Christina Hendricks discusses creating the voice for Zarina in Tinkerbell and The Pirate Fairy
ABOUT THE MOVIE
From the world of “Peter Pan” comes “The Pirate Fairy,” a swashbuckling new adventure about Zarina (voice of Christina Hendricks), a smart and ambitious dust-keeper fairy who’s captivated by Blue Pixie Dust and its endless possibilities. When Zarina’s wild ideas get her into trouble, she flees Pixie Hollow and joins forces with the scheming pirates of Skull Rock, who make her captain of their ship. Tinker Bell (voice of Mae Whitman) and her friends must embark on an epic adventure to find Zarina, and together they go sword-to-sword with the band of pirates led by a cabin boy named James (voice of Tom Hiddleston), who’ll soon be known as Captain Hook himself. With laughter, heart, magic and thrills…
CHRISTINA HENDRICKS (voice of Zarina) nuanced portrayal of “Mad Men’s” Joan Harris has earned the actress three Emmy® nominations in the category of outstanding supporting actress in a drama series and two Critics’ Choice Television Awards for best supporting actress in a drama series. On the big screen, Hendricks will next be seen opposite Charlize Theron in the thriller “Dark Places” as well as the John Slattery directed film “God’s Pocket.” Most recently, Hendricks was seen in the critically-acclaimed film “Drive,” in which she co-starred with Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan, and recently teamed up with Gosling to star in his first feature film as a director entitled “How to Catch a Monster” for Warner Bros. The film will be released later this year. Hendricks’ additional film credits include the independent drama “Struck By Lightning,” as well as roles in “Ginger & Rosa,” “Detachment,” “I Don’t Know How She Does It,” “Leoni,” “Life As We Know It,” “La Cucina” and “Driving Lessons.” Her television credits include appearances in “Beggars and Choosers,” “The Big Time,” “ER,” “The Court,” “Kevin Hill,” “Without a Trace” and “Cold Case,” as well as recurring roles on Joss Whedon’s “Firefly,” “Notes from the Underbelly” and “Life.” In 2012, Hendricks earned rave reviews on stage while seen in Stephen Sondheim’s production of “Company” for the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center.
What can you tell us about your character in “Tinker Bell and The Pirate Fairy”?
I play Zarina, who is the pirate fairy in the movie. Zarina is a dust-keeper fairy and she’s very science minded. She’s very curious and she’s very smart.
The story is about the introduction of this new fairy, Zarina, who decides to start experimenting with Pixie Dust and wonders what else there is for her out in the world. She feels misunderstood and she gets herself into a little bit of trouble, so she leaves Pixie Hollow. She heads off to find a group of people who will accept her.
Zarina ends up with some pirates and she becomes the captain of a pirate ship – but luckily, her fairy friends come to the rescue. The other fairies admire Zarina, but they also know that she needs help.
How would you describe the relationship between Zarina and the young pirate, James [voiced by Tom Hiddleston]?
Zarina thinks that James is her friend. She fully trusts him because she thinks she’s finally found someone who appreciates her and acknowledges her talents. Unfortunately, things eventually take a bad turn.
Tom brings such charm to the role. I think he’s perfect. He’s very suave and he’s got such enthusiasm that you can’t help but fall for him immediately. He sweeps you off your feet – but then there’s a dramatic turn and things aren’t what they seem.
How would you describe Zarina’s relationship with Tinker Bell and the other fairies of Pixie Hollow?
I think the relationship between Zarina and the other fairies is very sweet. Zarina admires each and every one of the other fairies’ talents, but for some reason, she never gives herself enough credit; she doesn’t feel like she’s worthy of being their friend.
Zarina has always felt like an outsider – but it’s nice that the other fairies eventually recognize her talents and her gifts. It’s a little bit of a struggle for Zarina to realize that she is appreciated and that she is smart – and that the others respect her. Eventually, she realizes that it’s okay to be who you are and to appreciate your own talents.
