About The Production
Between love and destiny, between light and dark,
miracles can happen.
When the infant Peter Lake sails toward New York City in 1895, he has no
inkling of the long and complicated life he is to live, or of the other lives he
will touch in a very extraordinary way. For inside of Peter is a miracle meant
for one very special soul, one very important life that only he can save, if he
can just stay alive long enough to find her.
"The story blends a reality-based environment with the unexplained that
exists behind the world we see," states screenwriter, producer and first-time
feature director Akiva Goldsman. "It's a straightforward emotional narrative,
yet within that naturalistic world is a world where magic happens and people
live for centuries."
For Goldsman, Mark Helprin's novel on which the film is based presented a
challenge he could not resist. "I first read Winter's Tale in the '80s and fell
in love with it," he recalls. "It's hard to let go of things you love,
especially if they spark your imagination as strongly as this did." Goldsman
never forgot it, and in fact spent years thinking about how he would adapt it
for the big screen. "Mark's book is big, close to 800 pages, and no screenplay
could contain every element, so I worked on it, distilling from it what
resonated with me the most, until it became part of the fabric of my writing
"Akiva is one of our most acclaimed screenwriters," says producer Marc Platt.
"Because of his passion for the story, and due to a personal journey in his
life, he worked fervently to adapt this story and make it his own, while
retaining all the wonderful qualities that are inherent and unique to Mark's
"It's a very complex sequence of events," Goldsman observes, "and while I was
in the process of trying to crack it, I had an unexpected loss. When I finally
started writing again, 'Winter's Tale' went from something I loved to the thing
I loved the most. I had to see it through."
Once he had completed the script, Goldsman knew it was the perfect project
for his directorial debut and that he could not turn it over to anyone else. "It
had come to mean so much to me, and I felt so close to these characters for so
long and I understood their feelings so well, I knew I had to direct the film,
At the center of "Winter's Tale" is a love story that spans a century. "It's
about falling in love, and lost love, and it's insanely romantic," Goldsman
relates. "The hero, Peter Lake, is a dashing fellow who lives for more than 100
years because of how much he loves one woman, Beverly Penn. A love that strong
is something I think we'd all like to imagine finding for ourselves, and when I
go to the movies, I want to be made to feel in ways that are more powerful, more
extreme than in real life."
Colin Farrell, who stars as Peter, says, "If you ask me what makes a good
love story, I think it's people getting lost in each other, and thereby finding
themselves for the first time ever, finding the best aspects of themselves in
the presence of the other person. That's what happens for Peter when he meets
Beverly. It's immediate. Their feelings for each other transcend the
constrictions of time."
The character of Peter Lake is something of an anti-hero; when we encounter
him in 1916, he is a seasoned and skilled thief, and the way he makes his living
is how he first meets Beverly. Attempting to burglarize her father's Central
Park mansion and not expecting anyone to be at home, Peter stumbles upon a
beautiful vision in white, with fiery red hair and a challenging nature that
makes her, much to his surprise, unafraid.
Beverly is played by Jessica Brown Findlay, who was enamored of the
screenplay on the first read. "When I read the script, I just couldn't believe a
story like that, in the way it was being told with such a magical sensibility,
was being made or that I could ever get to be part of something so beautiful."
Unfortunately, When Peter meets Beverly she is already very ill with
consumption, and does not have long to live. But that is not the only thing that
could tear the lovers apart. Pearly Soames, Peter's one-time mentor in thievery
and a demon of the first order, has made it his personal mission in his
never-ending life to hunt Peter down and make him pay for his perceived
Eager to work with Goldsman again after their collaborations on "A Beautiful
Mind" and "Cinderella Man," Russell Crowe took on the villainous role.
