I wanted to create a fictional character who had a complicated response to her diagnosis. Not everyone who is diagnosed automatically becomes a saint or a hero. I wanted to achieve some sort of realistic portrayal and one that people could either relate to or try to understand. I also wanted the film to be funny.
The response has been so wonderful especially from people who have been affected by cancer either through diagnosis or being a family member friend or colleague. Unfortunately cancer is very prevalent and many people have shared this experience. People have responded to being able to laugh and cry together.
Toni and Drew were frankly amazing. They rock. They were honest and funny and their chemistry together was very real. You believed they were best friends and their real life friendship grew throughout filming. Toni is a very rare actress – she will take risks with material and with her performance. Not many actresses would have handled the lack of vanity required to give such a truthful performance. And Drew’s performance was so honest and touching and yet restrained at the same time – after all her character is bearing the sadness of finding it hard to conceive and then undergoing IVF and all without the support of her closest friend. It made people want her for their BFF.
Well I wouldn’t want to scare anyone, but I would say that cancer has no respect for age or general healthiness. So please be breast aware – do frequent checks and if you think anything has changed or doesn’t feel right then get medical help RIGHT AWAY. The sooner you act the better it is from every point of view.
Ha! Peppa Pig – well I am very proud to be Mummy Pig (and Madame Gazelle , Dr. Hamster and many other parts) . I had previously worked with the creators Neville Astley and Mark Baker and their Producer Phil Davies. They created beautiful animated films like The Hill Farm and Jolly Roger and a BBC series The Big Knights. One day they showed me the design for Peppa and asked me to help do voices for a test pilot (animatic) they were making. I said “of course” but privately I thought “this will never work”. Could I have been more wrong?
No - I don’t think any of us expected it to be such a massive hit. It’s incredible. I feel very pleased for the creators because they are just lovely!
Well I sound rather different to Mummy Pig in real life – but it’s often the parents who will recognise me from other work and tell their children. Who generally look a bit confused! The parents often ask me to record a Mummy Pig phone message for their little ones and that works best.
My children were and are fans of the show. It started before one of them was born. They were probably most impressed when we went to the Peppa Pig theme park outside of London – and my voice came out of a huge Madame Gazelle. They are a little older than the general audience now - but honestly - you’re never too old to enjoy Peppa – that’s the beauty of it.
- Morwenna Banks photo credit: Ray Burmiston