Here is final part of the cast and creatives interviews from The Sound of Music media call. You can also see more The Sound of Music related things as seen on this blog.
For more information and tickets, go to: soundofmusictour.com.au
NICHOLAS Hammond – original Friedrich in film adaptation of The Sound of Music
Nicholas – on this musical production
“I do recommend you come see this. It’s an excellent production. It really is. It’s just terrific. I haven’t seen the stage show that often, like I said, I did see it on stage before I auditioned for the movie. I’ve seen the movie a few times – not that many as you’d think; I like to watch it in the movie theatre. I’m a bit old school like that. I like to see it on a big screen. (But) every time I hear Jackie, Amy and Marina, all of them, sing, it’s just wonderful. There’s such a wonderful, wonderful cast in this show. It’s an honour to have any association with it at all.”
Nicholas – on why the musical is still popular
“I think it becomes clear again when you watch it on stage how immediate the story still is that, well even after 60 years for the stage production, 50 years for the film, the ideas (and) themes, are as fresh today – of loyalty and patriotism, and love of country and making moral choices. The extraordinary bravery (of) this family is something really that can’t be dismissed as anything other than something quite remarkable. I think that’s something we’d all like to think we’d aspire to if we were ever put in that terrible position that they were really put into. When you see real people on a real stage actually doing it, it’s a really powerful thing.”
Nicholas – on being cast in the film
“It’s been such a part of my life. Watching this Friedrich here, I always feel like the proud parent watching the boy on stage (laughs) I first saw the stage production, before I did the film, and it was when I saw this on stage, when I was about 12, I heard they were making a film of it – I thought I want anything to be in that! So I was very very happy when I did get the role.
It was a wonderful thing. The seven of us were the seven luckiest children in the world. I still feel that way, I really do. You can’t go anywhere in the world, where, if people realise you were in that film, that they don’t have a story to tell you about what it’s meant to them and the significance of it and usually connected with something very good or emotional in their life. Everybody has a personal connection to this film that makes you very proud and humbling to feel that you had a tiny, tiny part of something that has meant so much to 1.4 billion people now, and growing.”
Nicholas – on the casting process to be in the film
“There was a number of them. It’s a process. I was doing a show in New York, a play on Broadway at the time. The casting director for the film came and saw me in the show and then I was asked to come in and meet him. And then once I got through that stage, I was asked to come back and meet the director. I probably had to do seven callbacks all and all. I didn’t think I was going to get the job because I wasn’t a professional dancer and I wasn’t a professional singer – as is evidence if you watch the movie. But I had done a bit of acting and I think what the director really wanted were kids who he thought could handle the dialogue and the scenes and just look like real children. I think that’s why we got the job.”
Nicholas – on the Oprah reunion special
“That was the first time that all nine of us – the seven of us who played the children, we see each other on a reasonably regular basis. But it’s very difficult because Julia and Chris (Plummer, who played Captain Von Trapp in the film) are so busy. It’s difficult to get them as well. Only Opera Winfrey could manage it. (laughs)”
Nicholas – on the rowboat film scene
“Because the littlest girl, Kym Karath, played Gretl, couldn’t swim; it was carefully rehearsed where Julie (Andrews – who played Maria in the film adaptation) would fall forward, and right as Kim fell forward, as soon as she’d hit the water, (Julie) would scoop her up in her arms. We shot it, I think six times, and it always worked perfectly but the director just wanted one more. The last time we did it, and you can see it in the film because it’s the one they used, Julie lost her footing and went over the back of the boat – and no one had noticed that Kym had disappeared. She’d gone to the bottom of the lake, and no one was there to pick her up. Finally a few of the crew just came racing past the camera, grabbed her and knocked the water out of her lungs and she was ready to go.”
LORRAINE Bayly – Frau Schmidt
Lorraine – on being on stage
“I just worked out before we started on this that this is actually my 50th stage show. It’s celebrating (its) 50th anniversary since the film was made, The Sound of Music, and it’s my 50th stage show. A lot of people say, ‘how do you like being on stage?’ without realising I’ve been on stage since I was 16. I love theatre work. I haven’t done many musicals but I don’t have to sing in this – thank goodness! … for the people. (laughs)
In this show, I’m just loving everything about it and the beautiful singers that are around me. I just love to listen and let all the beautiful sounds wash over me and wishing I could sing like that but it’s a lovely show to be working on.”
Lorraine – on whether she prefers stage or screen better
“That’s a really difficult question because I love both. I don’t know if I would do television anymore, unless it was a small guest role, as I’m going to be 80 in January so I want to take it a little easier. After doing something on television, I felt the need to get back to stage every now and again – so that’s what I did and it added up to 50.
Most actors do prefer stage. You’ve got to know your dialogue, you don’t get take 2s, so you work harder. But that’s what’s good because it keeps you on your toes. I like, in some plays, leave an audience learning something without it being too preachy. But you can still leave audiences with some kind of attitude that they may not have had if they hadn’t seen this play that you’re in. That’s a good feeling when you’re in a play like that.”
Lorraine – on the differences of stage now and when she first started
“Well, starting 60 years ago, I think the acting has become more realistic. Back then you used to have certain expressions. There’s a funny book out How to Teach Yourself Acting, which I bought back when I was about 17. I don’t use any of their techniques thankfully. (laughs)
But now you’ve got to sell it for real and people have got to know that you’re feeling what the character’s supposed to be at that time because then they can be moved. You’ve got to have the emotion to start with, and then if you try and fight against it, then the audience will cry for you. How many times have you watched a shows like A Current Affair and you’ve watched somebody get interviewed that’s going through something really terrible in their life? They’re trying to get the words out but they can’t, they’re holding on. I’m watching, anyway and I have tears streaming my eyes because I feel so much for them.”
Lorraine – on how often she’s seen the movie and stage show
“When this came up, I thought, ‘I better go see the movie.’ But I’m glad I didn’t have time to see the movie before accepting the role, because in the movie, the housekeeper’s only got two scenes. And I would have said, ‘forget it.’ But in the script she’s got more. Also, I went through it carefully to try and find little interesting things to do with the character so she’s not just a bland housekeeper.
I saw the movie once when it first came out 50 years ago and I saw one production only of it with Lisa McCune in it. I love Lisa in anything she does – she’s so such a lovely actress and person. I know I enjoyed (the stage production) at the time but it was quite a while ago so that’s why I had to see it again. But the character, what I had to do with it was show a different facet of her personality in each little bit, so that she’s not just a cardboard copy of the caricature of a housekeeper. It’s a lovely one to play. I’m thoroughly enjoying it with this company and the role.”