Friday, July 3, 2015

Olivia de Havilland

Sometimes you just luck out!!
A few years ago I had the tremendous pleasure to be on a flight from LA to Paris, sitting next to none other than the lovely Olivia de Havilland. She is the last surviver from the cast of Gone with the Wind. It's kind of funny, before my flight I had just watched an interview with Ms de Havilland as part of the bonus material for the Gone With the Wind bluray disc. So I recognized her right away and said: " Miss de Havilland, let me tell you, it's a pleasure flying next to you." She gave me a friendly smile, and we settled into our seats. Before take off something amusing happened. At the same time we both pulled out of the seat pocket in front of us our own crossword puzzle booklet. We had a laugh, and she explained that crossword puzzles keep her mind sharp, while I told her that mine was in German, my first language.
During the flight Miss de Havilland talked about her career as an actress and shared memories from Gone with the Wind. She asked what profession I was in, and I told her that I had been with Walt Disney Studios as an animator. And that I was about to leave the company, because the studio would soon stop producing classically drawn animated films. I never forget her reaction in disbelief, she said: "Now why would they want to do that?"
When we landed in Paris I was able to assist her with the overhead luggage, and we parted ways.

Much later when I was researching character designs for my film Mushka, I remembered my encounter with Olivia de Havilland and modeled the look of Sarah's grandmother a little bit after her appearance. 
Olivia de Havilland has been living in Paris since 1960.

I wonder if I could get Ms de Havilland to do the voice for Sarah's grandmother...there is no harm in trying, right?


  1. Neato Andreas! I'd call that a sign from the universe! :) You should definitely see if she'd be interested in being in your film.

  2. Hi Andreas,

    Prompts me to ask if you were flying on a De Havilland aircraft?

    I wonder, did Miss De Havilland discuss her memories of working with Errol Flynn? A great on screen partnership, especially 'The Adventures of Robin Hood'.

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  4. I wish you could get her for the role. She was one of my favourite actresses when I was a child, I loved her!! What a lucky man you are!

  5. Andreas, I was curious: since you're not at Disney anymore, how do you manage the production of an animated film like Mushka? Do you do it all yourself, a la Richard Williams with The Thief and the Cobbler? Or do you accomplish it via a partnership with another animation company? Perhaps employ some students?

  6. I would love to know the true story of her estrangement from her sister Joan.