My interview with Alice Through the Looking Glass Producer Suzanne Todd was part of an all expenses paid trip, but all opinions are my own
Beyond meeting the talent, one of my favorite parts of a Disney press trip is meeting the genius behind the movies. We had a chance to interview Alice Through the Looking Glass producer Suzanne Todd, and it was an awesome experience. She was such a genuinely sweet person, and it was such a pleasure to meet her.
Before we even got started, Suzanne had a surprise for one of the bloggers. As part of her friend’s Maria Shriver’s birthday, Suzanne had spread awareness about raising money for Alzheimer’s disease. She was genuinely in awe that someone she didn’t even know donated in honor of her grandmother. That person was one of the bloggers, and in thanks Suzanne presented her with the most amazing pair of Alice shoes. They are sparkly blue, and have Alice figurines as the heels. It was a moment that made all of us tear up.
That gift of kindness really set off the tempo for this great interview. Suzanne was sweet and creative, but didn’t hesitate to share with us the what it’s like being a female producer in a largely male Hollywood. You guys know me, I’m all about girl power so it was really interesting to hear a little insight about what it takes to hack in Hollywood as a female executive.
Rather than listen (err read) me ramble on and on about how awesome this Alice Through the Looking Glass producer is, let me just you read for yourself. Hint hint, Awesomeness ahead
Interview with Alice Through the Looking Glass Producer Suzanne Todd
Q: There’s a lot of great themes in this movie> What themes are you most passionate about this movie?
Suzanne: I have three kids. You guys here are all working triple duty as all moms do, and I just feel like the older I get the more precious I find my time is to me. That for us was really important. Those two things, the idea of being able to put a movie out there that is a kind of we girls can do anything movie, for my little girl who is 11 now, and also just recognizing time is so precious to all of us.
Q : Was truly Looking Glass easier or tougher than the first one?
Suzanne: In a way, I think harder because the response to the first film was so unexpected and overwhelming. Then there’s all this pressure that you don’t want to do something always with movies that will be commercially viable, because that’s why you get to make more movies, but you also want to do something that says something that’s important to you. Like I said, just for me with the three kids, the older I get, the less I want to ever do a movie that doesn’t feed my soul. You know, you don’t want to do those movies that you’re just kind of doing because you need to, if you don’t have to.
Q : You produce a variety of different movies. and something like Alice Through The Looking Glass versus something like Bad Moms. How do you approach something like that?
Suzanne: When you see it you’ll see that, of course, there’s no similarities in the R-rated movie and the Disney female empowerment, but the similarity that you’ll see is there’s a relatability to actual experience that I hope people will see in Alice. In Alice, we’re looking at a girl in her 20’s, and so that’s been a long time ago for me, but I remember that idea of trying to kind of balance career and balance a relationship or a romantic relationship.
You’re kind of redefining what’s going on with your parents and, all of that that we struggle with in our 20’s. In Bad Moms, obviously those girls are a little bit older, but again it’s a relatable look at what it’s really like, how hard it is. And the thing that is so satisfying to me whenever I talk about Bad Moms is the thing I loved about taking it on is I feel like we’re all so hard on ourselves, myself included, like we’re all so hard on ourselves on a daily basis as moms, because we feel like we could have done more.
We could have done better or that girl packed a better lunch or her kids speak Mandarin or all those things. In our script there’s Christina Applegate, who’s the mean one in school who tortures Mila Kunis, but when I talk about the movie or even with those six actresses, every single person had a Gwendolyn in her life, whether it was at her schools or her sister-in-law or her mother-in-law. There’s somebody that’s like putting energy everyday into making you feel bad. And that idea that hopefully you’ll come out of the movie and feel like I don’t really need to feel bad, you know.
Because what she says doesn’t really mean anything to me any more than like they guy standing next to me at Starbucks. I can just feel good about what I’m trying to do and enjoy my life with my kids rather than just trying to be this unobtainable, perfect mom. I guess maybe relatability is the theme or what attracts me to those projects that are very dissimilar.
Q: Earlier on, you mentioned feminism. In the movie there was a section where he said the sea captain is not a job for a girl. Have you ever had to deal with that in your life?
Suzanne: Okay, it’s part of working in Hollywood. Unfortunately you look at these dismal numbers of female directors and female producers. I’ve been doing it literally 30 years now, and it hasn’t really changed very much,. I wish that it had changed more. It’s certainly taken small steps forward, but it’s not like it’s hugely different. It is very difficult. I’d like to lie and say oh, no, that’s not true at all, but that’s true. It’s harder as a woman.
Q: Do you work with other females in the industry and help mentor them?
Suzanne: I always have a mentee from, I went to film school at USC, so I always had a mentee every year from there, a girl, and then I always have a mentee every year from the producer’s guild, which is another group that I’m affiliated with. Then I was on the board of a girl’s school here called the Archer School for girls for six years. I work with those girls also. They just actually had a film festival, and I got to go and speak on a panel for them. I love spending time around young people, because they have so much more energy than I do. Like I’m old and tired, and you spend time around like your mentee and a young person and you get so much inspiration from them.
It was truly an honor to interview such a powerhouse as Alice Through the Looking Glass Producer Suzanne Todd. It’s not easy making great films in a male Hollywood, but she’s not only been doing it for 30 years, she’s been making amazing films that are not just entertainment but make a difference in women’s lives.
Make sure you grab your Alice Through the Looking Glass tickets, and head to see the movie already in theaters! Also, make sure to check out all my other great Alice Through the Looking Glass posts talking about walking the red carpet, other celebrity interviews, and much more!
- Alice Through the Looking Glass Movie Review
- Interview with Alice Through the Looking Glass Actress Mia Wasikowska
- Walking the Red Carpet at the Alice Through the Looking Glass Premiere
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ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS Movie opens in theaters everywhere on May 27th
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