When Georgie Henley and Skandar Keynes made The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Wish and the Wardrobe in 2003, as Lucy and Edmund Pevensie, they were respectively eight and twelve years old. Now, six years later, they are starring in the third installment of the franchise, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader aka Chronicles of Narnia 3.
Joined by Will Poulter, who portrays their spoiled cousin, Eustace, they go on another adventure to mysterious islands, confronting magical creatures and sinister enemies, as Will Poulter explains:
Will Poulter: This time Lucy and Edmund return to Narnia through a painting, as it is famously in the book, and they come to find themselves aboard (the ship) the Dawn Treader where King Caspian now has been ruling for a few years.
And they embark on an adventure without real knowledge of what lies ahead, which I think makes it quite exciting.
It’s quite an episodic structure, and they find along the way that they’re actually dealing with forces of evil but are responsible for some of the strange occurrences within Narnia, and some of the happenings that involve Narnian people.
They go to find the seven lost lords, who were the advisors of Caspian’s father, in order to relinquish their swords and hopefully restore peace. It’s quite an adventure and there is a lot of magic and excitement along the way.
You’re the newcomer to the franchise, were Georgie and Skandar horrid to you or welcoming?
Will Poulter: I couldn’t say anything negative about these guys in that respect. They were so welcoming, so kind to me, despite the fact that my character was a little brat.
They made me feel very welcome and it sounds cheesy, but I genuinely do mean it, they were really great and I’ve made friends for life so I’m really grateful.
What was it like returning to this third Narnia movie?
Georgie Henley: I was a bit nervous coming back to Narnia for the third time. In this she’s going through that stage where everybody feels insecure.
Lucy still wants to be her sister, Susan, and be beautiful like her, because everybody knows that Susan is absolutely gorgeous.
The characters’ journeys are all about temptation, and in this film you see Lucy as a more complex person.
In the first two films, she’s portrayed as honest and true and sure. And I think her journey is overcoming her challenges and realizing that she is human, she’s growing up, and the feelings she has are normal.
Skandar and I have grown up with these characters. I feel quite connected to Lucy because she’s been a huge part of my life.
What about you Skandar, do you feel you know your character well?
Skandar Keynes: Absolutely, to a degree but, at the same time, this is its own film, and while this is also finishing off the character from when we started seven years ago, it’s got its own story.
In the beginning we spent about two weeks every day rehearsing with Michael Apted (the director) saying, ‘What do you think about this?’ And really mapping out the whole characterization in our head, which was really great.
So I really enjoyed getting my teeth stuck into such a meaty character.
In it Eustace turns into a dragon. When you were watching the movie what did you see? Did you see a dragon or did you see yourself?
Will Poulter: It’s very weird you said that, I was specifically conscious of that yesterday, second time watching it. Unfortunately for the dragon, they made him look like me. Initially I didn’t see me, because I really had no impact on how the dragon was formed.
Obviously the dragon is where the transformation takes place between a complete brat and a redeemable character, but really it’s the special effects’ team who were so fantastic, I can’t take any credit whatsoever, it was all them.
What was the most challenging thing for you about this movie?
Georgie Henley: I think most of the challenges were trying to make Lucy relatable to a wide audience.
I really wanted people to take lessons from her and to think, ‘Oh yeah, she’s going through that, maybe I should deal with my problems in the way that she has.’
Lucy is a great character, which I think everybody loves and I was very excited, and also a bit nervous, about getting it right.
What generally would you like for the audience to take away from the movie?
Georgie Henley: I really think that the audience will come out thinking it was money well spent. I think it’s a real package deal. There’s tons of action and comedy and sadness and lots of magic.
I think it’s the best of the two films put together. So I really hope that people feel that way, and I really hope that they come out of it thinking, ‘Maybe that’s the best one,’ because that’s what a lot of people have been saying to me.
What does this franchise mean to you?
Skandar Keynes: After six years of being involved in the Narnia films, I have to be so thankful for this experience. It’s really helped me in so many ways. I’m now more confident that I thought possible.
It’s given me the courage to stand up and to take on tasks. I’m ready to move on. Where that’ll take me, I don’t know. But, I’m happy and content.