The youngest of the Pevensie children told us how it felt to take centre-frame as the female-lead in Voyage of the Dawn Treader and in what would be her final major appearance in the Narnian Chronicles.
It must be exciting to reach this point?
It’s so fun to finally be showing the film to people because we never knew how it would be received. The second film was received so differently to the first film we weren’t sure how Voyage of the Dawn Treader would fare but people seem to really like it! It’s everybody’s favourite so far – I think it appeals to a wider range of people.
How was it working with new director Michael Apted after two films and six years with Andrew Adamson?
We were filming in Australia and Andrew lives in New Zealand, so he flew over roughly five times during filming which was really great. But it was quite good that he didn’t stay for very long because it could be difficult for Michael worrying ‘is Andrew watching what I’m doing?’ We were very happy to have such a talented director to work with and Michael is so experienced. I always think you learn more by working with directors than with other actors. He had a wonderful vision as well because he’d already been involved in the film for two years before we started filming so he knew exactly what he wanted. So it proved to be a completely different experience to working with Andrew.
Why do you think the books are still so popular, do you have a favourite?
My favourite book is actually Voyage of the Dawn Treader which is probably ideal for publicity reasons! (laughs) It‘s true though, it is my favourite one and it always has been! I think the Chronicles of Narnia are classics because the writing is timeless and C.S. Lewis’ descriptions are minimalist in a way which lets you apply your own imagination and interpretations to them which is wonderful for children and their creative development. On top of that you have elements of escapism and excitement which everybody can relate to.
You were only 7 years old when you joined The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, did growing up in Narnia have much impact on your childhood?
I was definitely thrown in at the deep end. It’s strange because I flew in at the top but now I have to almost work my way down the ladder because I’m finished with Narnia now and am carrying on with school. I feel like I’ve had a brilliant childhood just with bits added on, I don’t feel like Narnia took anything away. It’ a little hard at school when you miss out on the inside jokes but that happens to everyone. You can’t have everything. So what if you miss a person’s birthday because you know you’ll be there the next year.
Will you carry on acting?
I hope so. It’s funny because when I had my gap between The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian there were tonnes of scripts piling in and I much preferred the idea of school and being with my friends. I had literally just started secondary school so why would I still want to be filming? Now, ironically I’ve decided I want to be working whilst I’m still at school so I can continue to pursue acting as a career the scripts are slowly trickling through…I’ve got to concentrate on my GCSE’s but I hope I’ll be working in the near future. You have to be picky when you’re at school.
Did you have a tutor on set during filming?
Yes. Legally you have to have 3 hours of teaching a day then on a day off we’d have 5 so it would be like a normal school day but more intense because it’s one on one. We were lucky to have good tutors and a crew which understood that they were working with minors and that we needed that school time. But I can’t pretend it’s fun coming in from filming and having to get straight into your coursework whilst your mum’s watching ‘Come Dine with Me’ whilst you’re beavering away!
Would you consider Harry Potter’s Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe’s career choices as a model for your own?
They’ve both taken very different paths. Daniel Radcliffe was tutored even when he wasn’t filming and now he’s doing The Woman in Black and really paving a successful career for himself whereas Emma Watson is studying at Brown and pursuing her education. So as young actors they present polar opposites. I would personally be more likely to take Emma’s approach because I would like to go to university but it is impressive the way Daniel came away from Harry Potter refusing to be typecast.
Now it’s all over, are you daunted at all?
I am really glad I’m leaving Narnia at the age of 15 rather than 25 because then at least I have school! If I’d left Narnia and I didn’t have school I’d be very scared. I miss that security of thinking I’m going to be working next year and I find it hard to act unprofessionally. I don’t have time to act, work, dance and go to school and still have some sort of a social life! I miss that security but it’s a good time for me and I’m doing as much as possible to get myself out there. Hopefully it will all work out…
The cast appear to be quite close to Liam Neeson, do you guys see him as a bit of a father figure?
It’s interesting because we’ve only met him a few times. I met him for the very first time at the Prince Caspian premieres which was crazy because I’d been in two films with him. The thing about Liam is he’s the kind of person who you meet for the first time and you feel like you’ve known him all your life. He’s a really warm and welcoming person but also very internal so you understand that he’s not like this with everyone – he saves it for people he believes are special. So I’m very lucky because I do feel like I have a close relationship with him which is strange considering I’ve only met him four or five times. He’s wonderful and he brings a lot to the film as Aslan and we’re incredibly fortunate to have him on board. Liam was going to fly out for the final part of the film and perform all the last scenes with us because it’s such a pivotal moment for our characters but sadly it fell through so we’re thrilled he’s doing a lot of publicity. I’ve always thought that Lucy’s the favourite of Aslan which might sound boastful but she has the first sightings of him and lots of special scenes so I do feel they have a very pure and strong connection.
Do you have a favourite scene from the film?
I love the scenes on the Dawn Treader! I think the boat looks incredible and we had such a great time filming on it! We had a set crew of at least 40 sailors who used to come on land with us and when we were on the boat there’d be big crew sing-a-longs. It’s wonderful to watch those scenes back and think of all the fun we had and the friends I made.
Was it emotional when filming finished?
I didn’t realize it was my last shot! We were filming an important scene for Skandar actually, one of his big shots in the sea serpent sequence where I was standing and watching him and sending out ‘don’t die, because you’re my brother’ vibes. It was the last take though and Michael came up onto the ship and mumbled ‘ well something something, our last shot’ and that was that! It was very sad for all of us! All the costume and make-up girls were crying their eyes out. It was horrible! And a little silly as I technically had another two weeks of filming on second unit to finish everything off.
What’s it been like working in films with so much CGI and stunt work, does it tear away at all from your acting?
I’m definitely looking forward to doing something without CGI because it can prove quite difficult! But I think it’s actually harder to organize your timing and stunt-work in scenes like our entrance into Narnia or later when we returned. Hitting your mark under water without drifting anywhere is nearly impossible!
Obviously Lucy is tempted in the film, which desire would tempt you in real life?
I have this urge to jump off tall buildings! It’s this overpowering desire to feel that rush of falling but not hitting the ground of course… (HeyUGuys thoroughly recommended bungee jumping.)
Georgie is currently listening to Kanye West and went on to admit with the smallest of blushes that her guilty pleasure has been watching this year’s X Factor. Check out HeyUGuys interview with her co-star Skandar Keynes here.