Showing posts with label Megan Follows. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Megan Follows. Show all posts

May 24, 2024

Megan Follows on Playing Anne of Green Gables

Megan Follows as Anne Shirley in the 1985 Anne of Green Gables miniseries

Megan Follows is known for playing the outspoken, imaginative and talkative Anne Shirley in the 1985 TV miniseries Anne of Green Gables, which was based on L.M. Montgomery's novel. In December 2023, Follows reminisced about how playing Anne Shirley changed her life in a podcast conversation with the CBC's Tom Power. In the introduction to the podcast, Power mentions how the conversation made him rethink Anne of Green Gables and how radical the story was then and how relevant it still is today. I loved their conversation. Give it a listen!

Sometimes actors dislike being identified with a particular role, but not Megan Follows. She expressed gratitude about playing Anne Shirley and emphasized how great it was to play a character that was "a girl that got to express rage." When asked about her relationship with the character, Follows responded, "I love Anne...She and I have a great relationship. We're tight. We're bosom buddies. I think she's an extraordinary character, and uhm, I always felt incredibly grateful to have played her and to have been introduced to a strong-willed, female-driven story where you got to be number one from the point of view of a story." Often, Follows reflects, women are the appendage in stories and not the backbone or driving force. In contrast, Anne has a driving force to belong and to be seen for herself, and Follows believes that this is what resonates with people.

Megan Follows delved back into L.M. Montgomery's stories in preparing to record an Emily of New Moon audiobook a few years ago and then to direct a new Audible Anne of Green Gables audiobook featuring Michela Luci, Catherine O’Hara, Victor Garber, and Sandra Oh. Follows remarks that her deep dive back into the stories allowed her to discover "the subversiveness of the text." She had previously understood Montgomery's humor, but now she observed her way of pointing out hypocrisy through Anne. She feels that the power of the character scares people.

Follows sees Anne's compulsive talking as coming from a dark place where Anne chooses to go toward the light, not out of naivety, but for her own survival. As an example, she mentions how Anne planned to sleep in a cherry tree at the train station. She believes that Anne came up with this idea for safety, but Anne focused on the beauty of the blossoms because she was terrified to be abandoned and alone in the world. Follows says that Montgomery used poetry because children don't actually speak this way.

Follows also reflected on her amazing experiences working with Colleen Dewhurst (Marilla Cuthbert) and Patricia Hamilton (Rachel Lynde). She discussed how Richard Farnsworth (Matthew Cuthbert) was only available for six days of filming, so she worked very long hours with him to film his scenes. Later, she did scenes with a grip stand with a hat on it as a stand-in. Follows also talked about the raspberry cordial scene with Schuyler Grant. They were giving Grant glasses of watered down grape juice or Ribena, and she really did get sick after filming the scene multiple times. Follows briefly mentioned that her heart always smiles for Jonathan Crombie and that they laughed a lot.

Power asked Follows about her audition for Anne. The day after her audition, her tape disappeared, and she had to redo her audition at the last minute. Follows mentions that there was another actress who was the first choice for Anne Shirley and she had to fight for the role. Luckily, she had advocates at the CBC and someone at PBS who believed that she was the right fit for the role.

Later, when asked about how the success of the miniseries affected her, she reflected that she is grateful that she did a good job playing Anne, and that she has received a tremendous amount of goodwill because of the character and how much the character and writing mean to people.

Toward the end of the conversation, Follows talked about how she is currently developing a limited series on the life of L.M. Montgomery, her legacy and the power of her writing. I can't wait to hear more.


Image credit:

Photograph of Megan Follows as Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables © Sullivan Entertainment

Created May 24, 2024.
© worldofanneshirley.com


May 19, 2024

Emily of New Moon Audiobook

Emily of New Moon Audiobook showing artwork of a young girl writing in a book and seated under a tree with a new moon in the background


An Emily of New Moon audiobook read by Megan Follows was produced by Voices in the Wind Audio Theatre and Design Sound Productions in 2021. Megan Follows is well-familiar with L.M. Montgomery's works, having starred as Anne Shirley in the acclaimed Anne of Green Gables (1985) by Sullivan Entertainment and its sequels Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel (1987) and Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story (2000).

In an interview with the CBC, Follows reflected on her return to L.M. Montgomery's world saying, "It was a fun revisiting of the author, to hear her language again, to be transported to that time and place. Even though it's obviously a different series with the Emily of New Moon books, but still obviously so strongly the voice of Lucy Maud Montgomery, who I'm a fan of. It was a fun opportunity to just sit in the booth and talk." Follows recorded the audiobook during the pandemic. She reflected on the creative experience saying, "I guess it was perfect, given the world that we were all living in at the time. We were in COVID. The recording studio had just opened back up. This is back in the winter. It was going from the isolation of one space into a recording studio all sanitized down, in this cocoon-like world. In a way, the true beauty of the literature is that I got to be transported to outside my circumstances and situations into someone else's life. That's really the beautiful thing about her work."

