Film loving Heage Primary School pupils had an interview date with a dame as part of a press junket event for Pixar’s latest soon-to-be smash hit.
Ten-year-olds Archie Walker and Tanvi Masrani quizzed Dame Helen Mirren, famous for her roles in the Queen and Hitchock, before attending a private pre-screening of the film Monsters University - the sequel to 2001 blockbuster Monsters Inc.
They were given the opportunity as part of a scheme run by charity FILMCLUB, which gives children the chance to attend premieres and meet the stars of top new movies.
The youngsters were whisked away to Kings College, London, which had been transformed into an American campus similar to the one in new film, taking part in a series of activities before interviewing the film’s director and writer Dan Scanlon, and Producer Kori Rae, as well as Oscar-winner Dame Helen.
Archie said: “It’s been amazing. When we watched Monsters University we planned out loads of questions - the best bit about making up your own question is that you can just come out from anywhere and you can have some of the most craziest questions and still ask them.
“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. Meeting Dan and Kori was amazing - you wouldn’t expect that in an average childs lifetime to speak to movie people who have actually made great movies. They even told us that they had over 100 deleted scenes, I was very shocked by that!”
He added: “Meeting Dame Helen Mirren was really good, it was good that we both got to ask her a question and got to take a photo with her. We also saw (film characters) Mike and Sulley - it was really cool because they kept on giving us handshakes and high fives!”
Dame Helen, who voices the character Dean Hardscrabble in the film, told the young reporters: “It’s always great to have a wonderful director, they allow you to experiment and do different things.
“And eventually the character that appears is really a combination of the actor working with the director, and then of course the animators who are incredibly creative people who come in and visualise it.”
The youngsters were given the opportunity as part of the FILMCLUB Talent Development programme.
Archie’s previous assignments have included hosting a live online show for FILMCLUB. Archie’s interviews are hosted on the FILMCLUB website (www.filmclub.org) for the charity’s 220,000 members to watch.
Heage Primary School recently won FILMCLUB club of the year and has seen its pupils interview movie stars Steve Carrell and Danny Devito in recent weeks.