Enchanted

Enchanted

In the Disney film Enchanted, Patrick Dempsey plays a modern day Prince Charming who has given up on love, is reluctant to make commitments and is distinctly unromantic.

Life changes dramatically for this New York divorce lawyer and single parent, when he comes across a real fairy tale princess (Amy Adams).

Convinced that she is more than slightly unhinged, he soon becomes charmed – and enchanted by her sweet nature and authentic optimism. Opposites attract and as the story unfolds, Giselle discovers what it means to have a real relationship, while Robert finds out about the magic of true love. In this warm and sunny comedy, which mixes animation with live action, the classic Disney theme is turned upside down. Ostensibly the Disney damsel Giselle (Amy Adams) and the cynical New Yorker Robert, have nothing in common. She comes from the land of Andalasia, where dreams come true and love lasts forever.

He lives in the gritty world of Manhattan – his wife left him and he is raising their daughter alone. Even his profession is centered on the practicalities of dealing with broken dreams and failed relationships.

Giselle on the hand has just met ‘the love of her life’ (Prince Edward), but has been cruelly banished from her glorious home, to New York, by her Prince’s jealous and very wicked stepmother, Queen Narissa (played with gleeful malevolence by Susan Sarandon).

Initially lost, confused and terrified in a city that is so alien to her, she soon embarks on a fantastic adventure – enchanting everyone she meets, especially Robert and his little girl.

Patrick Dempsey portrays a man who does not believe in fairy tales, yet is so taken with the beautiful princess, that he finds himself inexorably drawn to her. In this delightful comedy directed by Kevin Lima, two worlds collide. But as Robert and Giselle get to know each other, they learn from each other too: Giselle discovers what it takes to have a real relationship that goes beyond sugary ‘happy ever after sentiment’, while Robert learns how to trust and how to celebrate life. Dempsey grew up on the East coast of America, where he loved performing as a child – and juggling! His early films include Heaven Help Us and Meatballs 3. But he became well known around the world, with the hit film Can't Buy Me Love in 1987.

Other film roles followed over the years, including Outbreak with Dustin Hoffman, Scream 3, Sweet Home Alabama with Reese Witherspoon and Freedom Writers with Hilary Swank. He currently stars in the popular medical drama, Grey's Anatomy , as neurosurgeon, Dr. Derek Shepherd, otherwise known as Dr. ‘McDreamy. His next film is Mde Of Honor.

The actor Dempsey and his second wife, makeup artist Jillian Fink have a five year-old daughter Tallula, The couple’s other children are year-old twin sons Darby and Sullivan.

What is the appeal of Enchanted? What makes it stand out from other Disney films would you say?

It is really great. It is rare to make a movie that everyone will enjoy. I think it is wonderful to have a magical Disney film that celebrates the genre and the classic films, but at the same time is also making a little fun of the fairy tale genre.

It blows the myth out of the water and in this story; the princess character is very strong. It turns it all upside down in a unique and very clever way.

The whole motivation and appeal for me in terms of making this film, was the fact that I have a little girl myself (and I play a father in the movie).

With a family of my own, I really wanted to make a family film, so this meant a lot to me. It was something I knew I would enjoy taking my wife to see, and it is also a movie that my daughter can see, with beautiful dancing and costumes and amazing sets and a lovely story. And it is such an interesting approach to romantic comedy.

What do you think is the most interesting theme of the movie?

I like the fact that it changes the myth of the fairytale princess. If you look at it from the point of view of masculine and feminine energy, the female actually saves the masculine energy. That was so interesting to me, especially having a daughter. Also the film changes the whole concept and dynamic of what a princess is today.

Prince Edward and Giselle supposedly fall madly in love at first sight – do you think that is possible?

You can certainly be moved by another person, I don’t know whether that is falling in love. But I think the film is interesting as a metaphor for the world we live in: We really need to find love, acceptance and forgiveness.

What is true love from your perspective?

I think true love is the connection you find with someone. I do not necessarily think it is ‘happy ever after’ or perfect, but it is chasing perfection that is fun and exciting. It is always a lot of work.

I have been married for almost nine years now and I do find that the more we work through our issues, the closer we become as a couple and the more we grow as individuals. I am a much better person now because of my wife and children.

What does your daughter think about the film, is she excited?

She was there on the set and she loved it, she got to hang out with the ‘princess’ all day, (Amy). I think she really loved the animation and the chipmunk and the dancing and the musical numbers particularly. She likes the fact that they made a doll of my character. I have a Robert doll and my daughter loves it and she likes Giselle’s. Actually when I saw my doll I thought ‘I wish I looked that good’.

How challenging was the role?

