EXCLUSIVE: Director Thea Sharrock Talks About Casting Angelina Jolie, Sam Rockwell And Others In ‘The One And Only Ivan’

EXCLUSIVE: Director Thea Sharrock Talks About Casting Angelina Jolie, Sam Rockwell And Others In ‘The One And Only Ivan’

Avya Sharma

‘The One And Only Ivan’ is an adaptation of the Katherine Applegate‘s award-winning book which is a tale about friendship, the power of visualisation and the significance of home. The heartwarming adventure comes to the screen in a splendid mix of live-action and CGI (Computer Generated Imagery). The movie has been helmed by Thea Sharrock and features an ensemble cast including Sam Rockwell, Angelina Jolie, Danny DeVito, Helen Mirren, among others.

Thea Sharrock, who is an English theatre and film director, has donned the director’s hat for ‘The One and Only Ivan’. She reveals that she instantly loved the book when she started reading it. Interestingly, Thea cast two people for the role of Ivan — Ben Bishop for doing the physical movement and Sam Rockwell for lending the voice.

Talking about Ben and Sam she said–

It’s a collaboration between the two. The animators need Sam’s voice to begin the animation, as the characters are built from the voices, but they also need Ben and the puppeteers’ physicality to begin the physical journey of each animal. The process of making this movie is so unique that everyone was very excited to be part of it.

About working with Bryan Cranston, Thea said—

He had the foresight to see just how rich the character of Mack could be. It’s been a real pleasure working closely with him to find that journey and to find the different sides to Mack. He’s a very brave actor. He’s not afraid of anything.

The filmmaker further added that Danny DeVito was perfect for lending his voice for Bob, the dog. She said, “Danny is somebody who takes the overall project so seriously. He really invests in the whole storytelling. So he was fantastic to work with”.

Talking about About Angelina Jolie and Brooklynn Prince, Thea expressed—

Angelina Jolie was delighted to be asked to come and play Stella. Angie naturally brings a gravitas that is at the heart of Stella. Angie is smart, funny and so invested, so she has been brilliant to work with as well. Brooklynn Prince who flashed up on everyone’s screens in “The Florida Project.” She’s a very unique little girl, fantastic and perfect for Ruby.

The One and Only Ivan chronicles the story of Ivan, a silverback gorilla who shares a communal habitat in a suburban shopping mall with Stella the elephant, Bob the dog, and various other animals. The movie is streaming on Disney+Hotstar.

So what are you waiting for? Go grab your snacks and watch it already!