‘Disenchanted’: Q&A with Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, & More About Disney’s Fantastical Film Sequel

Amy Adams talks about Giselle's wicked stepmother transformation and more!

We’re just a few days away from finally getting Disney+ here in the Philippines! And one of the first Disney+ original films that will be dropping on the platform is Disenchanted, the magical sequel to the 2007 movie Enchanted.

Releasing on November 18, just a day after the Disney+ launch in the country, Disenchanted resumes the story of Giselle who left the Disney-esque world of Andalasia and decided to live in New York with Robert and his daughter Morgan. Struggling to keep her ‘Happily Ever After’, Giselle and her family move to the quiet suburbs of Monroeville, but after wishing for a fairy tale life, she accidentally transforms Monroeville into a magical place. While it seems like everything she wished for, the magic slowly consumes Giselle and she soon finds herself becoming the wicked stepmother in her own fairy tale.

Disenchanted 1
Photo courtesy of Disney

Before the release of the movie, we got to join the virtual press conference for the upcoming movie. The event was joined by the film’s stars Amy Adams (Giselle), Patrick Dempsey (Robert), Maya Rudolph (Malvina Monroe), Idina Menzel (Nancy), Gabriella Baldacchino (Morgan), Yvette Nicole Brown (Rosaleen), Jayma Mays (Ruby), Oscar Nunez (Edgar). The movie’s director Adam Shankman, producer Barry Josephson, and music composer Alan Menken also participated in the press conference.

Check out the highlights of the event below:

On returning to the magical story of Giselle and her family.

During the press conference, producer Barry Josephson shared that it was such a joy to resume Giselle’s story in the sequel. According to the producer, it was Amy Adams wanting to play her character again that started off the creation of Disenchanted.

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As for the story, they jumped off director Adam Shankman’s initial idea for the sequel: “I was talking to Sean Bailey, the president of Disney, and he was talking about how the project was sitting there, and as we discussed it, I said, ‘Well,  basically,’ I was like, ‘you know Giselle’s the stepmother.  She’s Morgan’s stepmother.’

“And that for me became the absolute jumping-off point. I was like, ‘That’s low-hanging fruit.’ This is perfect in terms of a continuation of that because she has this now-developed daughter who probably doesn’t believe in magic anymore. And then I was like, “Let’s go from there,” and it was just sort of a thrill ride from there,” explained Shankman.

Disenchanted 2
Photo courtesy of Disney

Josephson also added regarding Brigitte Hales’ script for the movie: “It was just such a joy to see the script come together and become something really joyous and a musical with comedy, and, you know, the right amount of drama. And sort of like all pivoting around what is  Giselle’s new character? What is her dilemma? How do we progress from the original movie? And yet, make something  that was definitively a new movie, a fresh new start for  her character and the other characters that everybody loved  from the first movie.”

The Disenchanted cast on reprising their roles from the first movie.

Many characters from the first movie are back in this next chapter in Giselle’s life. Aside from Morgan, the stars from the first film have returned to reprise their roles, including Patrick Dempsey as Giselle’s loving husband Robert; Idina Menzel as Nancy who became queen of Andalasia; and her king, James Marsden.

Referring to her character Giselle, Amy Adams says, “There’s been an evolution from the beginning of the movie Enchanted to who Giselle is at the end of the movie. So [we took] that evolution of who she might be after spending 10 years, but also [made] sure we keep her grounded in sort of the truth of her feelings, but without losing that joy and that naiveite and innocence and purity that makes Giselle so special.”

As for Idina Menzel, she talked with director Shankman to figure out the balance in her character for the sequel. “Adam and I would talk, and I’d say, ‘How much of  my New York accent do I still have [laughs] coming from  Andalasia, and how much is this idyllic,’ you know, ‘how  much has this idyllic, romantic, beautiful perfect place rubbed off on me?’ And then, you know, putting on the corset and all that, it was an easy journey for me.”

Disenchanted 4
Photo courtesy of Disney

Meanwhile, Patrick Dempsey talked about Robert’s place in the sequel, having to juggle his work, his new child and Morgan, and her daughter’s conflict with Giselle. But he adds that he had fun finally participating in the musical aspect of the film.

“That whole process of finding your voice, working with the coach on that, learning the lyrics and the dance was an extraordinary experience and something I’d never done before. I really appreciate the talent, with the voices and the singing of Idina and Amy and Maya and everyone.  You know, it’s an extraordinary feeling you get when you sing. The vibration, there’s something very intoxicating about it. So it’s nice to get a taste of that,” said the actor.

The new cast members on joining the magical sequel.

There are also new actors joining the cast of Enchanted, such as Gabriella Baldacchino who now plays the teenage stepdaughter of Giselle.

“This has been a dream of mine to get to be a part of something like this,” said Baldacchino. “It just completely changed my life. And I’m so, so grateful to sing music written by Alan Menken and Stephen  Schwartz. Like, I grew up performing. I love musical theater and singing, so that wasn’t new for me. But to get to originate something that they wrote, it’s an honor… And working with this incredible cast is like a master class in acting every single day, so I’m just really grateful.”

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Photo courtesy of Disney

Meanwhile, Maya Rudolph who stars as the villain Malvina Monroe calls the experience a “dream come true,” adding that “Even though I’ve had a chance to sing in things before, it was nothing like this experience. [It was like] I was training for the marathon I’d been training for my whole life. And that’s what it was every day.”

Yvette Nicole Brown also adds, “And we all had the best time in Ireland. It was just a lovely gathering, a little troupe of us coming together to make this love letter to everyone who loved the original film. And I’m just so honored to get to be a  part.”

On the Disney nods and Easter eggs within the film.

Director Adam Shankman also talked about the many Disney tropes that are present in Disenchanted, just like how the first film had a lot of such tropes.

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Photo courtesy of Disney

“It’s one of my favorite things about the movie and about participating in it because, to my knowledge,  it’s the first time Disney ever winked at itself,” said Shankman. “I mean, I don’t think Disney ever allowed winking at itself. And so, this was such an incredible opportunity. So honestly, if you look around,  when the town turns into a fairy tale town, every sign of every shop has something Disney winking involved in it.”

He also points out that in Morgan’s solo song, there are nods to other “I want” songs; the magic mirror is a replica from Snow White; and the ball dresses of Malvina’s minions, Rosaleen and Ruby, are literally the stepsisters’ dresses from Cinderella.

Disenchanted 6
Photo courtesy of Disney

As the press conference comes to a close, director Adam Shankman shared some parting words about the new movie and answered what would be his happily ever after.

“Things were getting really complicated out in the world when we started all of this. And, you know,  there was just a lot of conflict going on. And it felt like it was a good time. The stars definitely aligned.  Like, the movie came out as coming out at the right time. To address your thing about what happily ever after is. Obviously, happily ever after is a lot of people watching this movie,” said Shankman.


Catch Disenchanted when it premieres on Disney+ this November 18.

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