First of all, the cast for Maleficent is beginning to be allowed to talk about their work on the film. The following excerpt is from an interview with Hannah New who plays Sleeping Beauty's mother when SB was a baby:
You also worked on Maleficent. What’s your role in that?I think we're going to be seeing a lot more talk about looking at the darker side of fairy tale, aka seeing stories from the villain's POV in the immediate future. Even though it feels (to me) like we've been discussing this "darker side of fairy tales" thing for a few years now, I guess being sympathetic with the villain's story is a more specific strain of that, and people are completely fascinated by it. There are quizzes and hypothetical posts all over on "who will/should get the Maleficent treatment next?!".
It was fab. I got to play the mother of Sleeping Beauty which was an incredible role. Sleeping Beauty is a film that I remember very vividly as a kid and I remember all of those scenes, so revisiting the dark side of these fairy tales is almost cathartic as an adult. I think it’s an interesting trend that’s happening now that all of these tails are being explored from both sides, from the good and evil side. I’m very excited to see it. I haven’t seen it yet.
Is her mother out of the picture by the time Maleficent comes along?
Obviously when she’s born, that whole scene from the Disney film when she curses the baby is going to be in Maleficent. It’s the core conflict that happens in the story. Yeah, she then is obviously, because much of the story covers when she’s older, when she’s 16 so obviously I’m only playing her mom when she was a baby.
That still must have been a fun scene to do in live action.
Yeah, totally, it was awesome and also kind of was the culmination of lots of dreams because I’d always dreamed of working at Pinewood because it’s such an institution for us Brits. Obviously that childhood dream of being a Disney princess and getting dressed up in amazing, amazing costumes. The costumes are just out of this world, and obviously working with such incredible actors was another incredible bonus to that job. I’m just really, really glad to be part of it.
I do think the consideration of the anti-hero, the misunderstood hero who sacrifices all (including reputation and their correct place in history) is a reflection of our current social considerations.. but that's for someone else with more time (and a bigger brain!) to discuss! Feel free to weigh in though. I'd love to see what your thoughts are on this.