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Learning to Fly

After playing a grudgeful brat in The Piano, Australian Anna Paquin once again has critics cooing with her performance in Fly Away Home. The movie is the unlikely (but semi-factual) account of a girl who adopts a flock of orphaned, newborn geese and guides them South for the winter. Sounds like a bad Disney rip-off, doesn't it? But Paquin and the rest of the cast, including Jeff Daniels as her father, pull it off with much tenderness. In other words, you won't leave with a cavity. Despite being able to carry a movie, Paquin, in her interview with Rough Cut, shows that she is, after all, just a kid.

What was it like working with all those geese?
Well, actually, it was a lot of fun. I mean sometimes they wouldn't quite do what we hoped they would do, but you know it all worked out. And it proved to quite a lot of fun working with animals.

They say that you never work with kids or animals...
Well, I can't really talk about never working with kids or animals, because I am one and I have worked with animals...

As we know, kids are animals, so it's like you can't win in this situation. Did you take any special precautions in case, while they were in flight, they boomed you...Was there a poop problem?
Well not a problem...more like an issue.

What an the issue...
If you're gonna sit down, it's a good idea to check...

Did it happen to you?
Yeah, once or twice, but you know, you get used to it.

I'm sure. Like anything.
Or when like you have the little ones on your lap, sometimes things happen.

Your character had a lot in common with the geese. I mean can you talk about that a bit?
Well, like the geese, she's just been sort of thrust into a totally new kind of world, and she's learning. Because she hasn't spent much time with her father, because he hasn't been around. So at the same time he's kind of learning how to be a dad, she's learning how to be a mom to the geese. She's learning how to mother them. And so it's sort of through that, that she and her father develop a better relationship with each other because they both basically are doing the same thing.

The geese lost their mom and you lost your mom...
They have actually quite a lot in common.

They really did have a lot in common. Now I don't know if you're aware of this, but there are a lot of geese that watch our channel. I understand that you guys had to learn to speak goose for the movie...

[Makes honking noise].
[Paquin responds with honking noises].

Ah, that's exactly what I thought.
[Both laugh]

Rough Cut, September 20, 1996