Disney has provided me with an expense paid trip to Los Angeles for the #MoanaEvent and #TheBFGBluRay in exchange for my coverage of the events of the trip. No other compensation is given. The opinions and experiences in my posts are 100% mine. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
While in LA a few weeks ago I had the most fun at this The BFG event! We went to The Culver Hotel, a gorgeous hotel in Culver City, California. They had a fun miniature brunch for us and the highlight was chatting with Lucy Dahl, daughter of children’s author Roald Dahl. It was so much fun to hear what he was like as a dad. The BFG on Blu-Ray is now available to own and since we loved the book and the movie, it was really neat for me to hear Lucy talk about what the BFG meant to her.
The BFG Miniature Brunch Feast
First things first: food! These fruit tarts were among the little finger foods that were served for brunch. Everything was tiny to the BFG so it was our turn to feel like giants!
The tables were decorated with jars of dreams. Near my seat was this blue dream, flowers, and this green dream, dragons!
Lucy Dahl, Daughter of Roald Dahl
After a yummy brunch Lucy Dahl joined us at the table to talk about The BFG and her dad. Lucy Dahl is the youngest daughter of Roald Dahl and Patricia Neal. She is a writer, a screenwriter and a producer. She wrote the teen comedy Wild Child, starring Emma Roberts, Aiden Quinn, Alex Pettifer and Natasha Richardson. She is currently writing and creating a new comedy for TV, as well as executive producing a TV adaptation of one of her father’s stories.
Lucy divides her time between East and West coasts, and has two children, Phoebe and Chloe, and two dogs, Thelma and Lola.
She’s a lovely, gracious woman and to hear her talk about her dad is heartwarming. What fun it was to grow up with such a fun father! Here are my favorite parts of our interview. Be sure to watch the video below to hear it in her own words.
On Growing Up With Roald Dahl As A Father
It was really amazing growing up with Roald Dahl as my dad because everything was a fairy tale, because we were sort of his lab rats so to speak. He would test his ideas and his characters and people on us, although we didn’t know it at the time. We just thought that we were getting great stories and he created this whole sort of kingdom of where we lived. That’s sort of what our house and our garden and our orchard beyond and then fields and the woods beyond that, that’s what our rambling old house in the countryside of Bingham was like. It wasn’t fancy at all. We did not have a lot of money.
“The BFG, he is real to me.”
Listen below as Lucy talks about how her dad made the BFG real to her. I have listened to this so many times, with and without my kids, since meeting. I just love this story. She’ll also talk about how her dad encouraged her to be fearless, and what he did when his children were dealing with a bully at school! We all need a dad like Roald Dahl.
Isn’t this so sweet, hearing her talk about her Dad? You can imagine after reading his books that he had to be such a fun parent.
Fun With Food
Roald Dahl had a lot of fun ‘in character’ and fun with food. He’d make up stories about special foods that not only related to some of his books, but developed quite a palate in his children. Here are a few of the examples Lucy shared:
When you’re not actually working you’re thinking about your work and so he spent a lot of time as an actor would in character, but he was sort of in fantasyland I suppose. We would wake up in the morning and open the door because it was in the days when the milkmen would deliver the milk early in the morning, and we’d go get the milk and sometimes there were a little bowl of teeny, weenie little eggs. Now I know they’re quail eggs, but he said that the Minpins which is another story that he wrote, little people that lived in our woods beyond the orchard, that the Minpins had delivered eggs to us overnight and sometimes there were big eggs, duck eggs. Now I know they’re duck eggs, but they were BFG eggs.
And also things like red cabbage was. Everything came from somewhere. Everything that most children don’t like to eat came from somewhere fabulous, like red cabbage was delivered the day before by a footman from Buckingham Palace, sent by the Queen and so you’d eat it. You don’t say ‘I’m not going to eat that cabbage’ if the Queen has personally sent it. So it was, that was sort of thing all of the time. Fantastic Mr. Fox-esque cider we made from the apples.
“We had all kinds of delicious things and as a result, I eat everything. Everything. There’s nothing I don’t eat. Nothing.”
On Sharing The BFG With The World
The BFG belonged to Roald Dahl’s girls before he belonged to all of us. Here’s how Lucy talked about coming to terms with sharing him with the world both in the book and the film.
There was no Giant Land in BFG’s story, so when it became a book and the BFG didn’t live under our orchard, he lived in Giant Land, I didn’t like that. No, no, that’s not the way that goes. But I was actually a little offended when he put our childhood story into a book because he was my BFG and Ophelia’s BFG and nobody else’s and, and you don’t really want to share.
