Zach Braff talks Oz the Great and Powerful
By Anne Brodie Feb 27, 2013, 19:58 GMT
The prequel to the 1939 classic "The Wizard of Oz" tells of a circus performer named Oz, who is transported through a tornado to the mysterious land of Oz, where he must fight real magic and three witches battling for control of the land. ...more
Zach Braff takes his place in an important chapter in Hollywood history with the film Oz the Great and Powerful.
The prequel to the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz is the Wizard’s origins story. Set in Kansas and then in the vibrant, colorful and magical Oz, we meet Oscar the sideshow magician played by James Franco and his assistant Frank played by Braff.
Once they’re swept off to the Land of Oz, Frank is transformed into Finley the Flying Monkey and together, they begin an exciting new life in a new and very strange place.
We spoke with Braff in Toronto:
M&C: Honestly it must be thrilling to be part of the extended history of the Wizard of Oz. When did it hit you?
Braff: Even when I got asked to be in the movie I though what an honor! I don’t have kids yet but one day to be able to show my kids the movie and me as a cute little monkey and of course onset you’re standing on the Yellow Brick Road, it’s very surreal.
Once you’re there and you’re used to it, that’s one thing, but you see other people coming in who had never been there and it’s fun to watch their faces light up. Wow. We had these giant elaborate sets and you really are on the Yellow Brick Road in a forest. It was so cool.
M&C: How did the costuming set the mood?
Braff: It was beautiful. I always thought when you made these effects movies, and some are, like 300 for example, actors on a big green screen. So I didn’t know that’s how it was going to be.
Sam Raimi the director really wanted to make it in the spirit of the original with these giant elaborate sets like an old fashioned Hollywood movie. He really wanted to do that so it was cool.
It helps actors to look around and you're in Glinda’s courtyard. You’re there and there are munchkins and it’s all real so it helps you be a better actor.
M&C: We see Frank in a short live action sequence at the top as a vaudeville entertainer doing a lot of elaborate physical and musical work.
Braff: Sam is so collaborative because he was like, and he trusted me. He said "Get with the props guy and I want you to come up with a whole routine back there”.
I met this awesome prop guy and we came up with all these sounds and effects and I really wanted it to be like a cockpit, he’s surrounded like a pilot with all these tools, whistles and flutes and I’m really playing all those instruments, except the saw.
He plays the saw one time and I couldn’t really make that sound any good. But all the other stuff, Frank's not meant to be a particularly good musician so I was playing all that stuff. It was fun.
M&C: At one point you have to duck a flying knife coming back from the front of the stage.
Braff: I came up with that idea, it was cool. I thought it would be funny if they were so in unison with their routine that he knows that the magician is going to throw a knife backstage so without even acknowledging it, he just dodges it. It was fun with a little bit of visual comedy is neat.
M&C: Finley the Flying Monkey is Frank, so they have the same character. How did that change your performance, being in a sound booth for Finley?
At times there was a booth but mostly I was onset, acting it out. He’s 36 inches tall so I’d sit on my butt and hunch over and get low in a blue screen onesie and really act the whole thing because Sam wanted a video reference for me and my face for the animators. So there was no difference.
I was really a tool for the animators and together with an animator we just created this great creature.
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FROM THE WEB
Further Reading on M&CJames Franco Biography -
James Franco Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sitesMichelle Williams (actress) Biography - Mila Kunis Biography -
Mila Kunis Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sitesRachel Weisz Biography -
Rachel Weisz Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sitesZach Braff Biography -
Zach Braff Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sites
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