Radio entertainment and showbiz

Tim Minchin talks to Greatest Hits Radio ahead of Matilda cinema release

The composer spoke to Simon Mayo ahead of the release of the film version of his musical on Friday.

He discussed why he didn’t get to see any of the movie being filmed, how Emma Thompson is a ‘Dahl monster’ and the extraordinary performance from newcomer Alisha Weir that is at the heart of the film.

Tim explained how Covid meant he missed out on seeing his musical Matilda being brought to life: “Matilda was done completely without me and it’s fine because I’m the composer/lyricist – I wasn’t the director,” he said.

“I wasn’t involved much, except when Matthew [Warchus, the director] was casting if I wanted to I suppose I could have made a fuss but I don’t get involved where I’m not needed.”

He did write a new song for it and hoped he’d be able to come over to the UK to watch some of the filming but was trapped in Australia through all of it.

Newcomer Alisha Weir, who stars as Matilda in the film, really impressed Tim, he said it’s the best child performance on film he’s ever seen: “It is extraordinary. And when I say the best, we can all think of iconic children in films but what she has to do vocally and emotionally it really is phenomenal, she is absolutely amazing.”

He added that it’s also to do with her chemistry with Lashana Lynch, who is completely different in this film, having previously been in Marvel and 007 movies. “She’s such an extraordinary actress,” he said. “She becomes a completely different energy.”

Continuing, Tim explained: “Emma Thompson is completely batty and bonkers and a real Dahl monster and then at the heart of this movie is the relationship between Miss Honey and Matilda.”

Admitting there’s a moment in the movie that makes him sob, he said: “I don’t think it makes children sob, which is good because children don’t like crying, but if you’re an adult, most adults like crying and this’ll do it for you,” he said.

You can listen to the interview with Tim Minchin talking to Simon Mayo and find out more on the Greatest Hits Radio website.

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