A number of fairy tales of old have been revisited on both the big and small screens in recent years, from the retelling of “Rapunzel” in Disney’s Tangled to the various tales that are touched on in ABC’s Once Upon a Time. But few are recast as darkly as Snow White & the Huntsman, starring the Twilight saga’s Kristen Stewart. A far cry from the 1937 Disney-animated film that set the standard for virtually all fairy tale motion pictures to follow, this reimagined version tells the story of the fairest woman in all the land whose beating heart is the quarry sought by the evil Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron). But here, Snow White (Stewart) isn’t exactly a helpless maiden — she’s training in the art of war with the Hunstman, Eric (Chris Hemsworth), who was sent to hunt her down.
Producer Joe Roth talks about the casting of Stewart, as well as the vision for this new type of Snow White: “We all felt convinced that Snow White was not shy but somebody who was an aggressive, assertive, positive Joan of Arc-like figure,” he explains. “We originally were looking for an unknown to play the character, in the same way we did on Alice in Wonderland, where we found Mia Wasikowska. However, [director Rupert Sanders] and I decided to fly down to New Orleans, where the last Twilight film was being shot, and sat and talked to Kristen. … She really did her homework for this role. She spent four months riding horses and four months with an English accent.”
“We’re not trying to take Snow White and turn her on her side; we stay very true to who she is in the story,” Stewart suggests, adding that part of the purity of her character is Snow White’s absolute lack of vanity. “She just has none. In almost every other role you play, you’re at least aware of yourself and might have to play a girl dealing with vanity as she grows into a woman. The fact that Snow White has absolutely none of that, and Ravenna has the ultimate opposite, says something very nice about what people find beautiful in life.”
Snow White and the Huntsman is available starting Sept. 11 on Video On Demand. Check your cable system for availability.