hero­ine when I was grow­ing up. I used to run around pre­tend­ing to be on a horse. I still love the film. When I told Martin Scors­ese, he looked ap­palled and started plead­ing for me to watch An­nie Get Your Gun and Sin­gin’ in the Rain.”

She looks con­tem­pla­tive. “I did used to climb trees,” she of­fers. “I’d sit in a tree and make lit­tle noises to freak out the neigh­bours: ‘Helloooo!’ But­most of the time my mum was try­ing to get me out the door. I was a home­body. I was never as strong willed as Merida.”

She re­mains rooted in Glas­gow with hus­band Dougie and four-year-old son Fred­die, though the fam­ily do have to spend half the year in New York when Board­walk Em­pire is in pro­duc­tion. “New York is vi­brant – I love the en­ergy. But when I come back to Glas­gow my shoul­ders drop. And I end up be­ing early for Fred­die’s preschool ev­ery day be­cause it takes no time to get any­where.”

Princess Merida in Brave

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