“Oz the Great and Powerful” handily won the weekend box office with an impressive $80.3 million take in the U.S. and Canada, making it the biggest hit of the year so far.
The film, Sam Raimi’s quasi-prequel to the 1939 Oscar-winning musical “The Wizard of Oz,” benefited from its broad appeal (not to mention higher 3-D ticket prices). For the actors starring in the lavish fantasy inspired by the books of L. Frank Baum, though, the emphasis was on performance, not eventual box-office returns.
Attempting to find the right approach to Finley, the sweet-natured talking monkey who becomes a boon companion to James Franco’s magician con man in the magical realm, proved an interesting assignment for Zach Braff, the actor explained last week at an early Hero Complex screening of “Oz the Great and Powerful” at the AMC Century City 15 & Imax.
Although he didn’t study Baum’s books as some of his costars did, he did make at least one interesting field trip.
“The monkey’s not in the books, so I don’t know what I’d be looking for,” Braff said during a Q&A following the screening. “I did go to the zoo because I thought that would be something an actor would do.”
Braff — the actor famous for his work on television’s long-running sitcom “Scrubs” and his lauded turn behind the camera as director of the memorable indie “Garden State,” among other projects — went on to describe the day-to-day experience of working on such an elaborate production.
To hear what he had to say, check out the video above.
– Gina McIntyre
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