Megan Follows has a deep understanding of L.M. Montgomery's voice and her characters. She says, "I think there is something that people identify with — being ostracized, being bullied, being excluded, the fear of not fitting in, not being wanted. What is my voice? How do I belong? How do I find a voice and a place in the world? That is as much a part of our present day situation."

I don't often listen to audiobooks, but I'm going to seek out this one.


Image Credit:
Artwork for the Emily of New Moon Audible audiobook by Design Sound Productions.

Reference:
CBC Books. (2021, Jul 14). Megan Follows returns to Lucy Maud Montgomery's world with Emily of New Moon audiobook. CBC News. Retrieved from: https://www.cbc.ca/books/megan-follows-returns-to-lucy-maud-montgomery-s-world-with-emily-of-new-moon-audiobook-1.6101013

Purchase the Emily of New Moon Audiobook:


Emily of New Moon Audiobook read by Megan Follows


Created May 19, 2024.
© worldofanneshirley.com

May 08, 2024

Anne of Green Gables Audible Audiobook

Anne of Green Gables Audible Original Audiobook Artwork showing Victor Garber as Matthew Cuthbert, Michela Luci as Anne Shirley, and Catherine O'Hara as Marilla Cuthbert.


A new Anne of Green Gables audiobook published by Audible Originals dramatizes L.M. Montgomery's classic story. The performances were directed by Megan Follows, who starred as Anne Shirley in the acclaimed Anne of Green Gables (1985) and its sequels Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel (1987) and Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story (2000).

A Canadian cast brings the story to life. Anne of Green Gables is narrated by Golden Globe winner Sandra Oh, an Asian-Canadian-American actress. Anne Shirley is voiced by 17-year-old Canadian actress Michela Luci (Dino Dana), who won a Daytime Emmy Award. Marilla Cuthbert is voiced by Canadian Emmy Award Winner Catherine O’Hara (Beetlejuice, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Home Alone, and Schitt's Creek). Matthew Cuthbert is voiced by the Canadian actor Victor Garber, who has received multiple Emmy and Tony nominations (Alias, Milk, DC's Legends of Tomorrow).

This retelling of Anne of Green Gables was released on November 30, 2023, which is L.M. Montgomery's birthday. L.M. Montgomery's story was adapted by Abi Hynes, and the production has an original score and immersive sound.

In an interview with the CBC, Megan Follows says, "I loved the idea of going back and deeply immersing myself in the text, in the writing of Lucy Maud Montgomery." Follows goes describe Anne as rare considering the historical period saying, "That advocacy of a female to have the right to speak up and to be heard and to be seen was unheard of at that time. She was revolutionary in that way — to have an imagination, to have feeling, to express feelings, and for girls to express anger."


Official Websites:
Anne of Green Gables Audible Audiobook - watch the trailer, and view a behind-the-scenes video
Anne of Green Gables Audible audiobook at Amazon.com

Image Credit:
Promotional image for the Anne of Green Gables Audible audiobook.

Reference:
Yarr, Kevin. (2023, December 3). Anne of Green Gables audiobook 'a whole new world,' says Megan Follows: Follows directs all-star Canadian cast in latest dramatization of Montgomery work. CBC News. Retrieved from: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-anne-green-gables-audible-audiobook-1.7043654

Created May 8, 2024.
© worldofanneshirley.com

April 24, 2001

Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story (2000)

Photograph of Jonathan Crombie as Gilbert Blythe and Megan Follows as Anne Shirley Blythe in Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story, 2000 Sullivan Entertainment miniseries

Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story is a television miniseries that first aired on CBC in March 2000. It was the third miniseries film about the life of Anne Shirley that was produced by Sullivan Entertainment, and it follows Anne of Green Gables (1985) and Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel (1987).

The miniseries starred Megan Follows who returned to play Anne Shirley. Jonathan Crombie resumed the role of Anne’s true love Gilbert Blythe. In addition, Schuyler Grant and Patricia Hamilton returned to play Diana Barry and Rachel Lynde, respectively. Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story also introduced new characters, including Jack Garrison Jr. played by Cameron Daddo. The miniseries was directed by Stefan Scaini, and the music was by Peter Breiner. Kevin Sullivan and Laurie Pearson wrote the screenplay for Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story. Its storyline diverges from L.M. Montgomery's Anne series.

The story begins when Anne returns home to Avonlea after years teaching while Gilbert has been in medical school. When Gilbert gets a job offer at a hospital in New York City, he asks Anne to move there with him. In New York, Anne works as an editor in a publishing house where she meets a writer named Jack Garrison. Jack is interested in Anne and her talent and convinces her to let him edit and submit a manuscript she is writing. Jack ends up stealing Anne’s work. Meanwhile, Gilbert is disappointed by the politics of working in a big city hospital.

