Watership Down: stars talk original film

The stars of the BBC’s new adaptation of Watership Down have been talking about their memories of the original film…

Speaking to Digital Spy, James McAvoy, Gemma Arterton and Nicholas Hoult were asked about their previous experience with Richard Adams’ novel.

Arterton said, “I hadn’t read the book, I’d only seen the film – it absolutely traumatised me.”

“I think that was my prevailing memory of it. It was great revisiting it and getting into it, and reading the book, as an adult and seeing there was so much more to it than just violence.”

McAvoy added that he read the book in his 20s but that wasn’t his first experience with Adams’ story.

“My first memory of it was sitting next to a friend of mine from school, and he’d come to my house to hang out and have dinner, and we ended up watching Watership Down,” he explained.  “I was watching like, ‘Watership Down is fantastic’, and I looked at him and he was crying. I was like, ‘You alright mate?’ And he was like, ‘I want to go home!’ I loved the original movie…”

Nicholas Hoult was struck by the film from a very young age, he explained.

“I had like flashing images of [the original movie] imprinted,” he said. “I watched it very young, I watched things with my older brother, so I watched them when I was way too young to be watching them, so it had definitely imprinted on my mind.”

Watership Down airs this Christmas.

Digital Spy