We recently sat down with actress Freya Wilson, 11, to discuss her role in creating The Three Little Pigs app. Freya also plays the part of Princess Elizabeth in the Oscar-nominated movie The King’s Speech. And, quite the professional, she answered the phone only once during our interview: a call to discuss a homework assignment.
Which character or voices do you perform in the Three Little Pigs app?
I narrated the story and I did the bit parts of Mr. Pig and the Spider.
What was it like in the recording studio? Did you have to do multiple takes to get it just right, or was it pretty easy?
It was hard work! We spent several days in the studio over the course of a few months. We started the day warming up our voices by doing tongue-twisters like “Popocatapetl, copper-plated kettle” to get going. Each of us went individually into the recording room, which has a sound-proof glass wall. When we were in there we could hear the comments of Ali (Muirden, voice audio expert) and Deb through earphones. We did lots of takes because we had to try different ways of saying the lines – sometimes whiny, sometimes scared, sometimes less expressive. We had to stay in character, which was hard because we’re not used to being fairy tale characters! We had to remember to speak the parts as though we were reading the story to a child who was younger than us.
What is it like to hear your voice coming out of the mouth of the characters when you use the app?
I thought it would be embarrassing to hear my voice coming out of a spider and a pig, but it’s not! I don’t think it sounds very much like me. I think I sound younger. You know, I think the Three Little Pigs is an incredibly interactive app – there’s lots for children to do – and it’s been really cool to see it come together from the script to the finished thing.
Do you have any memories of reading The Three Little Pigs or other fairy tales when you were little?
Mum used to read me fairy tales and also other books. I remember reading The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig which is a parody of the real The Three Little Pigs story. I remember reading the Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson a lot.
You recently played the part of Princess Elizabeth in the film The King’s Speech. How did your experience recording the app compare to working on a film?
Well, when I was being filmed in The King’s Speech I spent quite a lot of time in hair and make-up and we had very good food at lunchtime. For The Three Little Pigs I just wore jeans and we only got sandwiches. But in other ways it was similar: for both we had to spend a long time waiting for takes and needed to be very thorough and say the lines again and again in a different ways. In both, we were very serious, but also silly.
What’s next for you? More movies? Voice-overs?
I’m going to be the narrator and maybe other parts in the next Nosy Crow fairy tale app which is Cinderella. I really want to be an ugly sister, though. I have recently filmed a short film called Elevator Operator where I get to play the part of a girl with a hearing-aid who can’t speak.
If you could write a children’s book or app, what would it be about?
I would write something about an imaginary land or I’d write historical fiction. I do a lot of writing now, mainly poetry and play scripts.
What do you do in your free time?
I like to read and play the guitar and talk to my friends. No sport – never, never!
How did you get into acting?
A casting agent came to an after-school drama club I went to. I was sent to an audition for an HBO series called Game of Thrones, and I think I got quite far. Then my parents decided it wasn’t really right for me to act in something I wouldn’t be allowed to watch because some bits aren’t suitable for children. But this led to my getting an agent.
How did you get the part in the King’s Speech?
My agent put me forward for an audition, I think. I listened to clips of speeches made by Princess Elizabeth beforehand. I was called back three times and finally got the part.
What is it like to see the King’s Speech nominated for so many awards?
Astonishing and exhilarating! It wasn’t what I’d expected. But they’re awards for people like the director and for Colin Firth mainly, not for people with little parts.
Do you want to continue acting?
Definitely! I love transforming into another character. But I also really enjoy writing and would like to write professionally.