British Columbia

Vancouver actors play not-so-friendly giants in The BFG

Three Vancouver-based actors play man-eating giants Meatdripper, Childchewer and Butcher Boy in the movie version of a Roald Dahl novel.

3 Vancouverites play Meatdripper, Childchewer and Butcher Boy in movie version of Roald Dahl's novel

While the BFG (played by Mark Rylance) is a friendly giant that doesn't eat humans, his peers — three of which are played by Vancouver actors — like to terrorise humans. (Walt Disney Pictures)

Three Vancouver-based actors are making it big on the silver screen, literally — playing 50-foot tall, man-eating giants in Disney's The BFG opening in theatres July 1.

Paul Moniz de Sá, Jonathan Holmes and Michael Adamthwaite star as not-so-friendly giants Meatdripper, Childchewer and Butcher Boy respectively in the movie adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic novel about an orphan girl Sophie who befriends an elderly giant.

Moniz de Sá said the characters they play are those of typical giants in 'Giant Country', in contrast to the protagonist BFG, or Big Friendly Giant, who is also a smaller giant.

"He's the runt of the litter … he's a vegan so he doesn't eat children or people like we do," said Moniz de Sá, whose character Meatdripper is the jokester of the group and loves to go hunting for children.

"We are constantly bullying him, we enjoy taking him down and throwing him around. Sophie sees this and sees that something needs to be done, so she actually is the one that really helps come up with a plan to how do we defeat these giants."

'A massive thrill'

Holmes, who grew up in the United Kingdom, said he felt "a huge sense of responsibility" working with author Roald Dahl's story.

"Roald Dahl is an enormous part of any British child's upbringing," Holmes said.

"I have a ten-year-old daughter who also adores the book, so there's a sense of wanting to do this novel justice, but also a massive thrill to be part of something that … one hopes will be part of the iconography of Roald Dahl for years and years to come."

Working with Steven Spielberg

Adamthwaite plays the youngest and most mischievous giant in the group.

He said he enjoyed working with director Steven Spielberg, whom he described as "the most energetic person on set."

"Working with Steven, I have to say the first word that comes to mind is just 'magical.'

"I, like so many people around the world, have been bombarded by all of his wonderful creations for decades and decades. He's brought so much to film and the world of the actor, and I think he's inspired generations of people to get into film either as an actor or as a filmmaker."

Director Steven Spielberg, actors Ruby Barnhill, and Mark Rylance, from left, pose for photographers as they leave the screening of the film The BFG at the 69th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Saturday, May 14, 2016. (Joel Ryan/The Associated Press)

Moniz de Sá said for him the movie is really about the relationship between Sophie and the BFG, who he says are both loners that come to find each other.

"I would love for people to really look at that as, 'You are not alone'," he said.

"[We giants are] bullies and I think in this world where there is a lot of bullying going on, a lot of hatred in many ways, that when you find somebody, when you find that friendship, that friendship can take you very far."

With files from CBC's The Early Edition and Margaret Gallagher

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