As Prince Caspian comes to DVD, the film’s young stars talk about their experiences on the set and life after Narnia. By Bryan ReesmanThe tagline for the movie The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian,the second film in the acclaimed Narnia series, states, “Everything youknow is about to change forever.” It befits the stirring sequel, whichnot only welcomes the arrival of dashing lead Ben Barnes but also seesthe departure of two of the series’ stars and its director.
Out this month on DVD, this action-packed follow-up to The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
finds the four Pevensie children -- played by William Moseley, AnnaPopplewell, Skandar Keynes, and Georgie Henley -- returning to themystical land of Narnia, only to discover that it has been overtaken bytyranny. They enlist all manner of good creatures, from centaurs to aswashbuckling mouse, to foster a rebellion and bring Prince Caspian topower. For the Pevensie kids, the adventure is an unexpected bridgeinto adulthood and one that mirrors the actors’ real-life maturations.
“It’sfunny, because we have these on-set experiences, where we’re in theselocations with these people seven days a week for seven months at atime,” explains Moseley. “You really almost become a family. So whenwe’re not together, it’s kind of weird. You’re back to reality almost.For us to split up -- it will be weird to see where Narnia goes.” Bothhe and Popplewell depart the series after Caspian
(as was written in the books) with a sense of sadness, but they look forward to new life challenges.
Currently,Popplewell and costar Keynes are concentrating on obtaining a collegedegree. “I’m taking biology and chemistry next year,” says Keynes, whois studying medicine. “I definitely want to finish school. I have notbeen offered any wonderful roles other than this, so I’m going to dothese and not go role hunting.” Keynes still has at least one moreNarnia film ahead of him: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
,the third of the potentially seven-part series. (The Pevensie childrenappear in all but two of the novels.) With the first two movies underhis belt, Andrew Adamson will hand over the directorial reins toMichael Apted for Voyage
but will stay on as a producer.
Regardless of where Prince Caspian
’s young stars go from here -- Barnes, Keynes, and Henley to Voyage
;Moseley to other acting ventures; and Popplewell to Oxford Universityto earn an English degree before continuing acting -- they havecertainly shared profound and funny moments both on and off the set.One of the most common misconceptions fans have, Moseley says, isbelieving that the Narnia films are linked in some way to the HarryPotter series.
“People literally think we have a once-a-monthfantasy-movie meet-up, or like a royal rumble, but it isn’t like that,”Moseley quips. “I think my friends think I have a hotline: ‘Can youjust ring Ron [Weasley from Harry Potter] up tonight and say this tohim?’ ” jokes Henley. “Just to clear the air, we don’t have a hotline.”
Theyoung Narnia cast has managed to stay grounded while appreciating theirachievements. Popplewell recalls one experience that helped her realizeher impact on the films’ young fans. “I was walking home in London, anda seven-year-old was with his mom,” she says. “He did this double takeand said, ‘Mom, Mom, she’s escaped from the cinema!’ No matter howweird it is to be on a cereal packet or a bedspread, you sometimes haveexperiences like that, where you realize that to some people, the worldyou’re creating actually means quite a lot.”BATTLE OF THE BOX OFFICEMoviefans may confuse the Narnia and Harry Potter film series, both of whichare based on celebrated seven-novel book series. But Harry’s got theupper hand at the box office so far. Here’s a look at the big-screengrosses (in millions) for the films that have been released to date.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001) - $969Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) - $866Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) - $789Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) - $892Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) - $937The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) - $739The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008) - $417