Editor’s note: We sent our newest contributor Mary King to connect with the cast and creatives of “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” for this behind-the-scenes story.
What makes a good sequel? Five years after the release of Maleficent, its sequel, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is set to premiere later this month, and many are wondering if it will live up to expectations. Director Jochaim Ronning believes that “the success of the first film was that it had such a strong emotional core,” and in creating the sequel, focusing on that became “the most important thing.”
At the press conference in Los Angeles for the film, it was evident that that “strong emotional core” was still present as the cast discussed their characters and the story’s themes.
Michelle Pfeiffer plays Queen Ingrith, a powerful woman pitted against Maleficent. Ingrith is ruthless, but perhaps for a reason, as Pfeiffer admitted that “nobody behaves that way unless they’re incredibly damaged and vulnerable.”Pfeiffer said that her character is “really brilliant and diabolical, but I wouldn’t consider her terribly wise.”
In terms of wisdom, Pfeiffer actually believes that “Aurora’s character is in many ways … ultimately the strongest and wisest of all of us.”
Elle Fanning, who plays Aurora, elaborated on her character’s strengths. According to Fanning, Aurora stays rooted in kindness, and as she grows up, “she is stronger [and] she has much more conviction in herself.”
Fanning touched on the story’s family theme when discussing how her character goes through the very realistic experience of “leaving the nest … and making your own choices in life.” She points out how “Aurora stands up to Maleficent, which I think is such a very strong moment in the film … because Aurora is taking charge of her own life, but with kindness which is the most powerful of all.”
Angelina Jolie, who plays the titular role, further elaborated on the idea of family in the film. She personally resonated with the way Maleficent was changed by the “love of a child,” which Jolie says“certainly happened for me in my life; being a mother brought out something in me that instantly transformed me.”
She revealed, however, that because of their differences “Maleficent questions whether she’s good enough to be a mother; and whether she is [Aurora’s] mother.”
As the story unfolds, both Maleficent and Aurora explore their true natures, and even though others would have them focus on their differences, Jolie explains how the characters are stronger together.
“Diversity makes us stronger … we fight against this separation and we unite.” Jolie ultimately sums up the message, saying “be yourself, be your true nature, and you will find a home for it.”
Look for our spoiler-free of “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil soon!