Crowe says, "You don't often get to have relationships that are as essential
as I feel that mine and Akiva's is. Whether we're on a film set together or
writing something together, we see the same patterns emerge, so it's one of the
great creative collaborations of my life. This was a beautiful script with
beautifully realized characters, and all the points you need to make a story
come alive were all there on the page, so I felt lucky to be involved in a
really cool project with one of my mates."
In addition to Farrell, Brown and Crowe, the film's stellar cast also
includes Jennifer Connelly, William Hurt and Eva Marie Saint. Notes producer
Michael Tadross, "Everybody loves Akiva; they all came to work with Akiva. His
script was one of the greatest I've ever read, and his vision for it was so
clear, his enthusiasm so evident, and that made it such a pleasure for all of
For his first time behind the camera, Goldsman surrounded himself with a team
of some of the best artisans in the business, including cinematographer Caleb
Deschanel and production designer Naomi Shohan, and shot the film on his home
turf, New York City.
Due to the span of time covered in the film and the fantastical elements
required of the story, the filmmakers were faced with creating New York's
skyline and its surrounds in three different eras: 1895, 1916 and 2014.
Fortunately, the production shot entirely in and around the city, providing them
with access to the perfect locations, and the film's director with great
inspiration, just as the book had so many years before.
"My affection for grown-up fairy tales is real," Goldsman offers. "I tried to
tell the story out of my own hope that everything happens for a reason, that the
loss you experience today you may one day understand was a gain somewhere else.
I simply love the kind of story that makes you think all is right with the
world...that makes you understand why stars hang in the sky."
What's the best thing you've ever stolen?
I'm beginning to think I haven't stolen it yet.
As a youngster on the streets of Brooklyn, Peter Lake is taken in by Pearly
Soames, who trains him to become a thief, and he becomes quite an effective one.
But when we meet him in 1916, Peter, now a man, has realized how brutal and how
soulless his mentor is, and is eager to leave town and escape Pearly's extensive
reach. However, the best laid plans are often interrupted by circumstance.
"Peter has renounced the idea of being the kind of thief that he was for
Pearly-brutal and self-serving," Goldsman notes. "He is happy to continue to
steal. I just think that, in a weird way, he is better suited to be Robin Hood
than Al Capone. And though he wants a different future, I'm not sure he ever
imagined the one he finds when he comes upon Beverly."
In playing the role of Peter, Farrell says, "The love that both Beverly and
Peter experience together is not anything he expected. He was just there to
steal from what he thought was an empty house, not to find a love that draws the
attention of the celestial forces of the universe that then conspire to keep him
alive for 100 years."
Their love is so strong that it does indeed, as Farrell puts it, "agitate the
shades of light and dark that are manipulating the existence of all human beings
on the planet. So it's pretty heady stuff, and it becomes a matter of life and
Platt adds, "Peter Lake is an individual who fell into the wrong hands and
was brought up in a street gang called the Short Tails, but the innate goodness
in him caused him to drift apart from that gang. Now he unexpectedly, and
perhaps for the first time in his life, finds true love with a beautiful woman
who seems unattainable. Whether it's by chance or by destiny, these two
individuals meet and their love is instantaneous."
Peter has never thought of what purpose he might serve in life, his or anyone
else's. "Peter's always fought against the way things are," Farrell allows.
"He's fought against societal systems and against the law, and he's fought
against himself. But as a result of what Beverly awakens in him and the strength
of the love experienced between the two of them, he eventually finds that he
actually has an extraordinary purpose in life."
"Colin as Peter was one of those lovely marriages of casting a role,"
Goldsman says. "He has such an open heart you can feel him. He's so present and
connected, yet at the same time, mysterious. He's both beautiful and physical
and he really brought those qualities to the character."
Farrell believes Peter simply "is overwhelmed by the essence of life that is all
around Beverly. There's a real radiance about her. And Jessica's portrayal gave
that radiance life in a perfect union of actress and material."
