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Rebecca Front and Ross Marron talk 3D and George Clooney

Horrid Henry: The Movie
29 July 2011

Despite making a name for herself on British television, with successful roles in shows such as I’m Alan Partridge, Lewis and The Thick of It, Rebecca Front has opted for a move into cinema, playing Headmistress Miss Oddbod, in Nick Moore’s Horrid Henry: The Movie.

The Fan Carpet caught up with Front ahead of the films release, along with one of the film’s most promising talents, Ross Marron; playing the part of Henry’s younger brother Perfect Peter. They discussed the 3D element to the film, what it was like starring alongside such a star-studded cast, oh, and George Clooney.


Firstly, you must both be delighted with the film as a finished product?

Rebecca Front: Yeah I think it looks fantastic – it’s really exciting to look at.

Ross Marron: Yeah it’s amazing how it all came together, because some things you see in the film aren’t actually there. For example what you see as a pot of goo is just a stick with green tape on the end of it, and we had to imagine it was there. 


Ross, where you a fan of the Horrid Henry series before shooting the film?

Ross Marron: Yep, I always watched the cartoons and listened to the tapes. They’re just very good stories and you relate to them how you would do your brother or sister.


Did you ever imagine you would ever be a part of it?

Ross Marron: Nope. Originally it was just another random audition, I knew it was Horrid Henry but thought it was just a voiceover for a new character in the cartoon, but I never thought it would be as big as this, so I was really pleased to get it.



What was it like starring amongst such star-studded names in the cast?

Ross Marron: Amazing. I enjoyed working with Matt Horne, he’s pretty famous. And Anjelica Huston, she was quite nice.

Rebecca Front: I couldn’t quite believe Anjelica was doing it; she’s just a legend, so that was amazing. Then, as more and more names emerged, I was thinking, this is going to be great! I just think people are used very well in the film, like Dick and Dom for example, who, because of the ages of my kids I’ve seen on telly a million times – they played a version of Dick and Dom, and it’s a really interesting use of them, because they are so weird and disturbing in it, when in real life they are just big and loud, and boisterous and fun, whereas in this they are sinister and very, very odd, so I like what they’ve done.


Are you a similar person to Perfect Peter in real life at all?

Ross Marron: Nope, I’m not similar to him, I’m much more of a Horrid Henry, especially to my sister.


Did it feel odd playing the goody-goody?

Ross Marron: No it was cool because I like what he wears and everything; he had a nice tank top. Being Peter was stretching my acting, because if I had played Horrid Henry, I would just have been playing myself really!


And was Horrid Henry something you were aware of before shooting the film Rebecca?

Rebecca Front: Yeah I’ve got two kids who are 10 and 12 so they’ve grown up with me reading them Horrid Henry stories, so I knew it very, very well. It was fantastic to get a chance to actually be in it.


It must be so exciting for your kids to have their mother in this film?

Rebecca Front: Yeah I think so. My son is nearly 13 now so he’s playing it quite cool, but I think he was quite overwhelmed at the premiere, I think he really enjoyed that. My daughter is 10 and she absolutely, unequivocally loved the film and was really thrilled that I was in it, so that was very nice.



If this film is successful, would Horrid Henry be a project either of you would like to be involved in again?

Rebecca Front: I think so, yeah. It was really good fun to film. There was a nice atmosphere on set and having lots of kids around made for a really nice, fun, clubby sort of feel, it was great. It can be, as an adult, in a room full of child actors who have all known each other for several weeks, quite overwhelming – but it was brilliant because they were all lovely and welcoming and friendly, and it was a particularly nice atmosphere on set.

Ross Marron: Yeah it was great, especially because there were loads of kids.


In the meantime, have either of you got anything else lined up for the near future?

Rebecca Front: I’m doing a new series of Lewis for ITV, and a new series of Grandma’s House – Simon Amstell’s sitcom for BBC2.


The majority of work is in television, on various comedy and drama shows – so what was it about Horrid Henry that attracted you in, because you don’t seem to delve into cinema too often?

Rebecca Front: I think what tends to happen is that you get known by TV casting directors, so part of what initially attracted me was simply the fact that it was a movie, which I want to do more of, and I hadn’t done one for a couple of years. Also it was the fact that it was suitable for children and so much of the work I’ve done on telly isn’t suitable for children, so it’s nice for me every now and again to branch out and do something that everybody can watch, before I dive back into dark, sinister TV comedy again.


You recently starred in the Just William TV series – where obviously the premise is fairly similar to that of Horrid Henry. So would you say doing Just William helped in your preparation for your role?

Rebecca Front: They’re very different characters. I played the mother in Just William, who is a long-suffering, very much bucked up 1950’s lady, whereas Miss Oddbod is a kind of ditzy and crazy headmistress, so they are very different. Although what was good preparation was that I was working with lots of children around, and fortunately I really enjoyed working on Just William, otherwise had I hated that, I may have felt different coming on to this!


Director Nick Moore is quite inexperienced at this level, so what was it like working with him? How bright a future does he have as a director?

Ross Marron: I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Rebecca Front: He’s really good actually. It’s a very visual film and Nick has a really good eye, and has made the film quite stunning to look at, and he’s very good with the actors. He’s done a great job.


Just how important are the visual aspects to the film, especially considering films, particularly with 3D so popular at the moment – seem to be relying more heavily on their visual experience?

Rebecca Front: People demand it, don’t they? But I think people always have – and that’s what sets films apart from theatre is the visual aspects – being able to see something in the cinema that you could never see on stage. But yes, I think that increasingly people are expecting something spectacular and certainly if they’ve got to sit with 3D glasses perched on top of their noses for two hours,  then they expect it to be worthwhile, and I think in this case it is.


If there was a sequel to Horrid Henry, are there any actors you’d like to see in it, a mystery auntie perhaps?

Ross Marron: Anjelica Huston again, and Johnny Depp, because I really like him. He’s the one who inspired me to be an actor when I was three years old.

Rebecca Front: Oh, George Clooney. The future Mr. Oddbod.

Horrid Henry: the Movie Film Page