It was challenging, to keep the reality strong and solid because I had to stay centered and I have to make it credible so people believe that I really could fall in love with someone like Giselle, from a fairy tale world. That was important because the audience relates to my character. In a way I represent the audience.

Was the experience of making Enchanted enjoyable?

I thought the film was a great idea and so unique, as soon as I read the script. But while I was making the movie, to be honest, I wasn’t really comfortable at all and it was very difficult to do.

There are all these different styles going on at once and it was extremely challenging. There were times when I wanted to put the scrubs back on and go back to Grey's Anatomy, because I kept worrying that I was too serious or not funny enough.

I felt profoundly insecure throughout the entire course of the film. But then watching the finished film and seeing it in context, I see how it works. In retrospect I can see (as Kevin kept telling me) that I was hitting the right note. The character is deeply wounded and has been abandoned and he is trying to do the best thing for his daughter, whom he adores.

So in hindsight, I was actually in the right space and captured his confusion and I think it worked well. We were capturing the dynamic between the characters, but while I was on set, I didn’t know it was working.

What aspects were easier – or at least fun?

I really enjoyed the musical scenes with Amy, because I admire her so much and she was so fascinating to watch, she is so talented. I was constantly blown away by how she brought her character to life.

The choreographer, John O’Connell was great, he brought such a passion and sensitivity to the dance number, where each move represented something in that relationship and I really loved that.

The chemistry between you and Amy is great, what was it like working with her?

I adore here, she absolutely fabulous – I think she is a phenomenal actress and I would do every movie with her if I could. She is smart and sensitive – an old-fashioned movie star.

How challenging was that intricate ballroom dancing scene – which comes at a dramatic moment in the plot?

It was great, but there was a funny moment in the rehearsal when Amy would not let me lead her. She is very experienced at ballet, but that is very different from ballroom dancing and she kept pushing me around. (laughs).

I would say: ‘what are you doing? I am the man, I’m leading’, we started working with a dance instructor, but she would not listen and let me lead and she wouldn’t wear shoes. But I was wearing mine and I stepped on her accidentally and she ripped her toenail right off. She was supposed to go back and she went forward. It was quite dramatic. A

After that, we separated for a while completely and she went off to get a fruit smoothie. And then when we started to dance again and the music came on, everything changed, we started looking at each other for the first time and then emotion came through the dance and it was amazing. I found her vulnerability and had to take care of her and it turned everything around and changed the dynamic. For me, that day was amazing, it was one of the best and most interesting days I had making the movie. That moment developed our chemistry, because it forced me to lead her gently – and respectfully. And she had to surrender to that. I really loved the dancing and that scene is one of my favorite in the movie.

Why do you think the blend of Giselle’s innocence and your realism works so well and is so credible in the film?

I think the audience starts to believe in the story early on, when the film has moved from animation in Andalasia, to live action in New York and Giselle is baffled as she is quickly discovering that New York is very different from the innocent place she left behind. My character says ironically to her: ‘Welcome to New York’ and she says ‘thank you’ in a very genuine way, which changes the audience. They start to buy in to the story.

Then there is a wonderful scene in which she opens the windows of my apartment and starts singing to the animals and people really get affected by the film, from that point onwards.

There is a wonderful scene in Central Park that is quite delightful, so uplifting – with a fantastic musical number and dancing, what was that like to film?

It was unbelievable, I loved it. There were crowds in the park watching and we all felt that we were part of a very special movie moment, it was really magical. I had never experienced anything like it before.

What was it like working with Susan Sarandon?

It was a blast, she was lovely, really sweet; not at all self-conscious, and she threw herself into the film and was just like one of the gang.

It is so refreshing to see someone like her, who has had so much success in her life, but manages to remain normal and down to earth. She is very friendly and a makes fantastic Queen Narissa.

Are you still enjoying Grey's Anatomy, your TV show?

I am enjoying it a lot, I am grateful for the show, it changed my life. I am happy to have a job, it’s good and hopefully it doesn’t define me either. It has been unbelievable for my career.

Before I got the part, there was a period that was very difficult in my career. It was strange to go from that position, to success, almost overnight. Most of the first season making the show, we had no idea what would happen, whether it would be last. So we were all thrilled that the show took off.

Do you deal with fame and success better at this point in your life do you think?

Yes, I don’t think I could’ve done so well with this kind of fame earlier in my life. And I think because I have a family and a life outside of all this, it makes it much easier to stay grounded. I worked very hard to get to this point. I am very humble and grateful to be in this position.

Is it true that you began your entertainment career as a juggler, when you were in your teens?