Goldsman acknowledges that chemistry between the two leads was key. "In the
book, there's quite a large age difference between Peter and Beverly. But when
you see Colin and Jessica together on screen, it doesn't occur to you because,
although she is younger, he is timeless. That is the amazing thing about Colin,
he is young and he is old. He has that effect; he pulls you in, makes you want
to lean into him, to listen. And that's a wonderful gift."
In a way, it doesn't take long for Peter and Beverly to realize they do have
something in common: neither has had much to lose up until now. Goldsman
asserts, "Beverly has been dying since she was a child, and Peter has never
loved before. Suddenly, they find each other, and therein lies the drama.
"Beverly is the perfect first act of a life," he continues. "She is young and
stunning, brilliant, soulful. She is pure, she is undistracted by the world, so
much so that she sort of represents someone who has been kept away in a tower,
but in this case it's a house in Manhattan.
Jessica Brown Findlay, who plays Beverly Penn, adds, "Before she meets Peter,
Beverly's illness has forced her to accept that a lot of things that happen to
most people, such as romance, will never happen to her. She has clarity about
her life and sees things very simply, because she's never had a reason to think
long term. But then she does meet him, and everything else disappears; nothing
matters anymore but this amazing human connection they've made."
The actress admired her character's ability to regard Peter for who he really
is almost immediately. "Beverly can very quickly see that Peter is not a bad
person, even if he does bad things. Besides, what can he do to her? She's
already dying. Not having any fear of death, I suppose, means most things don't
scare her in the way they probably should. So she's open enough to be warm, and
not to tell him to leave, and very quickly their relationship blossoms, those
romantic feelings really come out. I suppose she has no time to muck about."
"There is something about Jessie which is inspirational," Goldsman says. "She
is both graceful and adorable; it's a very strange combination. You can kind of
glimpse it in person, and then you put a camera on her, and that camera
transforms her as if she's floating in the air in front of you. It's very
special. She's got something unique."
Peter and Beverly find themselves in love in a very black-and-white world,
where good is good and evil is evil. And no one is more evil than Pearly Soames.
"Pearly is what gets thrown in your path to see how you handle the dark side,"
Goldsman attests. "He's not the devil, he just works for him. He crushes hope
and miracles. If anything can go wrong, if there is vulnerability or a chance
for temptation to win out, Pearly is there."
Because of his own perceived ugliness-a scar on his face only hinting at the
hideousness beneath-Pearly covets, and steals, anything beautiful, including
light. He is feared even by his own men, who don't realize what he truly is but
who know better than to ask.
Russell Crowe, in looking at things from his character's perspective, says,
"The way Pearly sees it, he saved this boy from possibly a very tragic life. He
apprenticed him, taught him a decent trade-stealing-which he could make a living
from, and Peter has decided he doesn't really need Pearly anymore; he can get by
by himself. Given that Pearly spent so much time developing Peter's skills and
talents, he's not very happy about that. His response is not to seek some sort
of conversation to work out their differences, it's 'if he's not with me then
he's against me, therefore he should die.'"
"I wrote Pearly for Russell," Goldsman says. "We've worked together quite a
lot and understand each other's rhythms. He is one of the great actors of our
time. He transforms. He is that rare combination of movie star and character
actor, in the truest sense of the words."
"Pearly Soames is a heck of a character," Crowe allows. "I kept thinking,
'How outrageous can I make this moment?' Playing him was just a license to have
some fun. And Akiva surrounded me with actors whose work I love and whose
companionship I really appreciate as well."
Farrell thoroughly enjoyed going toe-to-toe with Crowe. "I loved working with
Russell. He's incredibly on point and very free during takes. All the work is
done by the time he gets on set, so as he gives it breath and movement, I could
see that he's decided what he's going to do down to the last detail."
