EXCLUSIVE: William Moseley talks about the live-action adaptation 'The Little Mermaid' and journey after 'Narnia'
William Moseley found so many similarities between his new role as a reporter, Cam Harrison, and his breakout role Peter Pevensie while there was a coincidence in reel and real
'The Chronicles of Narnia' is long over but William Moseley is back on the big screen, playing an almost similar role to that of Peter Pevensie, with a new fantasy film 'The Little Mermaid.' In an exclusive interview with Meaww, Moseley tells us about the new fantasy movie, set to premiere on August 17 and, also reminisces Narnia.
'The Little Mermaid,' distributed by Netflix, follows the story of Cam Harrison (William Moseley) an investigative reporter who sets out on a journey to investigate a mermaid in Mississippi and get to the bottom of the mystery of healing water.
Cam is accompanied by his niece, Elle (Loreto Peralta), who suffers from a mysterious respiratory illness. As prophecies unfurl, the mermaid (Poppy Drayton) and Elle and Cam are intertwined in a unique magical story, unlike Hans Christian Andersen's version of the tale. The story begins with an old grandmother (Shirley MacLaine) telling her two granddaughters the story of 'The Little Mermaid,' set in the backdrop of1930s south.
"I play a young reporter, Cam Harrison, an investigative reporter for the Boston Globe," says a now 31-year-old Moseley. While that is evident in the film, it is not quite clear as to what happened to the parents' of his niece, Elle, that Harrison so genuinely takes care of. "From what I imagined and created, Cam's sister died in a car accident and left him with her daughter. He came to America to look after his niece and work for the Boston Globe," Moseley clarifies.
"The adventure begins when he is asked by his editor-in-chief to look into the case of magic water which hosts a mermaid supposedly. And, since his niece has a respiratory illness, he is told by his boss to go look, find the magic water and investigate the mermaid for a definite story. Of course, he is very skeptical, but he goes on the journey down Mississippi," Moseley describes his role.
While playing the role of Cam Harrison, Moseley could draw uncanny similarities with his first breakout role as Peter Pevensie in Narnia. "They both try to take care of the family and do the best they can," he says, adding "And both of them are quite cynical in a way things are in the world. Of course, ideas are forced to change along the course of the story." Besides the reel similarities, Moseley is also an elder brother in real life, so his older brotherly instincts definitely kick in. "It really does come naturally," he says.
In this tete-a-tete, he also shares a heartwarming story to the time he was filming 'The Little Mermaid.' Moseley shared, "When I was playing this part where I was taking care of my niece on-screen, my sister was unwell at that time, and she was staying with me in Georgia. She had an illness herself; she was unwell. It was quite strange how I was taking care of my niece on-screen, and in real life, I was taking care of my sister."
A re-telling of such a classic tale for the modern audience required much more than a fantastic cast. "It was all in the story. All in the script. When I read the script, I knew the film had an element which Hans Christan Andersons' story also had. That magic, the test of the human spirit, and the fantasy aspect. I felt all of it. I liked that the film was set in the 1930s and felt like it had magic and romanticism even in just the setting," describes Moseley.
The British actor himself believes in mermaids; "All humans began as mermaids. We all had a tail before we were born," he laughs, and while growing up, 'The Little Mermaid' was his favorite fairytale. "I always did like 'The Little Mermaid,' and I am lucky to perform in it," he smiles. Added to that, his co-star Poppy Drayton was so easy and fun to work with, he says. "We have the same sense of humor, and we'd just joke around and laugh on set. She's a fantastic actress. Very dedicated and committed to her work in a calm and sophisticated way.
william moseley and poppy drayton— TeamGiraffe HIgh Mixer (@psychedsissy) August 14, 2018
Given that his major breakout role was in 'The Chronicles of Narnia' when he was 17-years-old, he has, since then, acted in many films and shows. He plays the role of Prince Liam in E!'s 'The Royals,' which qualifies as one of his favorite characters he's played because it taught him how difficult it is to be a royal. "I am always open to characters teaching me something you know. The Royals taught me what it must be to be a royal and how hard it is; how it's not always just glamour," he shares. "It's a much harder life than you can imagine really. I think even high movie stars can't understand the nuances of security and dependence. You're actually very protected, and you are very protective about yourself, and you cannot trust anybody. I think a lot of people don't understand quite how difficult it is to be in the royal spotlight," Moseley adds.
Moseley feels that he gets typecasted into certain roles because of the famous role as Peter Pevensie, but he is very positive about that and wears it like his armor. "It's just a sensibility that I connect to," says the actor. "Connecting to sensibility means that it comes naturally. Playing a role of a drug addict would be really challenging because it is not in my sensibility and won't come naturally to me. But I'd like to challenge myself, and for it to come naturally, I'd have to be cast in it," adds Moseley.
When he is not working or filming, you will find Moseley in England, with his family at his home. "I like reconnecting to my roots to who I am. Reconnecting with my family because that is very important to me" he expresses. Lately, he has been traveling around, attending music festivals and spending time with his family.
Next, he'd like to do adventure films, he says, like that of "Indiana Jones" scurrying through a jungle because he just enjoys watching adventure films. However, Moseley is an ardent believer that even though you choose a film, the bigger scene is that a film "chooses you."
Looking back at his career, and also looking forward, Moseley shares that the biggest challenge he's faced was playing the role of Peter.
And, good news for Narnia fans, Moseley is still in touch with his fellow cast members. "I actually do keep in touch, and I speak to Georgie Henley, who plays Lucy and Anna Popplewell, who plays Susan. Skandar Keynes works for the government now so I hear from him time to time," shares Moseley. He also adds that it would be an "absolute dream to go back to Narnia," and would definitely like to be a part of it again. Sadly, that's not in the cards and chances of another Nania movie is unlikely. 'Narnia has taken a new life now. And when I said goodbye after the second film, I sort of knew that was a change in time. It was a hard transition. I'd love to have it back, but I don't think it's on the cards right now," he adds.
One thing he is truly grateful for is that he and his Narnia co-stars still have a rather normal life. "We are just normal kids, normal people. We weren't some kids of Hollywood celebrities. In fact, we did not anything to do with Hollywood because shooting meant going to a studio and saying lines. In fact, none of us been to California before the film premiere, so we weren't affected in any way," says Moseley.
The film written and directed by Blake Harris will premiere in Netflix and AMC Theatre on August 17.