Amy Adams and Maya Rudolph Are In On the Joke

Fifteen years ago, Enchanted flipped Disney’s iconic fairy tale script on its head.

In the film, would-be princess Giselle, played by a wide-eyed Amy Adams in a star-making role, is thrust from the animated fantasy land of Andalasia to real-world New York City—complete with muggings and cockroaches—by an evil queen desperate to keep her throne. As the effervescent maiden awaits her prince’s rescue (and sings a few catchy Alan Menken–Stephen Schwartz songs in the interim), she’s aided by a cynical yet charming lawyer named Robert (Patrick Dempsey). Eventually the two discover their unexpected “happily ever after” is with each other.

Both a playful parody and a loving homage to Disney’s rich library of classic animated princess movies, the 2007 rom-com was a hit, drumming up $340.5 million at the box office. More than a decade later, the modern-day fairy tale continues to resonate with fans young and old.

“It has that kind of magic you don’t get to capture often, but you constantly try to recreate,” Adams tells Glamour. “The reason it resonates with me is because Giselle is just one of those characters who believes in people and really has a sense of joy and optimism. But her story is told in a way that isn’t too saccharine or lecturing. It has an irony and a sort of tongue-in-cheek quality to it. I think there’s something pure about Giselle, and that’s rare.”

Patrick Dempsey and Amy Adams in *Enchanted,* 2007.

ENCHANTED, Patrick Dempsey, Amy Adams, 2007. ©Buena Vista Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

Patrick Dempsey and Amy Adams in *Enchanted,* 2007.
©Buena Vista Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

“I saw the first movie and fell in love with it—it was the first time I saw Disney wink at itself, and I realized that we were all in on the joke together. I saw how brilliant that was,” Maya Rudolph, who stars alongside Adams in the film’s new sequel, Disenchanted, shares.

If Enchanted was, at its heart, a fish-out-of-water fairy tale, the theme of its 2022 follow-up is “be careful what you wish for.”

In Disenchanted, it’s been 10 years since Giselle and Robert fell in love. Having outgrown their fast-paced life in the city, the couple, along with their baby Sophia and Robert’s now teenage daughter Morgan, move to the quaint suburban town of Monroeville in search of a newer, happier ever after. Unfortunately, the nonstop construction zone that is the family’s new fixer-upper, plus a less-than-welcoming run-in with the local queen bee, Malvina (Rudolph), throttles the usually optimistic Giselle into further disillusionment.

Struggling to adapt to suburbia, Giselle makes a wish on a magic wand from Andalasia. However, the spell backfires when her longing for a fairy-tale life morphs the entire town into a trope-filled storybook village complete with evil queens and fierce dragons, while Giselle slowly transforms into a wicked stepmother. Similar to the first film, Giselle’s journey culminates in an epic ballroom battle between good and evil. This time, however, she must face herself.

Below, Amy Adams and Maya Rudolph open up to Glamour about transforming (literally) into Disney villains, singing together on screen, and why the timing couldn’t be more perfect to return to the world of Enchanted.

*Disenchanted*, 2022.

DISENCHANTED

*Disenchanted*, 2022.
Courtesy of Disney Enterprises,Inc.

Glamour: Along with the release of this long-awaited sequel, November 2022 marks the 15th anniversary of Enchanted. Reflecting on the film’s legacy, what makes the original film so special?

Maya Rudolph: It makes the audience feel like we’re in on the joke together and we’re all having the same experience. It’s taking the story—you know, the fairy tale and the happily ever after—and then turning it on its head and changing it. All of that was so exciting to see for the first time. It was done so beautifully.

Amy Adams: I think there’s a fine line between “having fun with” instead of “making fun of.” Everybody involved in the first film and everybody involved in this film has such a deep love for the stories that we’re winking at, so there’s never a moment where we’re making fun of the lexicon. We’re having fun with it.

It’s meta but not in a mean-spirited way.

Amy: Exactly! It was so fun to do and be a part of.

Maya: It really, truly was the introduction to meta in the universe of Disney, in my opinion. I’ve seen it since by Disney and in some animated things and it’s hilarious, but I feel like this was the first time where we were all in on the fact that it was meta. That’s why it was so cool.

Maya, what was it like entering the world of Enchanted as a newcomer to the franchise?

Maya: Plugging into something that was already so exciting and so well-established was…kind of like a fantasy. You always wish for moments in life where you could play with these characters that you fell in love with, but I actually got invited to play with these characters that I fell in love with.

I already knew Amy, but one of the first days on set, she was dressed in character as Giselle. I went to go say hello to her in the makeup room and Giselle was talking to me. I knew that Amy was doing it for me, but I felt like a kid. I felt sparkly and…[gasps in awe]. Like when little girls are talking to a princess at Disneyland. That’s what I felt like. Giselle and Amy, they’re different. There’s something else that happens behind her eyes, her body moves differently. It’s so cool to watch. Just that in and of itself was very dreamy.

L-R: Patrick Dempsey, Maya Rudolph, Amy Adams, Gabriella Baldacchino, Idina Menzel, and James Marsden.

The IMDb Official Portrait Studio At D23 2022

L-R: Patrick Dempsey, Maya Rudolph, Amy Adams, Gabriella Baldacchino, Idina Menzel, and James Marsden.
Corey Nickols/Getty Images

Amy, how did it feel returning to the world of Enchanted and reconnecting with Patrick Dempsey, James Marsden, Idina Menzel, and everyone from the first film?

