At first sight, The magic Flute seems to be a run-of-the-mill teen fantasy movie: a boy in a distinctive scarf goes to a faraway school, where he discovers a magical land filled with snakes, princesses, and, yes, a magic flute. The words “Harry” and “Potter” are never spoken, but the film makes no secret of their similarities to a certain bespectacled boy wizard.
As soon as the characters start singing, though, and singing opera arias no less, you realize this movie is quite different from any other fantasy film. In a conversation with Digital Trends, lead actor Jack Wolfe talks about the challenges of starring in a film that is both fantasy and musical, his love of the fantasy genre, and how his current role as Wylan Hendricks in the season 2 of shadow and bone differs from his role as Tim in The magic Flute.
Digital trends: I spoke with Florian [Sigl, the director] earlier, and he mentioned that he chose you to star The magic Flute because there are many parallels between you and Tim. How did your own personal experience in the film help you?
Jack Wolfe: knew of [Mozart’s] Opera. It’s such a recognizable piece, and my parents are musicians, so I had that awareness of it. But… I couldn’t say that I was a big fan. He was a bit intimidated by it, to be honest. Yes, I went to study music. Yes, I studied piano and singing. But the opera scared me there too.
It’s funny because Florian is right; there are many similarities between what I went through and what Tim goes through in The magic Flute. I went to study music at the same time as Tim, I think, and it was really challenging. It can be an isolated place, especially for teenagers. So, it’s something I understood very well.
The magic Flute It’s a bit of an odd duck because on the one hand it’s this Harry Potter-esque fantasy and on the other hand it’s a musical based on an opera. How did you prepare for both the fantasy and the musical elements of The magic Flute?
I mean, the easy answer is I was constantly terrified of the whole company because it was my first feature film. And since it was also a special effects-driven fantasy and an opera, it seemed like a lot to take on all at once. The key for me was getting out of my own head. Florian helped me with that; he is so calm and focused and he knows exactly what he wants. I could trust him. I was also spoiled by the most incredible cast, including real opera stars and actors like F. Murray Abraham who have a lot of screen experience. I was able to learn a lot from them.
The opera part didn’t intimidate me that much because I don’t play Tamino in an opera. i play tim discovering the opera for himself. It was always through the eyes of Tim, who is also a rookie. And that was what really helped me deal with the challenges of the musical parts of the film. I also had an amazing vocal coach named Sam Kenyon who got me to a level where he had a viable singing voice for me. The magic Flutesongs of . In fact, I also provide Tim’s singing voice in the German version of the film. I sing the opera arias in German, which is a good Easter egg for everyone. [Laughs]
I know you said this is your first major film, but with all your other television credits, you’re already becoming an expert in the fantasy genre. you have appeared in The Wizard and you are in the second season of shadow and bone, which is a huge hit on Netflix. Even though he’s of the same genre, your approach to Tim in The magic Flute different from, say, Nadbor in The Wizard and Wylan Hendricks in shadow and bone?
One thing I really enjoy about the fantasy genre is playing a real person with human feelings who is faced with things that are completely absurd. That’s such a fun thing to explore. In The magic Fluteit’s different because Tim exists in the real world, but then he escapes into this fantasy.
In shadow and bone, Wylan exists in this invented world and not in reality. That is something very different from The magic Flute. But I love the fantasy genre so much. I love the escapism it brings to people. I love learning from fantasy and applying it to real life. I think that’s why people love the fantasy genre and also why people respond to opera. Both are about escapism; they just do it differently.
my hope is that The magic Flute It allows people to not only escape through fantasy and music, but also be inspired to take advantage of the enjoyment they get from film and go and support live art forms like opera and theater. The movie is a great gateway for some people into a genre that I think needs to be supported.
The magic Flute is currently playing in theaters. shadow and bone Season 2 is now streaming on Netflix.