The Gregg School

Local Hazlegrove Pupil Stars In The Velveteen Rabbit On Apple TV This Christmas

Published by Hazlegrove Preparatory School on Wednesday 13th of December 2023

Children at Hazlegrove Prep School are all looking forward to seeing their fellow pupil star in Apple TVs The Velveteen Rabbit this Christmas!

Phoenix L, a pupil at Hazlegrove Prep School, is starring in the film adaptation of Margery Williams’ The Velveteen Rabbit, which is now available on Apple TV . The adaptation is a recreation of the 1922 classic by screenwriter Tom Bidwell (My Mad Fat Diary) and Martin Pope (The Gruffalo) and is a beautiful mix of live-action and animation.

Phoenix auditioned for the role in 2022, and the live-action portion of the movie was filmed in Dublin in November of that year. The film features a star-studded cast, including Helena Bonham-Carter as Wise Horse, Alex Lauther as Velveteen Rabbit, Nicola Coughlan as the Playroom Fairy, and Tilly Vosburgh as Momo.

According to Phoenix’s mother, Zoe, some of the trickiest parts of the filming process were recording his voice for the animation scenes in a recording studio and performing with the rabbit when the rabbit wasn’t even there. However, Phoenix quickly got the hang of it and was unperturbed by the entire experience. Even when they arrived on set with all the cameras and trucks and people, he just instantly felt right at home.

The costumes in the film are wonderful, and Phoenix loved the clothes that were made for him. All his outfits, even his pyjamas, school uniform, and cricket outfit, were bespoke. Phoenix had a tutor on set who kept him up to date on any school work that he was missing.

The film has already received rave reviews, including The Los Angeles Times, which quotes Pope recalling how pleased they were at casting Phoenix in the role of William, describing it as 'a critical point because much of the story hinges on his performance. On the first day of filming, Pope called Apple and said, ‘We are going to be all right.’ He recalls one of the crew members getting teary after watching Laroche perform in rehearsal. ‘He’s really a natural. I think he’s tremendous.’

The children at Hazlegrove watched the trailer for the film in their end-of-term Celebration Assembly. Headmaster, Ed Benbow says, 'We are so proud of Phoenix – it was a privilege for the whole school to watch the trailer together, and we are very much looking forward to watching the film!'

Local Hazlegrove Pupil Stars In The Velveteen Rabbit On Apple TV  This Christmas  - Photo 1
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Hazelwood School