It’s kind of like a husband, you know. Mine. He’s in my house and you don’t get him. So I sort of never really embraced the book that much because I was, when did the book come out? Eighty-two, I think. So I was, I was born in sixty-five, so seventeen. And I remember thinking bff, phh, just sort of not very interested, but then when the film was made and I was invited to the set, I couldn’t wait to go. I was over the teenage issue at that point. And it was really incredible and I loved being on the set.
“Steven Spielberg treated me, honestly, like a queen which I didn’t expect.”
I thought he’d just be like, hey, nice to meet you and get on with his work. He literally took me with him all day everywhere he went and showed me everything and it was really the most incredible experience ever, but the thing that I didn’t like was Giant Land that was on the set because it wasn’t true, but everything else was so true to how it was in my imagination and in my mind that it was just incredible. It was.
“I felt really like my father was walking around with me around the set as delighted as I was. The whole journey has been huge. The emotion. It really has.”
On Her Favorite Part of the Book Depicted In The Movie
When asked if she had a favorite part of the movie, Lucy didn’t hesitate.
Oh that’s dream land. Dream Land. When Sophie goes into, down, I mean, up into Dream Land, just that three or four seconds is just extraordinary, that’s my favorite.
“I could watch that again and again and again and again and again.”
It was exactly how I had imagined it and I think that’s probably why I love it so much. But also, the BFG. Steven (Spielberg) took a great deal of trouble in getting the BFG right. These shoes are a copy of a pair of my father’s sandals that he used to wear every summer. The BFG’s clothes are copies of my father’s clothes from his cupboard that we still have. My father based him a little bit on himself and a little bit on our great family friend, Wally.
Well-Behaved Children Are Boring
You know how sometimes as parents we tell our kids a story to encourage them to behave? I mean this is what the Elf on the Shelf is built on, right? Lucy was asked if her dad ever did that and she had a fun response!
“He never wanted us to behave. He would actually help us plot and plan naughty things to do because he said that well behaved children were boring, but the trick was to never get caught.”
So that’s actually one thing about my father that I haven’t used in my own mothering. It’s fine when you’re four, five, six, seven, eight and then you get to be a teenager and you have that programming to just don’t get caught it’s not so good. So he used to help us do all kinds of things.
He would help us write funny rhymes and limericks about the teachers at school that we would teach the whole class and, and they were hilariously funny.
He Would Do Our Homework For Us
Lucy said that Matilda was her favorite of her father’s books, because it enveloped that same energy that he brought: if it’s not right, make it right. Here’s what she had to say about that spirit in him:
Dad used to write letters to the teachers if he thought they were wrong about stuff. Oh, one very bad one was when he wrote to the French teacher who was French and told her that she was teaching us to pronounce something wrong.
He would do our homework for us and I will do that for my children. If it didn’t matter. You know, stuff that they give you that just doesn’t matter.
“It’s just a waste of time and, and an adult can do it in five minutes and a child, it would steal like an hour and half of their evening where, for us, we could be running in the woods or doing something and he would say, give it to me. I’ll do it.”
We would learn our times tables in song. Anything that we couldn’t memorize, he would put to song which is actually kind of brilliant and I did that, too, because if you think about it, you listen to a pop song or any kind of song three times and you know it. Yet, you can try and learn how to spell something and sit and stare at it forever and you can’t figure it out, so he used to put things to song that we couldn’t remember or learn.
Lucy was kind enough to sit for a picture with me and Keri Lyn from SheSaved.com. She talked about The BFG coming out on Blu-Ray before Christmas and I love what she had to say about the timing of the message of this film.
BFG and Sophie Have The Same Heart
I do love BFG. I really do love BFG. I love it. I love it. I think Mark Rylance was amazing. I think the team was amazing. I love it. I don’t think it’s any secret that it didn’t kill at the box office and we’ve talked about that and honestly, as a family, it doesn’t matter to us. We would so much rather have a beautiful film than a box office hit and my feeling about that, or us as a family because we have talked about it, is that it’s perfect.
Children are so used to bang, wand, colors. BFG is slow enough to speak to your heart. I mean, the heart speaks to the heart.
“With this coming out over Christmas where it’s more of a quiet time, I’m really hoping that children will slow down a little bit and realize that it’s about love because it’s really a love story.”
Steven (Spielberg) and I talked about it for an hour, actually. We talked about the difference between BFG and E.T. because it’s the same group of creators and he said that they’re the same because it’s a love. They’re two lonely hearts that find one another. They’re different characters and it’s a different type of love, but really, the importance of this story is that how one heart will find another heart, whatever the world, wherever they live.
“BFG and Sophie have the same heart and that’s how they found each other and they danced to a tune that no one else could hear.”
The BFG Is On Blu-Ray Now
The BFG on Blu-Ray is available to own now! This is the perfect gift for the whole family this holiday season. Disney provided me with a copy and we have been watching it every since I brought it home. I just adore the BFG and this sweet story!