Three-time Academy Award-nominee Michelle Williams (“My Week With Marilyn”) plays Glinda, the Good Witch who tries to convince Oscar (James Franco) that the Land of Oz is in trouble at the hands of the evil Evanora, in Walt Disney Pictures’ fantastical adventure “Oz the Great and Powerful.”
At the same time, Glinda is hoping Oscar is the answer to the land’s prophecy—that a wizard will someday come and restore order.
Director Sam Raimi says of casting Williams for the role, “Michelle has a real positive spirit and depth of soul. She’s a good person and I needed that in the actress who was going to play Glinda.”
“I play two characters in the film,” Williams states. “In the opening of the film, I play a Kansas farm girl named Annie, Oscar’s girlfriend, and then Glinda, the Good Witch. She’s the younger version of the Glinda that we all know from the books. I think of my Glinda as a witch at the beginning of developing those powers.”
“Michelle plays Oscar/Oz’s love interest, first in the form of Annie, his childhood sweetheart, then as Glinda,” director Raimi elaborates. “Annie is someone who sees the good man that he is inside, even though he’s gotten lost somewhere along the way. She tries to bring him out, but he’s so blinded by his dream of fame and fortune and this vision of becoming a great man he has in his head that he doesn’t see the riches that lie right before him in this woman.”
Raimi adds, “Later, when Oscar is transported to Oz, he meets Annie again, this time in the form of Glinda, Annie’s alter ego. It’s in this new form of Glinda that Oz is finally able to consummate the love story that his limited character couldn’t back in Kansas. In Oz, he grows into a greater man, a man who values others as much as himself and only then does he become worthy of Glinda’s love.”
Williams herself found the project “to be a dream on a couple of levels. For me, to work every day with Sam and this cast while existing in the space of Glinda the Good Witch was such fun. I was excited to be there every day.
“Sam is an incredible collaborator,” continues Williams. “From the moment we met and started rehearsals, I felt whatever idea I had, good or bad, would excite him, and that really encouraged me to continue to offer him ideas. He was a great inspiration for me.
“Being able to work with people like Sam who are really at the top of their game was so exciting,” she continues with her praise for both the film’s artistry and the experience itself. “The sets and the costumes were beyond my expectations. I couldn’t imagine things that big and that beautiful, and I got to play inside of that world everyday,” she concludes.
Williams hopes “that audiences are transported by this magical journey into another realm where anything is possible, where the best is possible, and the best in human nature is really celebrated. I wanted to make a movie that my daughter could see, and I was really excited to be part of something that had an overall good message, one that wasn’t tainted with sarcasm. It’s a movie that you can take your whole family to see.”
Opening across the Philippines on Thursday, March 7 in IMAX 3D, Digital 3D and regular theaters, “Oz The Great and Powerful” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International through Columbia Pictures.