warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

THEATER TALK: Meet The Cast Of The 'Into The Woods' Movie

Katie Buenneke |
October 18, 2013 | 10:47 a.m. PDT

Theater Editor

For the past few weeks, the movie version of Stephen Sondheim's musical "Into the Woods" has been filming in Europe. It's a seriously exciting time for fans of the musical and Sondheim fans. Will Rob Marshall pull off another "Chicago" and deliver a film adaptation that builds upon the musical, or will we have another situation like the less-than-thrilling "Nine"? Only time will tell, but for now, we can content ourselves with the massive amounts of talent he has corralled into his cast.

Meryl Streep as The Witch
Meryl Streep. The woman is very possibly the most famous actress of our time. She's been nominated for more Oscars than I would be able to count on three hands. She's Meryl Streep, 'nuff said. Her last foray into musical theater was with 2008's movie adaptation of "Mamma Mia" (not my personal favorite, but I'll let bygones be bygones). I'm most looking forward to seeing Meryl Streep, three-time Oscar winner, rap Sondheim lyrics. Here's Bernadette Peters in the original Broadway production, which, by the way, you can watch in full on Netflix.

Anna Kendrick as Cinderella
I love Anna Kendrick. You should love Anna Kendrick. Everyone should love Anna Kendrick and we can all have a giant Anna Kendrick appreciation party. She's definitely got musical chops, as anyone who saw last year's "Pitch Perfect" can attest. She's been doing theater and musical theater since she was a wee little lass (she was nominated for a Tony for "High Society" when she was 12). She certainly has practice working with Sondheim's music, as evidenced by this clip from the 2003 movie "Camp" (and NO I WILL NOT stop linking to this video until everyone has seen it because it is AMAZING).

READ MORE: REVIEW: 'Pitch Perfect' Hits All The Right Notes

James Corden as The Baker
Okay, I'll be honest, I'd never heard Corden sing until I sat down to write this article, but I've been sold on him as the Baker from the start. He's one of my favorite guest stars on "Doctor Who," and he was sidesplittingly hilarious in "One Man, Two Guvnors" last year (a role for which he won a Tony Award). And then I found this clip of him singing Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now" and I fell a little bit more in love.

Emily Blunt as The Baker's Wife
Emily Blunt is a super talented actress, so I'm down with her being on board for "Into the Woods." I don't know much about her as a singer, but I did find a clip of her singing from a British TV movie and she sounds like a good singer, so I'm sure she'll be great in the movie.

Lilla Crawford as Red Riding Hood
I hate "Annie" and I don't really like child actors, and child actors in musical theater usually freak me out, so I have to give Lilla Crawford props for making me like her in spite of my prejudices. I still think she's too young to play Little Red (there's a LOT of sexual subtext in that part, and it really lends itself much better to being played by a young-looking adult), but I'm glad the role is in capable hands. I guess the upside of being in "Annie" is that she's used to acting opposite much older men? I'm a lot more comfortable with Daddy Warbucks than the Wolf, though…

READ MORE: Theater Review: 'Annie' On Broadway

Johnny Depp as the Wolf
Well, Johnny Depp, much like Meryl Streep, needs little introduction. I think he's a tremendously talented actor, though I wish he wouldn't keep playing the same three characters in pretty much every movie he's been in over the past decade. But if you look back to "Dead Man" and "What's Eating Gilbert Grape," it's immensely clear how great of an actor he is. I'm sure he'll be deliciously creepy as the Wolf, but, as I mentioned earlier, I'm still not okay with the fact that Lilla Crawford is so very young. Anyways, here he is singing "My Friends" from Sondheim's "Sweeney Todd."

Daniel Huttlestone as Jack
If you saw the movie version of "Les Miserables" (and if you're reading this, I'm assuming you did), you'll recognize Huttlestone as the young martyr Gavroche. He's been in musicals on the West End since he was 9, so he definitely knows what he's doing. I am on board with having Jack played by a child, so I'm looking forward to hearing his version of "Giants in the Sky." Also, this video has bonus Aaron Tveit, so of course I had to include it.

Chris Pine and Billy Magnussen as The Princes
Yes. Yes. So much yes. And not just because both Pine and Magnussen are easy on the eyes (though that certainly doesn't hurt, and is a total requirement for the princes) but also because they're super talented dudes. Pine used to do plays at the Geffen and the Taper, but hasn't graced an L.A. stage for an extended run since 2010 (we want you back, Chris, we want you back!). He sang a song in a movie I never saw, but his voice sounds good—and unexpectedly deep! Tony nominee/soap opera star Magnussen, who was in last season's highly-acclaimed "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" on Broadway, has a very nice voice, as he shows in this video of him singing at an "As the World Turns" event.
Their "Agony" should be pure delight.

For more theater coverage, click here.

Reach Theater Editor Katie here, or follow her on Twitter here.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.