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“I didn’t think it was going to happen to be honest with you. When they told me it was going, I had heard that before and I was convinced no, this isn’t going to go,” Patrick Dempsey told The Hollywood Reporter at the film’s Los Angeles premiere on Wednesday.
“I thought it was going to happen for the first like 12 years, and then I was like maybe best to go do other stuff and keep your fingers crossed. After a certain amount of time you just expect it not to happen,” added co-star James Marsden. “But I knew there was a lot of moving parts and they finally got the script and Alan [Menken] and Stephen [Schwartz] got the music together and Amy was on board. It was like this actually might happen now.”
Marsden jokingly added that he started wondering, “Are we getting recast because it’s 15 years later?”
In fact, quite the opposite, as Disenchanted is a rare sequel welcoming back its entire star-studded cast, including Amy Adams, Dempsey, Marsden and Idina Menzel, with Maya Rudolph also joining the ensemble. This film is set years after the original, with Giselle (Adams) and Robert (Dempsey) living in the suburbs when Giselle accidentally transforms the entire town into a real-life fairy tale — which also means transforming herself into the classic evil stepmother.
“It was so much fun to get to twist Giselle’s idea of herself on her head, and to get to do it opposite all of my costars from the first film and Maya and all of our new additions, it was just thrilling,” Adams said.
Rudolph stars as the local queen bee, who ends up facing off against Adams as both seek to be the town’s superior villain. “Don’t tell me who you thought won, we’ll just leave it at a draw for now,” joked Adams.
As part of their villain-off, the two share a breakout song and dance number, which Rudolph said they “worked our little butts off” for.
“It was one of those movies where you really had to train and I worked on the song every day — I’m never that responsible! I worked every day on the song and I did my choreography, I got my little shoes,” Rudolph continued. “It was really exciting, it was like all of those years of being a theater nerd really paid off, all of those musical theater productions I was a part of. It was my happy place.”
Director and executive producer Adam Shankman said Rudolph was his first choice to play the opposing villain, which Adams was immediately onboard with. “The idea of that toe-to-toe was just too much to resist,” he said.
Adams and Rudolph weren’t the only ones immersed in musical numbers, as Dempsey also got his first, which he said “was really a lot of fun. It was nerve-wracking at the beginning but it was really fun the process of trying to discover your voice and hit the notes and slowly building the song. Even the dancing was fun.”
Menzel, who surprisingly did not sing in Enchanted, gets her own song. Because the movie filmed during the pandemic, she revealed that she recorded the vocal used in the film in her bedroom closet. The actress also shares some musical moments with Marsden.
The actor joked Menzel is “a good song partner in a sense that she’s going to make you sound good, but not a good song partner in that you’re just going to pale in comparison to her. So it’s just like which one is it? We’ll see!”
As for how the sequel will compare to the beloved original, Shankman said he tried to keep the same tone and tropes and “loving wink at Disney” of the first film while bringing in a quite different plot.
“It became more about family. The first movie was essentially a romantic comedy, but it was also hinging on the fact that Giselle was a fish out of water. She’s not a fish out of water anymore so we had to make everyone else a fish out of water,” he said. “Unless you wanted her to have marital problems with Robert, which we did not want to do, the romantic comedy thing wasn’t so much there, so it was about creating all of the energy that makes it feel like Enchanted, with an entirely new set of rules.”
Disenchanted starts streaming on Disney+ on Friday.
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