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Mark Rylance and Jemaine Clement on Becoming Giants in The BFG

We attended the interview as a guest of Disney

Interview with the Giants in The BFG

Moments after interviewing Steven Spielberg and Ruby Barnhill, the talented Mark Rylance (The BFG) and Jemaine Clement (Fleshlumpeater) entered the room. Rylance walked into the room with the same crooked walk that The BFG had in the film, and I couldn’t help but fall in love with him the moment that I met him just like I did when I first saw The BFG.

Mark Rylance in The BFG

Not only did Rylance have the same walk as The BFG, but he looked so much like the character in real life. When getting ready for filming, he said, “Every morning it took about an hour and a half of them sticking glow in the dark marbles on us and battery packs. Then about 45 minutes of having dots painted on your face which looked like a hockey mask, a tight hockey mask.”

When it came to acting Rylance said, “It was fun for us when we were in motion capture because there’re no cameras and no marks. It’s like a playground. You just start playing, imagine it, and speak the lines.”

Creating The BFG

Rylance gave an Oscar worthy performance as the giant. It was the way that The BFG spoke that touched my heart, and I was curious if it was hard for him to speak with such jumbled words throughout the entire film. Rylance said, “It was very hard. Very hard indeed. I don’t think any actors in the world who could have done what Jemaine and I have done.” Then Clement added, “What it is actually, it’s improvising in giant.”

“Improvising in giant is like improving in Shakespeare; it’s tricky.” -Mark Rylance

The film is packed with many fun and cute words in “giant language.” Rylance’s favorite word in the movie is “telly-telly bunkum box.” Another fun word that Rylance shared that he enjoyed saying was “Whizzpoppers” which is how giants say the word fart. Then Clement said, “For people to known what it is, they would have needed to read the book. It’s like a secret language.”

Bringing the giants to life in The BFG

Clement’s character is both scary and funny at the same time. When asked about how it was playing the character, he said, “It’s really fun smashing things and intimidating people, and being stupid is fun.” When preparing for the role, Clement’s son helped him. He said, “I read him the book again when we got to Vancouver. If he didn’t like the voice, he would go, no the other voice. That’s how I found the voice. He guided me.”

Jemaine Clement in The BFG

I loved all of the scenes with the giants in the movie. Clement’s favorite scene was the first one when he came into The BFG’s cave. Clement turned to Rylance and said, “I love that part where I ask if you’re there, and you say no.” Then Rylance added, “Yeah I love that.” When asking Rylance what was his favorite scene, he said, “It’s on the hill at the end and, she doesn’t even want to go away. She thinks she’s gonna stay and live there, but he knows that she’s got a wider life to lead.”

“The most difficult thing is letting a young person go. Every parent has to it. My parents are both teachers, and every year I would know that there were favorite kids that really resonated to their work and were just wonderful kids. It was always sad every year that those kids had to go off. They had to go off to college, marriage, and to live their lives. If you really love them, you have to encourage them to leave you, and to go away.” -Mark Rylance

Talking with the cast in The BFG

Rylance continued to share how he hopes that there will be a sequel when Sophie is a 90-year-old woman and The BFG still visits her. “He visits her in her old people’s home, and that friendship after she lived her whole life, that would be quite resonant wouldn’t it?,” said Rylance.

Don’t miss falling in love with the giants in The BFG in theaters on July 1st. Learn more about The BFG on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Photos courtesy of Coraline Hughes at

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