As a kid I started off juggling and loved it. I was second in the International Jugglers’ competition in the junior division in 1982. I loved ski racing, I was a big skier and I remember my ski teacher was in a vaudeville troupe and he happened to be juggling and I told him I would like to learn, I was naturally good at it. I went home and practiced all night and he introduced me to some great clowns and jugglers.

Then suddenly the town where I lived in Maine had become the hotbed for a new Vaudevillian movement and juggling opened a whole new world for me and started me off as a performer.

Do you juggle at home for the kids?

A little bit every now and then, my little girl likes it. I did a little bit for a film coming out next year. The director said: ‘can you juggle plates?’ So I started juggling china plates and did not drop them once. Then we turned around and off camera I dropped five plates and went through the entire china collection.

You have one year-old twin sons – are you a hands on dad? It must be a lot of work?

It is wild, it is really interesting. To be honest I don’t change a lot of diapers. Of course we have nanny help; to give us some sleep and rest. But now the boys are like little puppies, bouncing all over the place. I really love having a big family and certainly at this point in my life it really keeps everything in perspective, it forces you to try harder and work a little harder to give them everything you can.

With twins there is a lot of activity in the house and not a lot of time for relaxation. We are enjoying every minute of being parents second time around.

I’m there a lot, playing with the twins, bonding with them and I have spent a lot of time making the transition with my daughter, so that she feels loved and knows that we are there for her and that nothing has changed.

What are your dreams and goals?

I grew up on a country road in Maine and I would love to go back there. I recently bought the house I always dreamed about living in, growing up, as well as a farmhouse next door for my mother. I also love England too and could live quite happily in the English countryside, I think the Cotswolds are very beautiful, I don’t mind rain and cold and it is lovely to be in nature with horses, in the peace and quiet.

In your 20s you want to be in the city but now I’ve had that experience, I want to raise my family in a very simple, quiet way. It’s hard to do that at the moment though, because we are filming in LA and my daughter has started kindergarten, so we will have to wait.

But I do have a dream of living in a small town and my wife shares that dream. We want to give our children the opportunity to play in open spaces. The older I get, the more I want to return to the lifestyle I had growing up, as a small kid, playing in the woods and the fields and being around animals. I would love that and one day we’ll leave this hectic lifestyle behind.

Q: What has it been like for you becoming a heartthrob on Grey's Anatomy and now Enchanted, with that image of the handsome leading man. Is it fun?

I always find it funny when people say that I am handsome or I am perceived in that way. It makes me wonder whom are they talking to, it’s interesting.

But my character on the show is really a mythical man and a certain archetype that feeds into a lot of fantasies. There are a lot of men out there considered as handsome men: George Clooney is good looking; he is the classical handsome movie star. I am just average looking.

But it’s fun and it is certainly nice to have the attention. I was known for being geeky and awkward as a kid. This projection of being sexy or handsome is funny to me; I certainly don’t see myself that way.

Enchanted does continue that image of course, especially when I am in that blue suit dressed as a prince. It is good because being a prince it brings out the better qualities in me.

Have you had a fairy tale moment in your own life?

Every day now is a fairy tale, quite honestly, I am lucky to be sitting here, and it is great. I have a wonderful family with my daughter and twin sons who are now nine months old. I am very grateful for my career, I have no problems enjoying my life, my career and the success I have been having recently.

You never know how long it is going to last, and who really is your friend in Hollywood and who isn’t, what their agendas are. But I don’t get involved in that.

I want to continue making interesting, challenging movies that are non violent, I particularly love comedy. I think there is a real need for comedy in the world at the moment. Really, I just want to keep having a good career with interesting roles.

In the Disney film Enchanted, Patrick Dempsey plays a modern day Prince Charming who has given up on love, is reluctant to make commitments and is distinctly unromantic.

Life changes dramatically for this New York divorce lawyer and single parent, when he comes across a real fairy tale princess (Amy Adams).

Convinced that she is more than slightly unhinged, he soon becomes charmed – and enchanted by her sweet nature and authentic optimism. Opposites attract and as the story unfolds, Giselle discovers what it means to have a real relationship, while Robert finds out about the magic of true love. In this warm and sunny comedy, which mixes animation with live action, the classic Disney theme is turned upside down. Ostensibly the Disney damsel Giselle (Amy Adams) and the cynical New Yorker Robert, have nothing in common. She comes from the land of Andalasia, where dreams come true and love lasts forever.

He lives in the gritty world of Manhattan – his wife left him and he is raising their daughter alone. Even his profession is centered on the practicalities of dealing with broken dreams and failed relationships.

