NEW YORK, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Christine Baranski says she tried to get inside the head of Cinderella's wicked stepmother before playing the character in director Rob Marshall's star-studded film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's stage musical Into the Woods.
"I worked with Rob and we talked about what is this particular nature. She is always described as 'the evil stepmother...' So, what exactly does that mean and how is that kind of activated?" Baranski said at a recent New York press conference. "And, actually, I found that Cinderella is somebody who just is at the house and she just does things for us and a lot of the evil of the character... No, really! And then when she suggests coming to the ball, it's like: 'Are you kidding? Look at your nails. Look at your dress. It's laughable.'"
Baranski assumed a more serious tone as she continued.
"We wanted to figure out how to make these [stepmother and stepsister] characters feel kind of resonant in the contemporary world and this particular trio of women just seemed ripe for presenting the kind of narcissm and fashion absorption and from the brilliant clothes of [designer] Colleen Atwood, there are a little too many ruffles and their hair is a little too high. They look like they are trying so hard and this is their one shot and it's like they are getting ready for the Oscars. They are obsessed," Baranski noted dramatically. "They are banal. They are venal characters. They are narcisstic and opportunistic and we see this when we kind of watch television or media. It's very interesting. This is part of our culture, so I am really happy we did it this way."