Queen of the Hive: A Conversation with Miriam Margolyes | The Fan Carpet Ltd • The Fan Carpet: The RED Carpet for FANS • The Fan Carpet: Fansites Network • The Fan Carpet: Slate • The Fan Carpet: Theatre Spotlight • The Fan Carpet: Arena • The Fan Carpet: International

Queen of the Hive: A Conversation with Miriam Margolyes

Maya the Bee

Maya, is a busy little bee, ready to leave her hive and explore the meadow. The world is just too big and too fascinating to remain confined to the restricted life of the hive. But soon after leaving, Maya, and her biggest adventure yet is back where she started; at home! Together with her friend Willy, she must return and save their hive from the greedy queen’s advisor and end the long-term hostility between bees and hornets. Join Maya and her friends, as they set off on their unbeelievable adventures! Maya The Bee buzzes into cinemas on 23 October.

Originally published as a book in 1912, MAYA THE BEE is an international TV phenomenon. Directed by Alexs Stadermann and featuring the voices of Coco Jack Gillies (Mad Max: Fury Road), Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Road, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), Jacki Weaver, (Silver Lining Playbooks, Animal Kingdom), Miriam Margolyes (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2) and Richard Roxburgh (Moulin Rouge, Van Helsing, Mission Impossible 2).

The Fan Carpet’s Marc Jason Ali had the pleasure of speaking to National Treasure Miriam Margolyes ahead of the release of Maya the Bee.

Miriam tells us what appealed to her about Maya the Bee, how she got started in the Entertainment Industry and where she prefers to act…




If we go back to the beginning, was there a defining moment for you to pursue a career in acting?

I don’t know if there was a defining moment, but I think probably when I won the Oxford High School public speaking competition for the first time, I thought that perhaps I could be an actress.

Ok great, what did that entail was it just like standing up in front of people just talking.

Well yes quite, I didn’t know how to public speaking, so I just became a character.

And I inhabited this character, who was a woman who was giving out prizes I think and I just became that character and I won, I won the prize so I thought yes that was fun I liked that, I like to hear people laughing it makes me happy.


Wonderful ok. With such a long varied and illustrious career what was it about Maya the Bee that appealed to you?

Well it’s always fun to play a queen and I’m the queen bee in that film and I thought the colours were nice and the drawings were fun. So I thought I’d like to do that, and I was glad because the queen wasn’t the English queen, I don’t think one should play you know members of the royal family who are still alive, I think it can be cheeky to do that but this is a different queen altogether so I didn’t mind playing that queen.


Ok. Did you base her on anybody or was there an influence to the character?

No I just look at the pictures that they drew and I try and find a voice that fits the picture.


Right ok, that leads us nicely into the next one. You’re no stranger to voice work, you were the voice of the Cadbury’s Caramel Bunny in the commercials back in the 80s, how did this experience differ?

(laughs) Well it was very different because when you’re doing something, well maybe I’m wrong, maybe it isn’t very different, all you have to do is throw yourself into a character, one happens to be a commercial the other happens to be part of a film, but the focus has always got to be total and the immersion complete, you have to believe you are that character, so I believed I was the Cadbury Bunny and I believed that I was the Queen Bee.


Great, and you’ve been a part of some beloved franchises too, are there any genres that you haven’t done that you would like to?

Well I haven’t done pantomime and I have been offered pantomime, but nowadays you have to do 3 shows a day and I’m not sure I could do 3 shows a day, I think I’d get tired, so I haven’t ever done pantomime but I think I could be a rather fun fairy godmother.




Which area do you prefer?

The stage of course. I mean I think it’s obvious, one would much prefer to be doing something in front of real people rather than in front of a machine, I’m not really, I’m not interested in film in the same way that I think younger people are, I’m interested in theatre in that magic moment when the lights go out or the curtain goes up and you and the audience confront each other and it’s your job to bewitch them. It’s fabulous.


Wonderful ok. Do you ever see yourself writing or directing?

Never. I don’t wish to muddy my glories. I’m an actress, that’s what I do.


What is next for you?

I’m going to do an episode of Plebs, it’s a comedy series, I’m not quite sure whether it’s done on ITV or BBC, you might know the answer to that. They film it in Bulgaria, that of course is what attracted me because I’ve been there.


In terms of your career, you’ve done voice work and you’ve live action, do you have a preference of which one you do or do you just like to keep it varied?

I like to keep it varied, I think it’s interesting to go from one medium to the other, keeps you on your toes, I love voice work, I started in radio when I left university that’s what I did and it’s always been a cornerstone of my work and when I’m working on a character I always start with the voice and then I move to other parts of the person, but the voice is key.


Great, well the voice is key, brilliant ok. I think that’s all I have unless there’s anything else you wanted to tell us?

No, but I’m very interested to know what the Fan Carpet is, this is a site that I’m not aware of and it’s very nice to think that I’ll be making an appearance on a website, it’s quite nice for an old lady like me to be dancing across the internet.

Right ok (laughs). Well The Fan Carpet has been running for just over 11 years and we cater for all types of film, like we do independent film to like big Hollywood films as well, I like to keep it varied as well with the type of content that we have on there, so we’ll cover like an independent film, then we’ll cover one of the big Hollywood films, we do interviews, competitions, all sorts of stuff. We’re, I’d say, a cross between Empire magazine, like the Empire magazine website and IMDB because we have a film database as well.

Well I think that’s fabulous. I like to think people go watch movies and watch them critically and try and imagine how they would have done it, if they would have done it in the same way. My own film tastes are very much to the independent, you know I’m very much more likely to be at the Curzon than anywhere else and just at the moment it’s thrilling because all the Academy screenings as I’m sure you’re aware over London and when I return from my holiday I shall be going to the screenings and I love that.




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