"I had a great time working with Colin," says Crowe. "He was very focused and
very serious about bringing out all the aspects of his character, and he worked
quite hard on the physical stuff, the horseback riding. It's always impressive
when you see someone so committed to the job. And on a daily basis he was just
Goldsman was impressed with the manner in which his two male leads worked out
a fight sequence. "Even before we started shooting, during rehearsal I thought,
'Those guys are not the same as me, I would clearly be in the hospital by now,'"
he laughs. "But they're like dancers and a fight is like a dance for them, the
way they learn the steps and execute them as if they've known them their whole
lives. It was pretty awesome, what these two men could do with their fists."
Their war transcends the years as Pearly pursues Peter into a new century,
where he encounters single mother Virginia Gamely. Jennifer Connelly, another
veteran of Goldsman's films, plays the part.
"I became involved first and foremost for Akiva," she says. "We've been close
friends for over a decade, and I had been hearing about this project for years.
It's a very important film for him, so when it finally came together and he
wanted me to be a part of it, I felt honored."
Connelly recalls her first days on set. "It's a really ambitious project, but
he'd imagined it so fully that he had extraordinary clarity on set."
"Virginia is the character most like the rest of us; she is what keeps the
movie in the real world," Goldsman remarks. "Not only is Jenny one of the most
beautiful and talented women in the world, she is also an incredible mother, and
that's what she brings to the movie. She provided the kind of truthful, maternal
presence that was absolutely required."
Playing opposite Connelly as her daughter, Abby, is newcomer Ripley Sobo, and
another young actress making her feature film debut in the film is Mckayla
Twiggs, who plays Beverly's little sister, Willa. Says Goldsman, "There's
something about Mckayla...the way she looks at you, she has almost a preternatural
wisdom for a kid so young. And Ripley was great, she couldn't be a sweeter,
nicer kid and she worked really hard. Both girls were a great find."
To portray Isaac Penn, Beverly and Willa's father, Goldsman turned to veteran
actor William Hurt. "William is so nuanced, so complex and precise and deep," he
says. "It's not a large role and yet he brought so much to it. He's a real
anchor and we were really thrilled to have him."
Other great talents the filmmakers felt fortunate to have for small but critical
roles are Eva Marie Saint, Graham Greene and Matt Bomer.
Platt credits the film's writer/director with attracting such a stellar cast.
"We were able to get these incredibly talented actors for two reasons, really,
one, of course, being the evocative characters initially found in the novel and
then brought to life by Akiva in his screenplay. The second reason is because,
knowing his body of work as a writer and producer, they wanted the opportunity
to be there with Akiva as he made his debut as a director."
Yours is the kind of love that makes the world warm and light,
the kind of love that can save her.
In filming "Winter's Tale," Goldsman and his top-flight creative team were
faced with the challenge of grounding a fantastical story in a real-world
environment, while still maintaining enough awe-inspiring elements to catch the
eye at just the right moments. For Naomi Shohan and Caleb Deschanel, the film's
production designer and director of photography, respectively, that meant
capturing the essence of each time period for a contemporary audience.
It also meant using locations and sets and light to correspond to the essence
of the individual character. For Beverly's scenes, Deschanel designed the
so it would linger and flutter around her in a luminous way, playing off her
ethereal qualities. And because of their almost innate connection, there had to
be light that corresponded to Beverly's for Peter, albeit in his own manner and
in keeping with his character.
Goldsman offers, "In Mark's novel, light is a character that doesn't seem to
have an inherent value of good or evil; it is just powerful. Beverly even says
we're all connected by light, and that idea is at play in the movie in terms of
color palette, practical lighting, and in post in terms of visual effects. We
introduced the use of flares that relate to when magic is occurring; it's just a
way of opening up our view of the world to suggest there's a little more going
on. My theory was that even if the characters can't see the magic in the scene,
the camera can."
As a first-time director, Goldsman was happy to have one of the most
experienced DPs at his side to achieve the on-set lighting phenomena. "When we
met I just said, 'I can tell you what I want this scene to feel like.' And he
said, 'That's all I need.' And he was brilliant."
