Oz: The Great and Powerful Movie's James Franco. © Disney Enterprises Inc.

Oz: The Great and Powerful Movie Cast

OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL

Written by Kelli Gillespie

Most people are familiar with the Wizard of Oz… the iconic yellow brick road and ruby slippers… but what about how the Wizard came to be the leader of the land? Disney’s movie focuses on the enchanted ruler, and Risen caught up with its cast to talk about good versus bad, loyalty, encouragers and achieving greatness.

Interviewed for Risen Magazine at The Langham Huntington in Pasadena, California

Risen Magazine: In the movie, so many people believe in Oz, which helps him become the wizard he is. Who has believed in you and encouraged you to be who you are today?
James Franco: I had great parents who were very supportive. But, sometimes when you want to go into a crazy business like acting where there are only so many roles, and the percentages are just very tough, you have to just go and believe in yourself. Then there are other times when you will meet people along the way that give you that special encouragement that you need. I had plenty of teachers that did that for me, so it’s sort of a combination.

Risen Magazine: You play Finley, the fiercely loyal sidekick to Oz. How close to your personality is this monkey?
Zach Braff: I think we all aspire to be as loyal and honest as this character is. He’s sort of Oz’s conscience. I think it’s funny in that early scene where Oz wants him to lie and you watch this little innocent monkey lie for the first time and he’s really bad at it when he’s giving that introduction, and I just think it’s so sweet. How often do we see that in our lives where someone doesn’t even know how to lie and they are a pure, innocent angel.

Risen Magazine: Themes of good versus bad begs the question are people bad, and choose to do good, or are they good and get corrupted to be bad?
Mila Kunis: I’m going to get in trouble for saying it, but I don’t think people are necessarily born good. It’s not a bad thing. I think it’s up to the parent or whoever raises the child to teach them morals, and right from wrong, and instill that type of behavior in a baby. But I mean a baby cries and is needy. I’m a horrible person for you to ask this question to, probably very jaded [Laughter.]
Risen Magazine: When it comes to changing perceptions, who might be some of the people that were catalysts for that in your life?
Mila Kunis: I think that if you are lucky and constantly surrounding yourself with great friends – I do believe they are the people that mold you and change you, and either help you or harm you. It can be your significant other, or best friend. I think it happens a lot in life and goes in transitions.

Risen Magazine: Oz doesn’t want to die until he achieves greatness. You’ve accomplished so much in your career, but what is one thing you still want to achieve in the future?
Sam Raimi: I want to live for a long time because I want to see how the stories of my kids’ lives turn out. That’s the most intriguing thing. I want to see how the story ends.

Interview originally published in Risen Magazine, Spring 2013

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