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BEVERLY HILLS, California: Everyone knows the tale of Cinderella.But while "Cinderella" is ingrained in the world's consciousness, it's also as outdated as a fairy tale can be. James is Cinderella and Madden is the Prince in Disney's fairy tale.Yet, despite the too-obvious business objectives, there is nothing cynical about the latest "Cinderella"."I wanted Cinderella, without being entirely a dreamer, to see life not as it is but what it could be," says director Kenneth Branagh, who was excited to get the heroine out of a "time warp". To cast his leads, Branagh applied the same theory as he did when helping to pick Chris Hemsworth for "Thor": Choose relative unknowns. Branagh encouraged James to read Mohandas Gandhi's works and other writings on spiritual journeys to prepare for her role, hoping that she could incorporate the idea of nonviolent resistance into the character.Cinderella isn't the only one given depth. All the characters are crafted with complexities, including the prince. While Madden and James do seem enormously comfortable with one another, their off-screen relationship is a professional one.Production designer Dante Ferretti transformed the 007 soundstage at London's Pinewood Studios into a grand, three-story ballroom, complete with 5,000 hand-lit oil candles and 17 custom-made chandeliers for Cinderella's big moment.
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