The team used not only light, but also shadow, to evoke the pure evil that
exists in the character of Pearly Soames. Shohan designed his environments to be
much darker, providing an almost noir quality. For scenes when Pearly goes to
see a character called The Judge in his chambers, which are intended to be under
the Brooklyn Bridge, Shohan's crew built troughs surrounding a platform
reflecting water. The idea was to create an underworld, quasi sewer. "It's a
subterranean place that is deep, deep down where only the chosen can get to it,
as though it were in the bowels of the city, its underlying infrastructure where
the water meets the rock," the designer details.
One of the more fairytale-like sets is the rooftop tent where Beverly sleeps.
Dying of consumption, she is always feverish and seeks relief in the crisp
outdoor air. Shohan cites, "We researched all kinds of tents but, happily for
us, the Victorians had a vogue for design from Morocco, East Africa and Asia. We
looked at some great Orientalist paintings depicting elaborate scenes from those
areas as the Victorians romanticized them. Beverly's father, Isaac Penn, is a
very worldly man and he would have been aware of this trend. The tents he
created for his precious daughter would be as beautiful as he could make them,
to give her
everything he possibly could in her short life. Therefore, we took liberty to be
lyrical and made the tents very pretty and very much a picturesque place for
Beverly to be."
"Naomi is just a true artist," Goldsman says. "She was able to far exceed
what I saw in my mind for each setting."
"Winter's Tale" was filmed all over the five boroughs of New York City.
"What's so interesting and perhaps unique about New York, both in the film and
also in the real world, is that there's so much of it that existed in the early
20th Century that still exists today," Platt observes. "The architecture, the
parks, they've been witness to the journey of the city and the journey of the
people in the city. The city structure is the same, and we got to shoot what are
very familiar places, such as Brooklyn, where in neighborhoods like Red Hook,
streets are still paved with cobblestone, and buildings have existed for 100
years-just put period cars in front of them, and you're back in 1915. The
exteriors are the same, but inside they've become extraordinary loft spaces and
galleries, part of the very vibrant, contemporary world that is Brooklyn today.
And this film captures much of that."
Shohan and her team used what New York had to offer in terms of its historic
buildings. They were able to achieve a blend of the Victorian sensibility with
the unusual elements that the story required while building on existing elements
of New York's incredible architecture to accomplish their goal of grounded
surrealism. For example, historic locations like Lower Manhattan's Beaux Arts
municipal building, Surrogate's Courthouse, became Mouquins, a grand restaurant,
scene of the pivotal dance between Peter and Beverly. Peter's hideout, a set
meant to be in the attic of Grand Central Terminal, was a poetic interpretation
of the Terminal's real attic, which was not accessible to filming and, while an
inspiration for the design, turned out to be not as beautiful as hoped. The
Terminal itself provided a locale rife with history, but also demanded some
tricky aerial work due to the extraordinary height of its ceiling. For Peter's
POV from his attic hideout, Deschanel's team hooked a camera onto a controlled
balloon in order to achieve what Peter would have seen from a small (imaginary)
door in the famed astral ceiling.
A vast, ground floor art gallery in Red Hook, with its exposed brick and
large windows, became the interior of Pearly Soames' warehouse, with Shohan
altering its dÃ©cor to reflect both of the eras in which it plays.
Several other landmarks were used in the filming, including Lyndhurst Castle
in Tarrytown, which served as the interiors of the Penn family's Central Park
West home. A Gothic Revival mansion, the castle was designed in 1838 and was
once home to former New York City mayor William Paulding, merchant George
Merritt, and railroad tycoon Jay Gould. The exteriors of the Penn home were shot
at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture. The Penn family's country house,
Coheeries, was filmed at Coe Hall in Old Westbury.
