Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. However all opinions are my own.
This fantasy-adventure film is inspired by the 1837 Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale as opposed to the 1989 Disney version. This film follows a young girl who discovers an enchanting woman she believes to be the real “Little Mermaid” of lore. William Moseley (“The Royals”) stars as Cam Harrison, a young reporter following a big story about a Mermaid, Poppy Drayton (“Downton Abbey”), and a magic healing water said to cure all. Together with his sick niece Elle, Loreto Peralta (“Instructions Not Included”), they travel to a small town in Mississippi and uncover a legend that’s as mysterious as the circus they find it in. The film also includes Academy Award Winner Shirley MacLaine, (“The Last Word,”) Gina Gershon, (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) and Armando Gutierrez, (“Walt Before Mickey.”)
About the Script
There has been a bit of confusion with The Little Mermaid, as many people thought it was inspired by the Disney film, Blake Harris the director of the film. He told us how he came up with the script:
“I always loved kind of telling these big inspirational stories where you know that the eve of the world the needs of the world just looking at it from a kid’s point of view what kind of adventure you could go on if you meet something that is you know something that you believe to not exist but yet it really does. And that was kind of the beginning point. I think that was the part that a lot of people kind of rallied around and you know the fact that there aren’t a lot of family films outside of Disney and outside of the big superhero movies like Will was talking about earlier you know. So it was kind of right time right place and things just kind of all came together.”
Poppy Drayton as The Little Mermaid
One of the interesting facts we found out from Poppy Drayton who plays The Little Mermaid in this film is that the tale was handmade, as there is no CGI in this film. Poppy told us that the tale was very heavy but she practiced to get better at swimming with it on. Poppy shared this tidbit of information on how she was able to get used to swimming with this heavy tale for the film, The Little Mermaid, “I thank my local pool. Every day for two months before I started because I wanted to get really, really proficient at something and I was okay beforehand and typically wasn’t great. But I then got really, really good. And I would go up and down for hours just like a mermaid would.”
William Mosely as Cam Harrison
We were curious how William Mosely decided to take on the role of Cam in this film, he told us, “I read the script and instantly I knew. I was fortunate enough that I started my career with the Chronicles of Narnia franchise and I felt that the story had a lot of similarity in the fact that it’s a little girl with her belief in this mermaid. And you know there was these magical elements to it and you know I felt there were dynamics and there were story elements that were very similar that I had that I felt that I could play. And so I called my manager and I said I really want to do this. We want to be a part of the story. Rob and Blake then brought me onto the film and I think the script speaks for itself. We all fell in love with it and that was really Blake’s vision and on his story that has made this film what it is.”
Here are some of the other questions and answers during our media call with the cast:
Q. William and Poppy why don’t you guys tell everyone how you came onto this movie.
Poppy: Well I got an e-mail from my agent and I read the script and I immediately fell in love with it. I thought it was a beautiful story and there was so many really whimsical magical moments in it that captured my imagination and as soon as I finished it I called my agent and went “I’d love to be in it” and it was like instant and then we just flew out and I joined the team and that was it really and the rest went from there.
William: Yeah it was a very similar experience for me. I read the script and instantly I knew. I was fortunate enough that I started my career with the Chronicles of Narnia franchise and I felt that the story had a lot of similarity in the fact that it’s a little girl with her belief in this mermaid. And you know there were these magical elements to it and you know I felt there were dynamics and there were story elements that were very similar that I had that I felt that I could play. And so I called my manager and I said I really want to do this. We want to be a part of the story. Rob and Blake then brought me onto the film and I think the script speaks for itself. We all fell in love with it and that was really Blake’s vision and on his story that has made this film what it is.
Q. And William you play a big brother and a caretaker in this film obviously and it’s such a touching relationship. Tell us about developing the relationship with Loreto Peralta who plays your little sister your niece in the film.
William: Yeah, you know I am the oldest of three. I have a younger brother and youngest sister. And you know I always try to think about what it would be like if this is my sister or my brother. If this was a family member of mine and then you don’t really have to say much you know you’re just in it – you know you just feel like you’re with your own siblings. And that’s when those fortunate things with the story that you know connects with you. Your own life. That was what I thought about when I was working with the rest of it. And fortunately she was such a lovely actress and a lovely person and the family was so, so great. It was it was a very easy symbiotic relationship.
Q. Why did you spend a lot of time with her when you weren’t shooting as well.
William: I did. It was really fun. You know we had a lot of fun on the film, we went off on adventures and we visited things and it was fun to open a children’s story – as opposed to like a horror film… I enjoyed our time and play.
