My Celebrity Life

Pitch Perfect’s Kay Cannon on how James Corden convinced her on Cinderella: ‘I always felt like it was just a bunch of women being mean to each other’

My Celebrity Life –

Pitch Perfect’s Kay Cannon inadvertently became the person re-inventing movie musicals (Picture: Amazon Studios)

Kay Cannon is the person responsible for making a cappella cool again, having written and produced the three Pitch Perfect films, and now she’s bringing that same energy to Cinderella.

As writer and director of the Amazon Studios’ movie, starring Camila Cabello in her acting debut, she had a lot of creative control over its direction and narrative – but it was actually James Corden who first suggested the project.

Speaking to Metro.co.uk, Cannon recalls: ‘James and his producing partner, Leo Pearlman, brought me in to interview me based on this Cinderella idea, and I remember thinking, “Nothing’s going to come of it, there was just another Cinderella in 2015!”’

The producing partners also had to get past Cannon’s initial disinterest in their proposed fairy tale.

‘I’m not a fairy tale princess-y kind of person – I didn’t particularly gravitate to those fairy tale stories, especially Cinderella. Quite honestly, for me, it just felt like a bunch of women being mean to each other, and so I wasn’t really into it.’

Corden and Pearlman were also interviewing other directors to helm the project, but as soon as it was mentioned that Cannon could perhaps update the story and use popular modern songs, as in Pitch Perfect, she was instantly intrigued.

My Celebrity Life –

Cabello makes her acting debut in Cinderella (Picture: Amazon Studios)

‘When he [Corden] pitched this idea to re-tell it with contemporary songs, which instantly modernises it, and [said] that I had the licence and the ability to re-tell it as I had always wanted it to be told, that was when I was starting to pitch things. It just got really exciting because it was like, “Oh my gosh, I get to re-tell this?” It’s like this iconic beloved fairy tale that has lasted through the ages.’

From someone who had gone to the meeting mainly to meet Corden as ‘a huge fan of his’, the 47-year-old was now invested and not afraid to show it.

‘Like, I have no poker face whatsoever,’ she laughs.

Writer, producer and director Cannon was a co-executive producer on the TV series New Girl from 2012 to 2014, as well as a writer and supervising producer on 30 Rock, alongside her friend and colleague Tina Fey.

The success of the Pitch Perfect movies saw her career veer in more of a musical direction than anticipated, as the self-confessed soundtrack fan – who cites Rocky and The Bodyguard among her favourites – got to combine it with her passion for comedy.

Harking back to a strong soundtrack memory, Cannon remembers her dedication to a particular song she was excited to hear featured in a film during her childhood.

‘When I was 10 years old, I remember going to see The Karate Kid: Part II in the theatre because I knew Glory of Love by Peter Cetera was in the movie. I didn’t know back then – I didn’t understand – that it was in the end credits and not within the full movie, but I stayed and I listened to that song while the end credits were rolling, while everybody else around me was getting up and leaving. I was like, “No, I came here for this song!” so I had a real attachment to that.’

Explaining the attraction for her in working with recognisable songs, which in Cinderella include Des’ree’s You Gotta Be, Madonna’s Material Girl and Queen classic Somebody to Love, Cannon reveals: ‘I love taking something – and all these songs are so amazing and great and they’re classics for a reason – and I like reimagining it, because for a younger audience they get to experience these songs for the first time, really.’

My Celebrity Life –

The Barden Bellas performing in Pitch Perfect 2 (Picture: Universal Studios)

She gives an example from 2012’s Pitch Perfect, where the Barden Bellas perform at the ICCA (International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella) Finals with a mash-up of Jessie J’s Price Tag, Simple Minds’ Don’t You (Forget About Me) and Pitbull’s Give Me Everything, featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack and Nayer.

‘For Pitch Perfect, the song from The Breakfast Club, Don’t You – that song had massive success after that movie because a younger audience was able to hear it, and the way that they heard it and the way it was shaped, they have an emotional connection to the song now.’

However, for Cinderella there was one song that Cannon had envisioned for the film, which she had to let go.

‘I really wanted Lorde’s Royals,’ she reveals. ‘And I wanted the stepsisters (Maddie Baillio and Charlotte Spencer) to sing that a cappella, the day after the ball. I just felt like that was so great, but it was a song at the time that had been used quite a bit and I think, rightfully so, they [the producers] were like, “It’s been used too much.”

My Celebrity Life –

Cinderella’s cast also includes Minnie Driver and Pierce Brosnan as Prince Robert’s (Nicholas Galitzine) parents (Picture: Amazon Studios)

‘That’s the only one when I watch the movie where I’m like, “Oh man, I really wish I could have had that.” It probably would have gotten cut for time anyway, but I just really love that song, and I just felt like it really fit.’

For a soundtrack and song aficionado, what is on Cannon’s personal soundtrack to her life?

‘I do like listening to Amerie’s 1 Thing, and maybe [Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj’s] Bang Bang too. It’s just the vibe, it’s not necessarily the lyrics, that would define me! There’s just a really good feeling, and a good vibe, as I’m walking down the street when I hear those.’

Cinderella is available on Amazon Prime Video from Friday September 3.

 


Credit: Original article published here.

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