Other locations included the South Street Seaport, DUMBO, Prospect Park, City
Hall Park, Central Park, Calvary Cemetery in Queens, and Caumsett State Historic
Park in Lloyd Harbor. Goldsman had hoped to film on the Brooklyn Bridge but,
thanks to zero-degree weather, they were unable to shoot on the actual bridge.
Thus, a portion of it was replicated on a stage in Oyster Bay, with blue screens
to capture the city skyline.
The director admits to being "selfishly enamored of making movies in New
York. I grew up here, and I find that where you make a movie informs not just
the locations or the aesthetic but also the tone of the piece and the tenor of
the people you're working with. To me, New York really can function as a
presence on film in a way that alters what's on the screen. So we chased as many
practical locations as we could in order to present a real New York, but not a
Colin Farrell agrees. "The city is the perfect example of the potential for
human beings to coexist together, because it's eight million people of so many
different races and creeds and beliefs and ideals. It's an island that should be
drowning in the Atlantic under the weight of so much conflict, and yet people
coexist peacefully. And I suppose that's one of the essences of love, the idea
of coexisting in harmony. Beverly is from the family of aristocrats and
incredibly erudite and exudes culture and dignity and sophistication, and Peter
is the complete opposite. So, in that way, New York felt like a perfect
The idea of coming together through conflict hit home in the earliest days of
production, when the company faced a major obstacle in the form of Hurricane
Sandy. Michael Tadross remembers, "We had Sandy. We had an 85-mile-an-hour
windstorm. We had a blizzard. So, what do you do about that? You have to move
on. It's that simple."
Goldsman states, "We had two days in the can when the hurricane hit. All our
locations were getting washed out, many of them we never got back. Armories were
taken over by FEMA for people who had no shelter. And none of that really
mattered because people were hurt or had lost their homes. It was not clear what
was going to happen, but then, it's New York. Slowly we come back."
Tadross reveals that the production pitched in for the relief effort in every
way possible, such as donating all the lumber left over from the sets to
rebuilding homes in Breezy Point, a large portion of Craft Services food, and
plaster board to rebuild a house in Rockaway. "We did everything we could
because, well, how could we do anything less?"
You look good in that suit.
You... Are impossibly beautiful.
To dress the actors in the film, Goldsman turned to longtime friend Michael
Kaplan. "Michael has a stunning aesthetic. He is also stubborn and opinionated
and I hope never to do a movie without him," the director laughs.
Kaplan outfitted Peter Lake in clothes that would suit the lifestyle of his
profession, a thief-spare, dark; there's no long coat that could catch or drag
during an escape. Beverly is always filmed with no coat, despite the fact that
others around her are wearing them-her constant fever keeps her from dressing in
anything but sheer, light, summer fabrics. "We see Beverly leaving the house and
going out into the snowy December weather without a coat, with no gloves nor
scarf. Akiva came up with the idea that the viewer should be able to see through
her clothing and sense that it's one thin layer, in order to have the audience
empathize with her sickly condition."
Kaplan based Pearly Soames' look on an early 20th century gangster style.
"One of the people I researched when I was doing Pearly's costumes was Diamond
Jim Brady. A bit of a dandy, he just seemed like the kind of character that I
wanted to think of when dressing Russell-beautiful, luxurious fabrics, handmade
shirts, heavy woolen suits and coats. He never wears the same coat twice."
"Michael really understands actors," Goldsman conveys. "I remember meetings
with him and Russell and Russell started talking about Pearly moving like a
shark, and suddenly fabrics were coming back to create these beautiful, elegant
shark skin suits."
Pearly's gang members are called Short Tails and their costumes are based on
clothing worn by an actual gang of that name Kaplan discovered in his research.
"They don't wear coats; they all wear these period cutaway jackets in shades of
black and charcoal, and they all wear black derbies. It becomes their uniform."