How much fun do you have playing Zarina?
I love playing Zarina because she is so special. She’s got a real spark to her, and it’s really fun for me to be able to bring out the fun side and the playful side of my personality for the role. Zarina is incredibly playful and I think everyone understands what it feels like to be misunderstood. Growing up, I could certainly relate to that, so it’s fun to see Zarina overcome her issues.
How would you describe Zarina’s pirate outfit in the movie?
The costumes of a lot of fairies are made from the earth—from flowers and from nature. But Zarina is different. Zarina has put together a whimsical outfit for herself from various objects that she’s found. Her outfit features a sword that’s actually a hatpin, and a belt that’s a ring.
What went through your mind when you discovered that fashion designer Christian Siriano helped create Zarina’s costume in “The Pirate Fairy”?
When I found out that Christian Siriano was designing Zarina‘s costume, I thought, “How perfect!” I’m a huge Christian fan. In fact, he has designed a lot of the gowns I’ve worn on the red carpet. Christian is extraordinarily talented, enthusiastic, clever and creative.
Christian designs things with a lot of strength and a lot a feminine flare – and that’s what Zarina needed to be. She needed to be spunky, crafty and strong – but she’s also a fairy, so she’s feminine and girlish. He was able to incorporate all those things into one little outfit. The look that Christian gave little Zarina is absolutely beautiful. It’s adorable.
How did you come up with the voice of Zarina?
I created the voice of Zarina just from reading the script. It’s so beautifully written that this character just pops off the page. You look at her image and you think about this fairy world – and you just imagine that you’re in that space. My voice becomes “sing-songy” and more girlish – and maybe younger. It’s everything you imagine a fairy would sound like.
What can you tell us about your experience in the recording booth?
When you’re doing voice work, you’re in a bubble where you just think about the story and the words. They record you on video while you’re doing the voice work, so they capture how your face is moving and the gestures you make. And then, when you finally watch the finished movie, there’s little Zarina doing exactly what you did in that room. She looks a lot like me and it’s really fun to think that someone could capture that through animation. It’s unbelievable how lifelike it is and how realistic it is to me.
One thing I’ve learned from this experience is what a strong and dramatic tool your voice can be. It really is storytelling in a very, very specific way – and it’s very, very, very powerful. It’s been a real lesson for me. It’s been really exciting.
What do you think of the look of the movie?
The look of the film is so beautiful. It’s been amazing to watch the progression from the original storyboards to the finished film. These animators are brilliant. To see the original sketches slowly grow into incredibly realistic-looking images, as well as this beautiful colorful world around them is astounding.
How exciting is it to work on a family-friendly project that will be watched by fans all over the world?
I love the fact that “The Pirate Fairy” is something that the whole family can watch. Trust me: I have many little girls that are friends of mine that are anticipating this. They can’t believe their auntie is going to be a fairy. It’s going to be a very, very proud moment when I sit down and watch the film with them.
What does it mean to you to work on this film?
It is so exciting to get a phone call saying you’re going to be working on a Disney film. And then, to find out it’s a Tinker Bell movie is every girl’s dream. I also love the fact that the movie is about the introduction of a new fairy that we get to create from scratch. It’s been a dream come true. It’s been really, really fun.
It’s an honor to be part of the Disney legacy. As an actor, you always hope that you’re leaving a mark or that something has been learned from watching your movie. Not only are you entertained, but there are lessons tucked into these wonderful stories with these wonderful characters.
One of my favorite messages about “The Pirate Fairy” is that the story is about appreciating your own talents. It’s about looking inside yourself and saying, “It’s okay to ask questions.” It’s okay to be inquisitive and creative, but it’s also important to consider the people around you. Consider the results. Be responsible, but then shine. Take all of those things that you’ve learned and become the best you can be at what your talent is.
“Tinker Bell and The Pirate Fairy” is out on Blu-ray and DVD from 23rd June 2014