Q. So coming into this how much research did you guys have to prepare for your role?
Poppy: I did end up researching fish which is fascinating. And the movement of dolphins. I put a lot of research into that. I just kind of swamped myself in a lot of Blue Planet — don’t know if you guys watched Blue Planet but I was obsessed with that for a long time … And yeah I really tried it to investigate the fish world as much as possible which sounds really weird but I did. I got really into it.
Q. Where did you go to research?
Poppy: It was just my own self-directed research that I did in my flat back in London and I did go to the pet shop one time and hung out with the fish; I did!
William: Did they talk back?
Q. This is probably a question for Blake and maybe Robert: What inspired you to set this film in the south and give it the Southern twist?
Blake: You know, it’s a lot of open land, a lot of woods — it’s water based, it’s a lot of it. I think that. You know traveling from somewhere in the Northeast and going somewhere like Mississippi or Georgia or Alabama, it’s a shock right? There is a huge difference to someone who has only seen big cities. That means it’s your world. Your eyes open wide to how different it is.
Robert: You’re literally the fish out of water. And in many ways I think that was what was so compelling about this. The displacing of it … You know these things were real– these traveling circuses went around selling things; they were kind of snake oil salesmen.
Blake: And it became kind of known in the area that they would sell real mermaids. If you looked up you could see these old posters and these old advertisements that they would make for this and it was a real thing – selling. You know coming to see the mermaid selling, healing water, all these kind of things were actually real. So bringing that air of reality to it in mass…Well wait a second what if it really was? What if you went to one of these traveling circuses that were so big at the time and you really discovered that there actually was a real mermaid? When we really discussed it, there was something interesting because Mississippi is another fascinating element of all this which – because you know in the movie – the story takes place in Mississippi and I think that you know that’s a compelling thing and the Mississippi River; you have so many legends, so many stories, and so many things kind of revolving around that.
And you know it helps that it’s a river and you know kind of give some definition on where a mermaid can kind of venture out as a writer you have all these answers to kind of prebuilt stories that you never necessarily see on screen but that’s one of them where it’s if you are controlled and you know there’s a brief scene where we’d see a rushing river where Cam and they’ll run into the woods. And the idea there is that you just went for a swim along the river and came out. So yeah, the south and all that was compelling really just because it does have this hint of old kind of mystery and magic to it. But mostly a lot of it is the fact that this was real this was really happening in that era.
So happy that Armando Gutierrez got to join the call! He plays Locke in the film and he’s also a producer on the film.
Q. Armando, since we have you on the line now, why do not you tell us what it was like to be an actor and a producer – a villain and a producer?
Armando: Too much work! I think Rob and Blake had enough of me by the end! It’s fun. I enjoyed the challenge. The movie was totally worth it. It’s one of those things that from day one we want to just create. It’s just a fun journey. Every day was different. Challenging And it’s just finding the answers.
Q. Armando, what do you want the viewers to take away from this movie?
“I think for me personally it’s very easy it’s just the power of belief, to believe in magic. Believe and wonder in all these kinds of things and really just to believe that anything is possible”.
Poppy: And I think fish can speak because if you believe it, it’s true.
Blake: It can happen if you believe.
Poppy: Yes indeed.
Fun Facts about “The Little Mermaid”
- No CGI was used in the film.
- There were two hand-painted mermaid tails used which were both very heavy.
- One tail was floppy while the other was stiff. Both tails were used in different scenes depending on the type of swimming that was done.
- Poppy Drayton had to be carried around the set while in her mermaid tail.
- -Poppy sings beautifully in the film but was very nervous to do so.
- Poppy practiced swimming in a faux mermaid tail for months before the film to become a better swimmer.
- Poppy watched a lot of “Blue Planet” and studied the movement of dolphins and fish for her role.
- The film was shot in Savannah, Georgia (with a few shots done in Florida)
- The original film title was “The Little Mermaid of Mississippi”
When asked what the cast wants the viewers to take away from The Little Mermaid film
Blake: “Just allow your inner child to believe and to play and to get swept up in the wind of it because I think as adults we get led by our brains. We’re always thinking and we’re always processing and we’re always analyzing and with the pace of life is so quick and you don’t really stop and just play and just allow yourself to believe in things that aren’t real you think aren’t real. You just we intellectualize too much instead of just. Keeping ourselves open to lots possibility. So I think if it unlocks a playful child inside to the adult to go and watch it then that then little victory for us.”
The Little Mermaid” will be in AMC Theatres nationwide on August 17th so get your tickets now!
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