Misty Copeland felt joining Disney’s Nutcracker was an organic fit, after all, she is a Principal Dancer with American Ballet Theatre, so what better person to play the role of the Ballerina Princess in the film! Here’s our exclusive interview with Misty Copeland on joining the cast of The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.
I was invited as media to cover this event. All opinions are my own.
Misty Copeland Interview
As you may have noticed, if you’ve already seen Disney’s Nutcracker film, this version is based off on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s book. There isn’t a whole lot of ballet in the film, but the parts that include Misty Copeland are simply stunning! You’ll definitely want to stay for the credits to watch even more of Misty’s talents.
Before heading to The Nutcracker and the Four Realms premiere, Misty sat down with a group of bloggers to discuss her involvement with the film, and how she came to be the first African American woman to be promoted to principal dancer in ABT’s 75-year history.
On first recognizing she wanted to be a ballet dancer, Misty shares with us, “The first ballet class I took was on a basketball court at the Boys and Girls Club in San Pedro, California. I don’t want to say I hated it, but it was not something I thought I was going to do. All the other kids were coming from underprivileged backgrounds like me and none of them danced, but they all had their gear on, like leggings or tights and I was in these baggy basketball shorts and socks and I was like, ‘This just isn’t right. It just doesn’t feel right.’”
“I was taken on Scholarship into the local ballet school. I put on the leotard and I could see myself in front of the mirror. That’s when it clicked and I felt beautiful for the first time in my life. I felt right….I stepped into the studio and thought ‘Oh, everything is exactly right’. It gave me such power and confidence like I’d never experienced before.”
When Disney approached Misty about performing in the film, she shared that Disney let her take the lead, mentioning “we don’t know Ballet, this isn’t our world’, so they allowed me to choose a choreographer. I selected Liam Scarlet, a choreographer in residence for the Royal Ballet in London and I had worked with him before.”
Also sharing, “They kind of created this character for me. The Ballerina Princess is just a way to have ballet in it. I’m kind of the storyteller, so it’s a performance to share the story of the Four Realms and tell it to Clara. It’s awesome.”
Misty Copeland now has a Disney’s Nutcracker-themed Barbie doll! When talking about being apart of the creation of her Barbie she shares, “I made it very clear that I wanted it to be a true representation of me and what I stand for – like just don’t take Barbie’s body and paint her brown. You know, I want her to have boobs. I want her to have thigh muscles and calves. And I want her nose to be wider and the lips to be full.” Adding, “Barbie is something that I loved my whole life.”
About Disney’s Nutcracker and the Four Realms:
All Clara (Mackenzie Foy) wants a one-of-a-kind key that will unlock a box that holds a priceless gift. A golden thread, presented to her at godfather Drosselmeyer’s (Morgan Freeman) annual holiday party, leads her to the coveted key—which promptly disappears into a strange and mysterious parallel world. It’s there that Clara encounters a soldier named Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight), a gang of mice and the regents who preside over three Realms: Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers and Land of Sweets. Clara and Phillip must brave the ominous Fourth Realm, home to the tyrant Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren), to retrieve Clara’s key and hopefully return harmony to the unstable world. Starring Keira Knightley as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Disney’s new holiday feature film “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” is directed by Lasse Hallström and Joe Johnston, and inspired by E.T.A. Hoffmann’s classic tale.