While at the #MoanaEvent Disney Press Trip, we had the pleasure of meeting with Lucy Dahl, daughter of author, Roald Dahl, for the release of The BFG on Blu-ray/DVD on November 29th. Growing up, I LOVED Roald Dahl books – The BFG, The Witches, Matilda – SO good! So, it was incredible to get to sit down and hear stories about Roald Dahl and his stories directly from his daughter. She inherited a story-telling gift from him, as I could have listened to her talk all day!
The whole setting was simply lovely – a BFG brunch at an old historic hotel. The ambiance of that alone seemed extra magical. But then, there was also miniature food, complete with dream jars inspired from the book/movie. The Lucy Dahl showed up and she was simply lovely! We talked about her life growing up, about what her father would think of all of this now, and of course, about The BFG.
It was SO fun to find out that The BFG was “REAL” for her! and that her dad used the kids to test out all his stories, characters, etc. He brought some of these things to life for them – including the BFG. Here some snippets of what she shared about life with Roald Dahl for a dad:
It was really amazing growing up with Roald Dahl as my dad because everything was a fairy tale, really, because we were sort of his lab rats so to speak. He would test his ideas and his characters and people on us, although we didn’t know it at the time. We just thought that we were getting great stories and he created this whole sort of kingdom of where we lived. This whole kind of, you know, like Disneyland and you could, could actually live there for a long time, I think. You know, it’s a destination resort sort of thing, and that’s sort of what our house and our garden and our orchard beyond and then fields and the woods beyond that – that’s what our rambling old house in the countryside of Bingham was like. It wasn’t fancy at all.
The BFG is real to me. He lived under our apple orchards which was beyond our garden and every single night, he would blow dreams into my sister and my bedroom. Even in the middle of winter, even if it was snowing outside, we would always have to leave our little old bedroom window open a crack. After he told us a story, he would say goodnight, and we would lay there and wait for the BFG to come and blow dreams into our room. Sure enough, within five minutes this bamboo stick would come through the window. That would go on for years and years while we were young growing up.
Then we realized that it wasn’t the BFG sticking a dream through our window one night when I think dad had a bit too much to drink and he fell off his ladder. One night the bamboo stick was coming back through the window and we heard this enormous crash, crash bang and we were told never to go to window to look, but we did and there was my poor old dad at the bottom of the ladder saying I’m fine, I’m fine.
It was also fun to hear her talk about the book and now the movie. She actually wasn’t a fan of the book when it came out – a little offended about it really. The BFG was HER and her sister’s story. He was theirs and they didn’t really want to share him. I can imagine it would have felt that way when you lived those stories growing up! So, it was interesting to hear that from her. And then we of course talked about the movie.
On Steven Speilberg & how the movie turned out…
It was exactly how I had imagined it and I think that’s probably why I love it so much. But also, the BFG. Steven took a great deal of trouble in getting the BFG right. The shoes are a copy of a pair of my father’s sandals that he used to wear every summer. The BFG’s clothes are copies of my father’s clothes from his cupboard that we still have.
Steven Spielberg treated me, honestly, like a queen which I didn’t expect. He literally took me with him all day everywhere he went and showed me everything and it was really the most incredible experience ever. Everything was so true to how it was in my imagination and in my mind that it was just incredible. I felt like my father was walking around with me on the set as delighted as I was.
Her favorite part of the movie…
Oh that’s Dream Land. When Sophie goes into Dream Land, just that three or four seconds is just extraordinary, that’s my favorite. I could watch that again and again.
On The BFG being a great family film…
I really do love BFG. I love it. I think Mark Rylance was amazing. I think the team was amazing. I don’t think it’s any secret that it didn’t kill at the box office and we’ve talked about that. Honestly, as a family, it doesn’t matter to us. We would so much rather have a beautiful film than a box office hit and my feeling about that is that it’s perfect.
BFG is slow enough to speak to your heart. With this coming out over Christmas where it’s more of a quiet time, I’m really hoping that children will slow down a little bit and realize that it’s about love because it’s really a love story. They’re two lonely hearts that find one another. The importance of this story is that how one heart will find another heart, whatever the world, wherever they live. BFG and Sophie have the same heart and that’s how they found each other, and they danced to a tune that no one else could hear.
The BFG is SUCH a good story – and a beautiful family film. As she said, it would be PERFECT for a nice family movie night during the holidays! So, if you haven’t done so already, you can buy your copy of The BFG today (Affiliate) and head over to here to get some fun BFG printables –> The BFG free printable coloring pages & activities!!