Watching Steven Spielberg’s magical little masterpiece The BFG was something, I admit, I tried to avoid for longer than I should have. I had so many fond memories of reading Roald Dahl’s The BFG growing up as well as Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Matilda, James & The Giant Peach and so many more. I didn’t want to lose those memories with a sub-par film. But, I am so glad I did. Every bit of the movie made me smile and yes, I admit, cry just a little.
So many things in life we take for granted because we are so busy trying to work ourselves into the ground to make a decent living, so that our future generation can work their butts off and make even more. We forget about the little things we once imagined in our young lives, the dreams we once held high. It’s easy to lose sight of it all and lose that spark. Roald Dahl seemed to keep it till the very end of his life. He also seemed to have left some magic behind in the family he created. Roald’s daughter Lucy Dahl is a shining example of this.
Lucy Dahl, now 51, is a British Screenwriter and contributor for online magazines. Lucy helped collaborate on Dahl’s previous big screen adaptations Charlie & The Chocolate Factory (2005) and now The BFG (Big Friendly Giant). I was lucky enough to get a few questions to Lucy regarding her fond memories of her Dad and the memories he left he,r as well as the work on BFG.
So honoured to be speaking to one of the legendary Dahl Siblings! First off, a little bit about yourself: You’re a mother yourself now, do you keep any traits your father Roald left you and carry it on to your own children?
One thing that I did carry over from my Dad was the way he used to make up stories about where food came from to get us to eat things we didn’t like. For instance, red cabbage was delivered specially from the Queen and Brussel sprouts were flown in by The Minpins.
What are some of the things that make you smile the most above all else in life, the kind of things that come up in your head out of nowhere and just catch a smile by surprise?
The time that I got in trouble from the headmistress for something I had done in school and she told me that she wasn’t disappointed in me for what I’d done, but just that I’d gotten caught!
When reading into Roald’s history I saw that he was a spy during World War 2? How did you come to find out? Was it a shock?
Oh yes! I found out later from the great biography Donald Sturrock wrote and as I’ve said before, I was very shocked when news came out. I felt like saluting him. I was surprised that he kept it a secret from us after all those years.
One of my favourite quotes from your Father was ‘A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men’ and I remember reading that whenever you would enter your Dad’s work area when he was writing, he would say the words ‘You woke me from a dream’! Are there any other great little things he would say that were completely out of the norm? Some quotes to remember him by?
One of the quotes that he used to say about writing was, ‘Always stop when you’re going good’ and even though he would laugh because of the incorrect grammar, what he meant was that you should stop writing when you know where you’re going next because then you have something to look forward to when you return. I also loved that he used to say, ‘If you don’t believe in magic, you will never find it.’
The BFG has been and always shall be one of my all-time favourite novels. My 9-Year old has almost reached the stage he can read a big book and I think he is ready for The BFG now, what age did you read the book yourself for the first time?
The first time I heard about The BFG, it was just a bedtime story. It was a little bit different, but the same. BFG lived under the apple tree in our orchard. He was our BFG. So, when it came down to putting BFG in a book and he lived in Giant land, I was a little offended. I felt like he lied. I didn’t want to share it. But now I’m delighted to share it.
In The BFG or any other of Roald’s work, is there any characters you know or think you know are actually based upon yourself, or your siblings?
Well actually, The BFG was partially based on my dad’s own personality.
I’m not sure if there is already one on the way, but if they were to make another adaptation of Roald Dahl’s works, what would be your pick to be next?
The stories are such a personal journey back into my own childhood. When I was on set for The BFG, it was as if I walked into my childhood imagination and when I finally did see it, I cried and cried because I felt as if I just spent two hours with my dad. Not only because the movie was so well done, but because The BFG was semi-autobiographical of my dad’s personality.
The BFG is out now on DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital Platforms. Read our review HERE.