“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” is the sequel to the dark Disney fairy tale that tells the story of a powerful fairy who has to rise to become the fierce protector of a magical forest called the Moors.
In the first movie released in 2014, Maleficent curses her enemy’s newborn daughter, Princess Aurora, but later realizes that she is key to restoring peace in the kingdom.
“In the first film everything was new no one had seen anything and we definitely turned that fairytale on its head and switched it up and so we were curious how fans of these characters were going to respond because they were enemies for so long and we then made them this mother and daughter,” Elle Fanning who plays the princess, told Efe.
After the success of the first movie, the team didn’t rush into the sequel.
“With the second film I think we wanted to wait and just do a sequel right after,” Fanning continued.
“We had to wait those fives years for me to get older and for us to grow and really and find a story that we wanted to tell that is also related to the world that we are living in now,” the actress added.
Jolie has also returned to play the evil fairy five years later in this reinvention of the Charles Perrault’s (1628 -1703) story written in the 17th century.
“It can be freeing to do a fairy tale because you can speak about many things but in a way that is not so obvious, so you tell moral tales in more colorful ways,” Jolie told Efe.
“You can talk about very heavy subjects from diversity and people who act in anger out of fear, all of these things, but you can do it in a lighter way that’s more accessible,” she added.
When asked about Maleficent’s evil nature, Jolie said that like many people who appear dark or hardened there may be more beneath the surface.
“I hope it has a good message to understand people deeply,” Jolie said.
“Many people who seem very hard and very dark usually have a lot of pain and aren’t all bad,” she added.
Maleficent defies stagnant gender roles that in other narratives present a helpless princess being saved by a prince.
For this movie, Disney has left these stereotypes behind in favor of a more balanced approach.
“We wanted to make sure that the prince is also very strong and all the men in the film are very strong and that was important to us because we want strong women but we also want strong men,” Jolie said.
In the strong female-led cast Michelle Pfeiffer joins Fanning and Jolie as the mother of Prince Phillip, played by Harris Dickinson, who asks for Aurora’s hand in marriage.
In the sequel, Maleficent, who has up until now been the face of evil, takes a softer turn as Pfeiffer in her role as Queen Ingrith plots to divide humans and fairies forever by unleashing a war.
The conflict brings brewing tensions between Maleficent and Aurora to the surface again.
For Fanning, this is the first sequel of her life and playing Aurora has proven to be one of the most exciting moments of her professional life.
How did you react when you got the call to play Aurora, Jolie asked smiling.
“Oh my! I was screaming just like…huge smile,” Fanning recalled excitedly.
“I was freaking out, that was a really big deal.
“I remember going to Disney and having the meeting and not knowing… To play a Disney princess, at that age, I was freaking out so it was a special time in my life.
“It kind of marked that chapter and changed a lot for me in my life.
“So now to get to come back, and I’ve never done a sequel to a movie before, so to revisit a character and show the fans how Aurora, how she’s grown, I was feeling a responsibility to them ad myself because she’s a character that’s close to my heart,” the actress added.
When asked what other fairy tales would be interesting to explore Jolie suggested that a coming together of villains could be a good project.
“Maybe one day they should all come together,” Jolie suggested.
“Yeah! All the (Disney) villains come together,” Fanning agreed.