into the woods

LITTLE RED: Lilla Crawford on her promising career and Disney’s Into the Woods

Earning a role on Broadway, or being cast in a major feature film are seemingly implausible dreams to the majority of actors plunking along the New York City audition scene. For Lilla Crawford, these feats are simply credits on her resume. The fresh-faced teen broke onto the great white way with her debut in 2011 as “e;Debbie” in the Tony-winning musical, Billy Elliot, but most will recognize her from the most recent Broadway revival of Annie. She secured the title role after exceeding over 5,000 girls during an extensive nation-wide search. Her stellar run as Annie wowed waves of audiences nightly, and clearly garnered the interest of some major industry giants.

Lilla has traded shiny red curls for an iconic red cape to showcase her glittery charm and undeniable talents on the silver screen with her role as Little Red Riding Hood in Disney’s highly anticipated Into the Woods film adaption. The rising starlet kindly took a break from her busy schedule (and studying) to entertain a few of my questions regarding her budding career and favorite NYC eateries:

RP: To begin, could you please tell us how your acting career started?

LC: Since as long as I could remember I started putting on elaborate “shows” for anyone that would let me. I started professionally acting when I was 6 years old.

RP: You’re a very accomplished singer as well. What is your process for keeping your voice in shape?

LC: Well when I have an event or audition that requires me to sing, I drink lots of tea, and try not to speak so much (which is kinda hard cause I love talking ūüėČ ) It also helps to use something called a humidifier and I have a special throat lozenge for those 2 show days.

RP: What’s been your favorite role to play so far?

LC: That is like asking me to pick my favorite dessert, I can’t pick one, their all good! :)

RP: Well that gets rid of my dessert question then… Congratulations on being cast as Little Red Riding Hood in Disney’s Into the Woods – what an amazing story to make your feature film debut with! Can you tell me what that filming experience was like?

LC: I had such an amazing time. It was such a great first experience and I learned so much. It’s also such an amazing story and I loved playing my character, Little Red.

RP: Had you seen the musical before production began?

LC: Yes! James LaPine invited me to see Into The Woods in Central Park. I loved it! My friend showed me the original version right after and I loved it too! It’s just such an amazing show.

RP: A lot of people are hoping the storyline of the film stays true to the original. Do you believe it does?

LC: I think this version will thrill all of its’ audience members – people who know the musical and people who don’t. Disney has added its own touches, but has definitely stayed very true to the original.

RP: The star-studded cast is made up of some powerful talent, and helmed by acclaimed director, Rob Marshall. Did any of your older costars offer you advice for your acting career?

LC: No, no one did, I probably should have asked though. But now that I think about it Emily Blunt did help me study for my Spanish test….and I got an A+!!!

RP: How cool is that! Speaking of your costars – Meryl Streep is considered one of the greatest actresses of all time. How was it working with her? Were you nervous?

LC: I was very nervous to meet her of course, but working with her was incredible. She was so funny and sweet and so laid back. When I was not in the shot, I had the chance to watch her – I was mesmerized! I got chills! She is amazing as the witch.

RP: Of course, when there’s a Little Red there’s always a big bad wolf lingering behind. Johnny Depp plays the Wolf in this production – how was that?

LC: Well … Come on he’s the perfect person to play the wolf! He brings a very different feel to the wolf that is very different to how the wolf is usually done. Other than that I don’t want to give too much away ūüėČ

RP: You also recently finished shooting for the upcoming film Little Miss Perfect, what can you tell me about that one?

LC: It was SO much fun. It was such a hip and cool cast and crew, I don’t think anyone on the project was over 21 years old, which was so fun. I learned so much from the director, Marlee Roberts, in a short time. My favorite part was that I was proudly playing a high school girl when in real life I was only 12 HAHA!!

RP: What’s up next for you, Lilla?

LC: Well you’ll just have to find out ūüėČ but one thing I can tell you… I do have to memorize The Periodic Table by tomorrow since have a science test… (I am so scared).

RP: Maybe you should call up Emily Blunt for help! One last thing before you go, I understand you’re a bit of a foodie (me too). So I had to end with this question. I’ve heard you love Schmackary’s, but what’s your ultimate New York City eatery?

LC: I love Juniors, Chipotle, Eataly, Shake Shack (even though I am a vegetarian), Juice Generation, aaannnddd…. my neighbor’s kitchen cupboards, but really I love everything in NYC!!

ūüėČ PS- as long as there is an A rating!!

Into the Woods whimsically premieres in theaters nation-wide on December 25, 2014.

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