In this, the final recap of a whirlwind press junket in New York City where I got to see an advance screening of Annie and interview stars Cameron Diaz and Bobby Cannavale, I’ll share some of my conversation with director Will Gluck and actors Jamie Foxx (Will Stacks) and Quvenzhané Wallis (Annie).
As you might expect, Jamie Foxx kept things lighthearted and there was plenty of playful banter between the trio. Here are a few highlights from the many questions they answered about making the film.
What made you want to do a family movie this time?
JF: You know, my daughter was on the set of Djano and I just felt like, “We need a change…. But it was great to be able to come and watch Quvenzhané and have my daughter watch someone, you know, her size, you know, and see her being so magical in this movie…. It was just great.
What made you decide to remake Annie and remake it now?
WG: What attracted me to Annie the whole time was the story…. It was about inspiration and hope and optimism and about finding your place in life, whether it’s your family or whoever it is. That’s the most important thing to me about Annie. And I remember going to see the musical with my kids, because I have daughters that are Quvenzhané’s age, on Broadway… and they were singing about FDR and about the New Deal and Hoover and I looked around at the kids and said, “Do you understand anything that’s going on here? And they said, “No, we’re waiting for the dog.” So I said, well let’s do that, let’s do what’s the great, the inspirational message, why Annie‘s so great, why you love Annie, and let’s do it for a new set of kids.
What did you love about Annie?
QW: I love that she had spunk and she was really strong.
Do you feel proud?
QW: Yeah I’m very proud of myself. I’m glad that I’ve gotten this far and that I like what I’m doing and it’s not something I’m pressured to do. It’s something I want to do.
Jamie, you’re a pretty busy father. How do you balance out your career?
JF: You take your kids with you. I did a movie with Oliver Stone in 1999 and I was asking him about how do I go away and do this film and leave my… and he said just bring your kids to work. And so, I wasn’t working a lot in movies during the time of my oldest daughter, so you know I didn’t have that much to be away from. But with my youngest daughter, she goes absolutely everywhere with me, which is great because she can see Daddy go work, she’ll be with me two, three weeks…. She’s been on the set of Djano, she’s been on the set of Spider Man, been on the set of Annie. It’s great because now she understands that when Daddy does have to go, she does have to go to school, she understands why I’m going and what I’m doing.
Annie opens in theaters today, December 19, 2014. To read more about the movie, head over here.