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What a Girl Wants in our magazines

THE MOVIE: What a Girl Wants

Amanda Bynes • Colin Firth • Oliver James
DIRECTOR: Dennie Gordon

What a Girl Wants THE CONCEPT:
A teenage American girl travels to London to meet her father for the first time, Lord Henry Dashwood, only to discover that he is a high profile politician running for office, and he’s about to be remarried.

U.S. RELEASE: April 4 2003, Nationwide • Rated: PG


“When I first met Amanda, she was so clearly the right girl (for the part). She’s been working since she was nine, she’s worldly, yet she’s still in awe of the world. We captured her just at that moment as she’s becoming a woman.”

AMANDA BYNES (Daphne Reynolds):
“I got a script and it was really interesting, but with scripts you never really know how they’re going to turn out. Even scripts that are good could end up not working. I thought it was cute, but I didn’t know if I wanted to do the movie. Then I heard Colin Firth was interested, and I said, ‘Let me look at it again!’ I was shocked that he would be near me let alone do a movie with me. He was amazing. Even better than I thought he would be. He’s down to earth and has such a good sense of humor and is so charming.”

COLIN FIRTH (Lord Henry Dashwood):
“Henry is a good boy. The most scandalous thing he’s ever done is fall in love with Libby (Daphne’s mother). Now nearly 20 years later, he’s living out his father’s political dreams and he’s engaged to a woman he’s been advised to marry.”

OLIVER JAMES (Ian) on singing a James Brown song in the movie:
“It was interesting, an English kid doing the Godfather of Soul. It was a challenge, but I’d always sung when I was younger, and I’d always had a very soulful voice so it was just a question of producing the goods.”

“We have the greatest Queen Elizabeth look-alike on earth in the movie. One day we were taking a break from filming Daphne’s ball scene at Lancaster House, and my Queen look-alike was out on the lawn having a cigarette with the key grips, and nobody had alerted the security. Oh my God! We really created havoc.”

“(Henry is) utterly shocked when this seventeen year old American girl shows up with a photo of him and says ‘Hello, I’m your daughter.’ There’s an immediate assumption made by those around Henry that this is a ploy cooked up by his political rivals to ruin or blackmail him.”

“When I was making the movie, I learned that Britain is not as different as we portray it in the film. We try to magnify the difference between Americans and the English. In real life we like the same music, dress the same - it’s really much more similar than anyone thinks.”

OLIVER JAMES on working with Colin Firth:
“I had my first scene with Colin. I was very in awe. I still am. I met Orlando Bloom the other day and I found myself very in awe of him. Even though I’m of his generation, I still find myself a little star struck, but I think that’s nice. Colin’s a great guy. I remember, it was during the World Cup and I didn’t have a television in my trailer, so he asked me to watch football with him and it was great. Seeing as we had a scene later that day, it kind of broke the ice and made me realize he was just like an ordinary guy like you or I.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Images above © Warner Bros.
Feature © 2003 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #628, March 2003 cover

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