Eventually, Anne and Gilbert return home to Avonlea and get married. The first World War begins, and Gilbert enlists as a medical officer and leaves for Europe. When Gilbert is declared missing, Anne joins the Red Cross and heads to Europe where she encounters danger and intrigue as she searches for Gilbert.

Image credit:
Photograph of Jonathan Crombie as Gilbert Blythe and Megan Follows as Anne Shirley Blythe in Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story © Sullivan Entertainment

External link:
Anne of Green Gables: The Official Website

Purchase and watch Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story:

Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story (2000) - 2 Disc Special Edition DVDs Anne of Green Gables: The Complete Four-Part Collection, DVD Set, The Kevin Sullivan Restoration


Created April 24, 2001. Re-posted online May 4, 2022. Last updated May 4, 2022.
© worldofanneshirley.com

April 22, 2001

Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel (1987) aka Anne of Avonlea

Photograph of Jonathan Crombie as Gilbert Blythe and Megan Follows as Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel (aka Anne of Avonlea), 1987, Sullivan Entertainment miniseries

Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel (also known as Anne of Avonlea) is a television miniseries that first aired on the Disney Channel and CBC in 1987. It was broadcast on PBS the next year. Sullivan Entertainment produced this sequel to follow its acclaimed Anne of Green Gables (1985) miniseries.

Kevin Sullivan wrote and directed Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel. The miniseries starred Megan Follows, who returned to play the beloved Anne Shirley. Several other actors returned to play their Anne of Green Gables (1985) roles, including Colleen Dewhurst as Marilla Cuthbert, Jonathan Crombie as Gilbert Blythe, Schuyler Grant as Diana Barry, Patricia Hamilton as Rachel Lynde, and Marilyn Lightstone as Miss Stacey. Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel introduced several new characters as well, including Morgan Harris played by Frank Converse, Mrs. Harris played Dame Wendy Hiller, Emmeline Harris played by Genevieve Appleton, and Katherine Brooke played by Rosemary Dunsmore.

The storyline in Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel combines elements from three novels in L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables series, namely: Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, and Anne of Windy Poplars. The story begins with Anne in Avonlea, teaching at the Avonlea school and dreaming of becoming a successful writer. After turning down a proposal from Gilbert, Anne takes a job as a teacher at Kingsport Ladies' College where she faces challenges from the Pringle family and the mean-spirited principal Katherine Brooke. Anne must navigate these difficulties to find her place and learn what she truly wants in life.

As with the earlier miniseries, Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel was filmed in Ontario and Prince Edward Island, Canada. Its memorable music was composed by Hagood Hardy. The miniseries earned six Gemini awards in 1988, with Kevin Sullivan winning for Best Dramatic Mini-Series, Megan Follows winning for Best Performance by a Lead Actress in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series, and Colleen Dewhurst winning for Best Performance by a Supporting Actress.

Image credit:
Photograph of Jonathan Crombie as Gilbert Blythe and Megan Follows as Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel © Sullivan Entertainment

External link:
Anne of Green Gables: The Official Website

Purchase and watch Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel:

Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel, 1987, Sullivan Entertainment, 2 Disc Special Edition DVD Set Anne of Green Gables: The Complete Four-Part Collection, DVD Set, The Kevin Sullivan Restoration


Created April 22, 2001. Re-posted online May 2, 2022. Last updated May 2, 2022.
© worldofanneshirley.com

April 17, 2001

Anne of Green Gables (1985)

Megan Follows as Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables (1985)

Anne of Green Gables is a made-for-television miniseries that first aired on CBC TV in 1985. Sullivan Entertainment loyally adapted L.M. Montgomery's novel of the same name for the screen.

Directed by Kevin Sullivan, Anne of Green Gables starred Megan Follows as Anne Shirley, Colleen Dewhurst and Richard Farnsworth as siblings Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, Jonathan Crombie as Anne's rival Gilbert Blythe, and Schuyler Grant as Anne's bosom friend Diana Barry. The film's music, composed by Hagood Hardy, is distinctive and memorable. Filmed in both Ontario and on Prince Edward Island, the beauty of the Canadian scenery is candy for the eyes.

The movie was highly acclaimed for its script, cast, and loyalty to the novel's character. The Toronto Star glowingly described Anne of Green Gables as, "Cult phenomenon. Cultural ambassador. Canadian heroine."
 
The miniseries earned countless awards in 1986, including nine Gemini Awards and an Emmy Award for Outstanding Children's Program. Kevin Sullivan received the George Peabody Award for Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting for his work in bringing the film to life.

Image credit:

Photograph of Megan Follows as Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables © Sullivan Entertainment.

External link:

Anne of Green Gables
: The Official Website


Purchase and watch Anne of Green Gables:


Anne of Green Gables DVD Set, The Kevin Sullivan Restoration Anne of Green Gables: The Complete Four-Part Collection, DVD Set, The Kevin Sullivan Restoration


Created April 17, 2001. Re-posted online March 18, 2021. Last updated March 18, 2021.
© worldofanneshirley.com