Amy: I was so grateful that we were able to get them all to find time in their schedules to come do this, especially during COVID. To get to bring such fresh energy was really magical. It was such a special time for me in my life, getting to play Giselle, and it’s nice to know that that was true for each of the people coming back as well, that they had a special relationship with this film and thought it was worthy of a sequel. It was just a real blessing. Especially working as a producer, you never know when you deliver a script to anybody what their reaction will be. So I’m eternally grateful to each and every one of them for coming back, and playing with us in this film, and doing such a brilliant job.

I don’t think fans could imagine Enchanted or Disenchanted with a different cast.

Amy: No, no, no. And we were so lucky to get Gabriella [Baldacchino]—I call her Gabby—to play Morgan.

She’s wonderful in this movie.

Amy: Isn’t she? I couldn’t believe our good fortune that we were able to find such a mature, lovely young lady but also someone who sings, someone who dances, someone who acts, and somebody who bears a striking resemblance to the child [from the first film]. We couldn’t believe it. She was just meant to play this role and she does it brilliantly.

Maya Rudolph in *Disenchanted,* 2022.

DISENCHANTED

Maya Rudolph in *Disenchanted,* 2022.
Photo Credit: Jonathan Hession

Amy, what was it like dipping into Gisele’s “wicked stepmother” alter-ego? Was it difficult to toggle so quickly between those two sides of Giselle? You do it so seamlessly.

Amy: You know, it took some practice but it was so much fun because one of the things I love about it is that it plays on this idea of talking to yourself. And I think I’m constantly dueling between good Amy and wicked Amy, and we’re having conversations all the time. Well, not all the time, but some of the time! There are moments. [Laughs.]

So it’s this idea of that internal monologue and the struggle between which side of you is going to win out. That was so much fun to get to play with. It was one of those things that when I saw it on paper I was just like, “Well, I guess I’m gonna have to do this,” and then doing it was so much fun. But there was some trial and error.

Maya: Well, I remember getting to Ireland and you had already been shooting a lot of your Giselle stuff with [CGI chipmunk character] Pip, so you really technically were alone. And you said, “I’ve been talking to myself for a couple of weeks”—truly, talking to herself—but that it was so much fun. But you said it best. When you see her doing it and going in and out of both sides of Giselle, it’s totally seamless. That’s the fun of it.

Amy: I like that they’re in conflict with each other.

Amy Adams and Maya Rudolph in *Disenchanted,* 2022.

DISENCHANTED

Amy Adams and Maya Rudolph in *Disenchanted,* 2022.
Photo Credit: Jonathan Hession

Maya, you also play a villain in this movie, but your character Malvina Monroe antagonizes Giselle differently than Enchanted’s first villain, Queen Narissa. What was it like playing the neighborhood queen bee turned evil queen?

Maya: It’s an invitation to have the best time. It could not be more fun. It already started at a 10 on the camp scale, like, what you can do to just be the biggest, most ridiculous character. We knew we were going to go even further once she became more intense and more like her darker side.

Also, the groundwork was laid. I was coming into something that was already fully formed. I knew the brilliance and the tone of the first time, so I got to insert myself into something that was already fun and magical. It had that leg up of being something that I was genuinely enthusiastic to be in and already knew all the characters. It was pretty incredible to enter into that world.

Amy: We were lucky to have her. Very lucky. She was our first choice, and it was just sort of like, “Well, let’s just see!”—not knowing that she would dive into it so enthusiastically.

Maya: It was the only thing I left the house for during COVID!

Surprisingly, Enchanted didn’t have a villain song, which is a hallmark of so many classic Disney fairy tale films. But in Disenchanted, the two fo you sing an over-the-top dueling-villains song with each other, which might be a first for a Disney movie. What was it like filming that?

Amy: Heaven. I loved it.

Maya: It’s the dream. It’s the thing that, especially and specifically for this movie, I was training for. I was working on the song every day, doing choreography. It was the dream come true from when I was a kid and wanted to be in the movie Fame. [Starts singing.] I had dance, and then I had singing, and then I was like, “I’m doing it, I’m in a musical!” And then we got there that day and got to do it. Having Amy be the person who’s welcoming you and doing it with you is the dream. We worked our little skirts off.

Amy: We worked our little corseted booties off!

It seems a lot of people are feeling “disenchanted” lately—a little stuck in the grind, a little discontent. I think this movie, as playful as it is, really speaks to that feeling of dissatisfaction we all experience. Do you think the film is releasing at a serendipitous time?

Amy: I hope so. We started developing it in a different reality, and then I started recording the first tracks for the songs during quarantine in my coat closet. And a lot of that is in the film! [Laughs.] There’s a real special resonance. Like “Fairy Tale Life”—we had just gone into lockdown, I believe, not too far before I recorded the majority of that song, so it was something that really resonated with me, this idea of a time where things were simpler…. I hope that it resonates with others and brings a little bit of joy. It’s a reminder to just appreciate and love those around you, and find enchantment in your friends and family.

Disenchanted is available to stream on Disney+ starting November 18.

Originally Appeared on Glamour