Behind the Scenes with Patrick Dempsey and Enchanted
- Monday, November 19, 2007
What did your daughter think of Enchanted?
She thought Pip (the animated chipmunk) was wonderful. And that says it all. She’s five and half and she loved the animated part of it. She liked the first musical number. I think it bogs down when it gets to the romantic side of things. Other people like the romantic part. It depends upon your generation—what you like and what you don’t like.
What was it like working with Amy Adams?
That was the best part of the experience. Amy resisted me leading her. She’s very strong, and we came to a moment when I ripped her toenail off because she refused to wear her shoes and let me lead her. We stopped talking for about 15 minutes. She went in her corner and I went into mine, and then we came back and we started dancing again. I felt her vulnerability and I had to really take care of her—and she had to surrender to that. But that’s when things started to take off.
What do you think of your [Disney] doll? Does your daughter have one?
Yes, she does, and it was sort of surreal going home the other night. All of a sudden, my face popped up behind my shoulder. My daughter was acting out our voices and the scenes from the movie. We were like, “Oh my goodness, what has just happened?”
Susan Sarandon (who plays Giselle’s future stepmother, an evil queen) said that the good guys—the charming princes—are always the most difficult to play. What did you do to keep your ‘Prince Charming’ from becoming a dullard?
It was hard. It wasn’t a fun part to play, most of the time. Everybody else was having a great time. Jimmy [James Marsden as Prince Edward] comes flying in with big shoulders, wearing these tights, and gets these rounds of applause. It was like, “Great, Jimmy. Thanks a lot! You’re perfect looking—and you get all the laughs.” That was really hard. But then you realize what your role is, in the greater scheme of things. I think the real challenge … I was trying to find the moments of humor when I could, in the one-liners, you could throw in. And yet, at the same time, keep the emotional foundation to the piece. It’s not necessarily the most enjoyable, but it’s the certainly most challenging, to keep that balance within yourself. There was that moment in the restaurant where he reveals where he’s coming from. That was fun to not get caught in the melodrama – to feel it, but not to show it, to not get caught up in the melodrama. And certainly the musical numbers and the dancing—at the end, that’s when I felt I could finally cross over.
What do you believe about true love?
I think there is a true love, a connection you find with someone. I don’t necessarily think it’s ‘happy ever after.’ It’s just a [heck of a] lot of work. I’ve been married for almost nine years now and I find that the more we work through our issues individually, the more we grow as a couple. As our family grows we grow closer together and our lives are improving. I think it comes with a tremendous amount of work and understanding and sacrifice. And it transforms you, certainly. I’m a much better person because of my wife and my children.
Did you know right away?
No, because I had been married before, obviously, in a very interesting marriage that I learned a lot from. But it prepared me for this one. It was really valuable experience.
Early in the movie, when Robert finally decides to let Giselle spend the night, he tells his daughter to come into his room. Was that to protect his reputation [from his girlfriend] or was he protecting his daughter from a potentially crazy person?
That’s the choice I made. I never really thought he was thinking in terms of sexuality at that point. The thing I had a hard time with—and it’s a Disney movie, and Amy Adams, so you believe it—was that you would never bring her home. You just would not do that! We kept laughing about that. If it wasn’t Disney, you’d have a hard time with the believability of it.
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