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Black Beauty star Mackenzie Foy on bringing the 1877 book into the modern day

By Rory Cashin

November 26, 2020 at 3:46pm


We also chatted to the The Conjuring and Interstellar star about her memories of playing Robert Pattinson's vampire daughter in Twilight.

When you think of Black Beauty, most people will likely fondly remember the 1994 adaptation starring Sean Bean, with Alan Cumming narrating the titular horse. The book on which that movie was based was originally published in 1877, and the world is a very different place now, with some perhaps believing that antiquated tales like Black Beauty wouldn't work in the modern day.

That is definitely a challenge for the 2020 adaptation, which features Kate Winslett as the horse narrator this time around, and young actress Mackenize Foy as the girl who manages to tame the wild Beauty.

We chatted to the actress in the run-up to the release of Black Beauty, and asked how easy (or difficult) it was to bring such a beloved classic into the modern day:

"When I read the script, that was one of the things - because I knew it was a modern adaptation, and I was a really big fan of the original - so I wanted it to have all of the same feelings and emotions of the original, and for me, it absolutely had that, so I was really excited.

"So talking with Ashley [Avis, writer and director] and meeting with her, so explained how she updated it, and made it into a modern adapation. And one of the big things, of course, was that the original book was meant to bring awareness to the horses, and to help stop animal cruelties, and to help people realise that they have feelings and they have emotion.

"So for this version, they turned Beauty into a wild mustang, and the reason is currently in America the wild mustangs are being rounded up and put into holding pens, and it is a whole terrible thing that really needs to be fixed, and so to honour the original book, Ashley updated it for modern day horse cruelty."

Despite only being 20 years old, Foy already has an impressive CV, having played massively recognisable characters such as Matthew McConaughey's daughter in sci-fi epic Interstellar, or one of the haunted daughters in The Conjuring. But it is likely that she is still best known for playing Renesmee, the half-human half-vampire daughter to Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Parts One and Two.

So, of course, all these years on, we had to know what her memories were of working on those huge movies:

"It is kind of crazy, because I was really little, so I don't actually remember a whole lot, the stuff I do remember is just random little kid things. But it was a really incredible experience, and being older now and seeing how films like Twilight really bring people together.

"And it is kind of a fun thing you get to do with your friends, to go to the movies and see the big film that everybody is talking about. It was really cool and I am really lucky to have been a part of something as amazing as Twilight."

Black Beauty is available to watch on Disney+ from Friday, November 27.

This interview was edited slightly for clarity.

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