Giselle on the hand has just met ‘the love of her life’ (Prince Edward), but has been cruelly banished from her glorious home, to New York, by her Prince’s jealous and very wicked stepmother, Queen Narissa (played with gleeful malevolence by Susan Sarandon).

Initially lost, confused and terrified in a city that is so alien to her, she soon embarks on a fantastic adventure – enchanting everyone she meets, especially Robert and his little girl.

Patrick Dempsey portrays a man who does not believe in fairy tales, yet is so taken with the beautiful princess, that he finds himself inexorably drawn to her. In this delightful comedy directed by Kevin Lima, two worlds collide. But as Robert and Giselle get to know each other, they learn from each other too: Giselle discovers what it takes to have a real relationship that goes beyond sugary ‘happy ever after sentiment’, while Robert learns how to trust and how to celebrate life. Dempsey grew up on the East coast of America, where he loved performing as a child – and juggling! His early films include Heaven Help Us and Meatballs 3. But he became well known around the world, with the hit film Can't Buy Me Love in 1987.

Other film roles followed over the years, including Outbreak with Dustin Hoffman, Scream 3, Sweet Home Alabama with Reese Witherspoon and Freedom Writers with Hilary Swank. He currently stars in the popular medical drama, Grey's Anatomy , as neurosurgeon, Dr. Derek Shepherd, otherwise known as Dr. ‘McDreamy. His next film is Mde Of Honor.

The actor Dempsey and his second wife, makeup artist Jillian Fink have a five year-old daughter Tallula, The couple’s other children are year-old twin sons Darby and Sullivan.

What is the appeal of Enchanted? What makes it stand out from other Disney films would you say?

It is really great. It is rare to make a movie that everyone will enjoy. I think it is wonderful to have a magical Disney film that celebrates the genre and the classic films, but at the same time is also making a little fun of the fairy tale genre.

It blows the myth out of the water and in this story; the princess character is very strong. It turns it all upside down in a unique and very clever way.

The whole motivation and appeal for me in terms of making this film, was the fact that I have a little girl myself (and I play a father in the movie).

With a family of my own, I really wanted to make a family film, so this meant a lot to me. It was something I knew I would enjoy taking my wife to see, and it is also a movie that my daughter can see, with beautiful dancing and costumes and amazing sets and a lovely story. And it is such an interesting approach to romantic comedy.

What do you think is the most interesting theme of the movie?

I like the fact that it changes the myth of the fairytale princess. If you look at it from the point of view of masculine and feminine energy, the female actually saves the masculine energy. That was so interesting to me, especially having a daughter. Also the film changes the whole concept and dynamic of what a princess is today.

Prince Edward and Giselle supposedly fall madly in love at first sight – do you think that is possible?

You can certainly be moved by another person, I don’t know whether that is falling in love. But I think the film is interesting as a metaphor for the world we live in: We really need to find love, acceptance and forgiveness.

What is true love from your perspective?

I think true love is the connection you find with someone. I do not necessarily think it is ‘happy ever after’ or perfect, but it is chasing perfection that is fun and exciting. It is always a lot of work.

I have been married for almost nine years now and I do find that the more we work through our issues, the closer we become as a couple and the more we grow as individuals. I am a much better person now because of my wife and children.

What does your daughter think about the film, is she excited?

She was there on the set and she loved it, she got to hang out with the ‘princess’ all day, (Amy). I think she really loved the animation and the chipmunk and the dancing and the musical numbers particularly. She likes the fact that they made a doll of my character. I have a Robert doll and my daughter loves it and she likes Giselle’s. Actually when I saw my doll I thought ‘I wish I looked that good’.

How challenging was the role?

It was challenging, to keep the reality strong and solid because I had to stay centered and I have to make it credible so people believe that I really could fall in love with someone like Giselle, from a fairy tale world. That was important because the audience relates to my character. In a way I represent the audience.

Was the experience of making Enchanted enjoyable?

I thought the film was a great idea and so unique, as soon as I read the script. But while I was making the movie, to be honest, I wasn’t really comfortable at all and it was very difficult to do.

There are all these different styles going on at once and it was extremely challenging. There were times when I wanted to put the scrubs back on and go back to Grey's Anatomy, because I kept worrying that I was too serious or not funny enough.

I felt profoundly insecure throughout the entire course of the film. But then watching the finished film and seeing it in context, I see how it works. In retrospect I can see (as Kevin kept telling me) that I was hitting the right note. The character is deeply wounded and has been abandoned and he is trying to do the best thing for his daughter, whom he adores.

So in hindsight, I was actually in the right space and captured his confusion and I think it worked well. We were capturing the dynamic between the characters, but while I was on set, I didn’t know it was working.


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