Colin Farrell Discusses Altering The Audiences’ Perception In Saving Mr. Banks

By Eric Eisenberg 2013-12-12 13:41:21discussion comments
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Saving Mr. Banks Colin Farrell

There’s a really interesting evolution to your character in this movie that really comes through the audience’s perception. When you first meet Travers he seems like this free spirit, idyllic kind of guy, this perfect father.

Someone who weaves spells of the imagination.

But as we get deeper into the story we start discovering his faults and it’s almost like we’re seeing it through the child’s eyes realizing that her father isn’t really this great man. How did you approach that evolution of the character?

I mean, I have to give all credit to these to Kelly Marcel for designing such a beautiful script and for really, I mean, she really carved certain beats, because there are only a certain amount of scenes that we had, obviously. There are only a certain amount of times, reflections of the past are dropped in intermittently into the script, where P.L. Travers goes back into her mind, into her memory and she sees days gone by unfold, and so, they were kind of broad strokes. Every time we went back there was a state of development in Travers’ life, which was usually about his, you know, his internal degradation, you know. There was this real fall from grace. You meet him at the start, as you said, he has grace, like literally, physically, verbally, he has this grace to him and that begins to get chipped by time. He’s somebody who could suck it in for a little while, but at the end of the day, couldn’t follow through on his own myth. He could put this myth forth about life and what it is to live a free life, and be a free spirit, but couldn’t actually follow through on it himself.

Do you think he had all of those flaws from the very beginning, when we first see the character and it’s just hidden from us?

I think so. I think what happens in the telling of this film, and what we see, I think has probably happened before and I think that’s probably what they’re leaving. I think that’s some of what Ruth Wilson’s character anxiety is....

She’s already seen it.

She’s terrified. She doesn’t know what the future holds and he’s "Come on gang. Let’s go."

He makes it seem like a magical adventure.

Yes, he’s trying to drive the ship into this unknown territory of adventure and curiosity, when in fact he’s just running from another kind of sense of destruction.
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