By Jeffrey Epstein
Are you still in touch with any of the actors?
I talk to Hugh and Anne quite a bit. Hugh and I became really great friends. Whenever he comes out to L.A. I see him. We usually just sit at the Four Seasons and get drunk, because he likes to drink about as much as I do.
Was there anything particularly 'gay' that got cut out of the film?
There were a few great, campy jokes that did get cut out because the studio really wanted to focus on the younger audience and were afraid of anything that was too adult. Miramax isn't used to putting out kids' movies, and anything that was too edgy, they were scared of. There's one joke that was great. When Anne is tied up to the tree and Lucinda the fairy appears. She says, 'Lucinda you gave me a gift.' And Lucinda responds, 'Oh, that's right. The obedient one.' And then she said, 'And apparently a submissive as well.' That had to go. That was my favorite line in the movie.
Any interesting hidden Easter Eggs we can look for?
There are some faces hidden in the film. There's one in a tree. Two in the book. There's another one in the elf village. It's [producers] Harvey and Bob [Weinstein]. Just kidding. It's nobody. It was something we put in for the kids.
The film has so many great musical numbers. Was it originally conceived as a musical?
I came in and did that. I wrote in the elf village and I wrote in 'Somebody to Love' (which Anne sings to a rowdy bunch of giants). Harvey liked it so much he said let's do another one at the end. It's a bit weird that Anne and Hugh would sing 'Don't Go Breaking My Heart' after they just got married, but it was a fun number. Harvey does have a good sense of style, and he really appreciates a lot of my aesthetic.
Was it like getting to do the numbers in Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss only with a lot more money?
Exactly, which I loved. I look at the musical numbers as what in an action film might be a big explosion or a big chase sequence. And when you're shooting them, everybody loves working on them.
With Jim Fall doing Lizzie Maguire, Angela Robinson doing the Herbie remake, and you doing Ella'what's up with queer directors making kids' films?
I guess we're all just young at heart. For me, some of my favorite movies are Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and Mary Poppins. So I wanted to take the opportunity to do my own version of those films in a way. I really like dealing with genres and doing whatever I can to reinvent them. I'd love to do a horror film next.
What are you working on now?
Magick is next. It's a movie about a guy and girl who switch places from the neck down. So it's a guy walking around with a girl's body. And a girl walking around with a guy's body. A lot of potential for some perverse jokes'which will be good. It's with Dreamworks, and Robert Zemekis is producing. It's not just a Freaky Friday or The Hot Chick. It's more like a Back to the Future adventure.