Movies

Theron, Moretz on their Addams Family bond

Long adored for being creepy, kooky, mysterious and spooky, The Addams Family returns to the big screen this Halloween in a way you haven’t seen them before.

In the first animated film featuring this iconic family, which opens here on Oct 31, Gomez, Morticia, Pugsley, Wednesday, Uncle Fester and Grandma join a lively cast of characters to remind us why they are the most eccentric family in the neighborhood.

South African actress Charlize Theron, who voices Morticia, was drawn to the enduring legacy of this quirky clan that, in a subversively delightful way, represents what family really means.

“I think at the core, why people really respond to the Addams family, is because ultimately they will always be Addams and they take pride in that and never try to change themselves for anybody,” she said.

“We all want to believe that we live our lives authentically, especially within our family circle. And this is a family that lives to the extreme. But there is something that is very grounded, because even though they’re trying to kill each other, they love each other, and you really see that.”

Chic, sultry and severe, Morticia has always been a bit of a classic character, said Theron.

For the character’s voice, they initially played around with a Romanian accent, but settled on something more distinct for this new iteration of Morticia, a mid-Atlantic accent.

Then Theron, 44, listened to a lot of Katherine Hepburn recordings and made it her own.

Morticia is also usually portrayed as a steely matriarch, feared and respected by everyone and rarely challenged.

In this film, that changes.

Surly Wednesday does everything she can to get a rise out of her mother.

For as macabre as she is, she is tortured by fairly typical teen rites of passage, pushing boundaries and buttons along the way.

US actress Moretz, 22, was only six years old when the 1993 sequel Addams Family Values came out, but she vividly remembers watching it and was stoked to land the part of Wednesday and find her voice - as well as bring this wholly original version to a younger generation.

She said: “Wednesday knows she’s a little bit strange and she likes being off-putting to people, and she finds it funny to watch people squirm. Which is fun to play.”

Theron is a fan of her young co-star, saying with a laugh: “I’m like a stalker when it comes to Chloe Moretz. I’ve basically tried to put her in every single film that I’ve either produced or acted in, and I’ve been fortunate enough to work with her a couple of times and she’s a good friend of mine. I’ve always felt motherly towards her, so it’s kind of perfect that we got to do this.”

ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MORTICIA AND WEDNESDAY

THERON: I love it because it’s really at the core. It’s a story about a mother just fearing that she’s losing her relationship with her daughter. And it’s a new stage. Wednesday is growing up.

MORETZ: She’s a teenager and she wants to make her mum mad a little bit and push the boundaries and find her own sense of freedom. I think she feels really confined inside the house and she really wants to get out there. I think one of the first things we see about her is that she goes up to the gate and she hears something beyond the gate and she wants to know what that is. And so she has a sense of wonderment about what is going on outside of their wonderfully haunted home.

ON THE MESSAGE OF THE FILM

THERON: I think this film is incredibly timely. Yes, of course, it’s like a really fun film to go and see. But there is an underlying message that I think is a really strong one and an important one for this time and in the world that we find ourselves right now. And that is that, you know, being different is not a bad thing. And that we need to celebrate that a little bit more and the value of what being different gives, when you’re actually applying it to the mountain of things that society means, it’s invaluable. And I love that I’m a part of something that carries that message right now in this time.

MORETZ: The story I think felt so perfect for the world that we’re living in currently and how we are ostracising people for our differences. And it really talks about accepting everyone for the differences and all of us being able to live together in harmony.

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