Interview with Ella Ballentine and Sara Botsford about YTV’s Anne of Green Gables

(From L to R) Sara Botsford, Ella Ballentine and Martin Sheen in Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables (CNW Group/YTV Canada Inc.)
Sara Botsford, Ella Ballentine and Martin Sheen in YTV’s new movie adaptation of Anne of Green Gables

The iconic story of Anne of Green Gables is set to be introduced to a whole new generation on Monday (February 15) when YTV screens its amazing new movie adaptation in a two-hour special across Canada.

The film stars 13-year-old newcomer Ella Ballentine as Anne Shirley, E.N.G star Sara Botsford as Marilla Cuthbert and Apocalypse Now legend Martin Sheen as Marilla’s brother Matthew.

M&C was lucky enough to chat to both Ella and Sara ahead of its release.

The 1908 story by Lucy Maud Montgomery tells the tale of orphan Anne who is sent to work on Marilla and Matthew’s farm on Prince Edward Island.

But the pair had wanted a boy to help out rather than a girl and the story explores the effect Anne has on them and their close-knit community with her gregarious personality and boundless imagination.

Asked what she related to in her character, Ella said: “She’s so wonderful. She’s very bubbly, and angelic, and she talks a lot. She’s very independent; she doesn’t need other people, and I think that’s why everyone loves her. She has this big personality and that’s why people at Green Gables fall in love with her.

“I personally love her because she knows what she wants and she knows how she’s going to do it. She’s going to stay at Green Gables, and that’s her mission, so she sets her mind to it and does the chores and does everything she can. That’s like me [smiles], when I wanted a dog I was definitely doing that.”

The 1908 book of the same name is a Canadian classic and has sold more than 50 million copies around the world, and Montgomery also published a string of sequels.

Watch the video below as stars Sara Botsford and Ella Ballentine discuss the story and YTV’s much-anticipated production.

Anne of Green Gables premiers on Monday, February 15 at 6 p.m. ET/PT on YTV

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