'Cinderella': Camila Cabello and Idina Menzel say movie is 'trauma-informed fairy tale' (exclusive)

·Contributor
·3 min read

Watch: Camila Cabello and Idina Menzel on modernising Cinderella

Camila Cabello says her new take on Cinderella "challenges the social programming" brought about by other fairy tales.

The 24-year-old singer makes her acting debut in the movie, directed by Pitch Perfect writer Kay Cannon, and describes the story as a "trauma-informed fairy tale".

Her version of Cinderella is less interested in wooing the prince than she is in pursuing a dream of selling her dresses in the town square, despite rules preventing women owning their own businesses.

Read more: Keira Knightley banned her daughter from two Disney films

"I think that this movie really challenges the social programming, which is something I feel like as I get older, I start to understand too," Cabello tells Yahoo Entertainment UK. 

Camila Cabello and director Kay Cannon depict Cinderella as a talented dressmaker. (Kerry Brown/Amazon)
Camila Cabello and director Kay Cannon depict Cinderella as a talented dressmaker. (Kerry Brown/Amazon)

She adds: "So many of these stereotypes that you see in older fairy tales and also cultural norms and social programming in general. At the time that was normal, for women to not have jobs and to not have dreams of their own. 

"People looked at this character like she had three heads when she was like 'I wanna sell dresses and I have ambition'. 

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 12:  Camila Cabello performs live at Brixton Academy on June 12, 2018 in London, England.  (Photo by Samir Hussein/Redferns)
LCamila Cabello performs live at Brixton Academy, 2018 (Samir Hussein/Redferns)

"They were just like: 'What are you talking about? You're acting crazy'. She challenges that."

Cabello says she was also intrigued by the adjustments made to the character of Cinderella's stepmother, who she says was "played beautifully" by Frozen and Broadway star Idina Menzel.

Read more: Idina Menzel discusses possibility of Frozen 3

"It's challenging that question of is she evil, or is she really just struggling and hurting? Let's get her in therapy," Cabello says to her co-star.

"I love this description of a trauma-informed society. This is like a trauma-informed fairy tale. 

"And I feel like that's reflected on the set too of women supporting each other and women cheering each other on and being really conscious. Kay was like that, you're like that and it's kind of just like the dream experience for a lady and for everybody."

Idina Menzel plays Cinderella's stepmother in the new musical adaptation. (Kerry Brown/Amazon)
Idina Menzel plays Cinderella's stepmother in the new musical adaptation. (Kerry Brown/Amazon)

Menzel says it was interesting to add "nuance" to the portrayal of a character who almost always has "Evil" or "Wicked" added to the front of her name.

The veteran performer says there was a "real camaraderie" between everybody on set.

Read more: Idina Menzel jokes Travolta owes her a favour after name flub

"Even though there's the old-fashionedness of our movie, it plays for today," adds Menzel. 

"Maybe we're not being forced into a marriage necessarily, but there's still so many people wanting to be understood and seen for who they are and are still being oppressed in that way."

Camila Cabello plays a very different Cinderella in Kay Cannon's new reimagining of the classic fairy tale. (Christopher Raphael/Amazon)
Camila Cabello plays a very different Cinderella in Kay Cannon's new reimagining of the classic fairy tale. (Christopher Raphael/Amazon)

Cinderella features a combination of original music and cover versions of pop classics, including Queen's Somebody to Love, Ed Sheeran's Perfect and Madonna's Material Girl.

The star-studded cast features Pierce Brosnan, Minnie Driver, James Corden, Romesh Ranganathan, Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan, with Nicholas Galitzine as the prince.

Read more: Disney princesses reimagined as noir femme fatales

Billy Porter, meanwhile, delivers a show-stealing performance as a genderless twist on the character of the Fairy Godmother.

Cinderella is available to stream via Amazon Prime Video from 3 September.

Watch: Trailer for Amazon's adaptation of Cinderella

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