The first half of the film is period, the second, contemporary. Kaplan was
particularly interested in creating the looks for the earliest years in the
film, though it posed a challenge. "The women's costumes from the teens are so
beautiful, but the evening clothes were very delicate and few exist, since the
fabrics were so fragile. It was really difficult to amass the 100 evening gowns
necessary for the background dancers and extras that we had to dress for the
pivotal New Year's Eve party. We had all the gentlemen in tail coats and top
hats and the women in velvet and silk gowns with furs and wraps and vintage
jewelry," he says. "We wanted to show the rarified finery of the period, and the
richness of the strata in which the Penn family lived."
Stylistically, Goldsman wanted the movie to be very similar in both of its
main time frames in order to suggest the idea of past and present being somewhat
In line with that dictate, visual effects supervisor Richard Hollander kept
his team's work very subtle, despite the magical elements required. He notes,
"We have two types of effects in this movie: the historical reproduction of 1895
and 1916 New York City and the magical elements of the story. For the historical
reproduction the intention was to create invisible effects to immerse the
audience into the time and place. And, because Akiva wanted to maintain as much
as possible, the magical story based moments are subtle when we first introduce
them and become visually stronger as the story progresses."
There is a great dance and we all have our part.
And when we are done here, after one life or a
thousand, we rise up, into the sky, and
we become stars.
"One of the major themes of the story is that essentially we all have a
destiny, we all have a miracle inside us and it's for one person alone,"
Goldsman relates. "When you start to get close to fulfilling it, the universe
kind of helps you out by sending you spirit guides, or Guardian Angels, one of
which is a white horse or a white dog. In the movie there are two Guardian
Angels. One is a fellow named Cecil Mature, played by Maurice Jones, who seems
to be following Peter through time. The other is Athansor, and he's Peter's
white horse. I think for those of us who read the book, he is one of the things
that captures the imagination so profoundly. He is beautiful, regal, full of
intelligence, but not really anthropomorphized, not really given human
attributes, although he clearly loves Peter. There is something about Peter that
promises to be important, something is critical about his ability to fulfill his
destiny, and this horse, this angel, comes down to help him."
With the assistance of trainers Rex Peterson and Cari Swanson, the production
trained four exquisite Andalusian horses to play the part of Athansor. Those
four received eight weeks of training, with at least two of them trained for
each sequence. The number one horse, Listo, a very even-tempered animal, worked
with Colin Farrell in each of Peter and Athansor's scenes together.
"Listo was an amazing horse to work with and to ride. He's got power, and
power brakes and ABS steering," Farrell smiles.
Goldsman admits, "I haven't been around horses much, but I love that horse;
he's a special animal. He was smart and kind, and I started to understand why
people get so attached to horses."
About his human actors' interactions with their four-legged co-stars,
Goldsman says, "Russell and Colin are real horsemen, so the scenes with the
horses were very natural to them. It was just like being at home for them."
The horses also worked with the special effects team to perform movements in
front of a green screen that were used for several of the scenes. While the real
horses execute much of the action in the film, the special effects team also
computer-generated images to create the surrealistic nature of some of the
Is it possible to love someone so completely
they simply can't die?
The final element in setting the tone for "Winter's Tale" was the score,
composed by Hans Zimmer and Rupert Gregson-Williams. Goldsman calls the
music they created "crazy romantic, so perfectly evocative of the intense
relationship between these characters. I think it's just genius."
Platt concurs. "We were thrilled to have Hans and Rupert compose our
music for the film. They really found the lushness, the epic sense of time and
destiny, and the romance that's at the core of the story, as well as the action,
magic...all the wonderful elements that come together in this enchanted
"At the heart of 'Winter's Tale' is true love," Goldsman concludes. "For all
infinite possibilities and disappointments, it is that singular emotion that
through life. It is our hope for true love, or our memory of true love, that
us human. I tried to tell this story out of my own hope-or perhaps my blind
faith-that everything happens for a reason, that everything is connected, and
no matter what loss we may experience today, we will one day understand the
greater good that came from it somewhere else in the world."
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