The Three Pixies of Disney's "Maleficent" Share Their Thoughts on Playing Such Iconic Roles

In Disney’s Maleficent, the three pixies of Knotgrass, Thistlewit and Flittle are in charge of taking care of Princess Aurora till her 16th birthday. Throughout the film, we discover that pixies may not be the best at raising a baby, yet they try their best.

Playing these lovely creatures are Juno Temple, Lesley Manville and Imelda Staunton. To see what it was like to play such lively creatures, each were interviewed by Click Communications and we got a chance to hear their responses. Lets take a look.

How would you describe your pixie characters?

IMELDA STAUNTON: There are three of us in the story. There’s Knotgrass, which is played by myself. There is Thistlewit, who is played by the wonderful Juno Temple. And there’s Flittle, who is played by the glorious Lesley Manville.

How do the pixies fit into the story of Maleficent?

JUNO TEMPLE: The trio of pixies is given the job of taking care of Princess Aurora – played by Elle Fanning – from when she is a baby until the day after her sixteenth birthday. They have to change from their pixie forms to become humans in order to keep it a secret from the rest of the world, or at least that’s what think they’re doing.

What does this transformation involve?

LESLEY MANVILLE: At the beginning of the film, they are very little pixies and they fly around the place. In the middle of the film, they are human sized, although they do not handle being human terribly well – especially because they have absolutely no experience of looking after babies.

Do the pixies enjoy looking after Princess Aurora?

IMELDA STAUNTON: In our story, the pixies are in charge of Aurora for sixteen years. They look after her in a little cottage in the woods – but they have to do this; they have no choice. This is their job, but I don’t think they like it too much. However, that’s where the humor comes from. The humor comes out of them trying to be human and trying to make sure that this girl is safe until the day after her sixteenth birthday. 

Are the pixies responsible for any other comedy in the movie?

JUNO TEMPLE: There is a funny competitiveness between Flittle and Knotgrass in the fact that Knotgrass is kind of the leader of the pixies, but Flittle really wants to be the leader. My character, Thistlewit, is happy just bouncing about and dancing around the place. She just wants to enjoy herself. At the same time, she has moments of being similar to a stroppy teenager. In that sense, she has a connection with Princess Aurora because she’s closer in age to the young princess than the others.

 How much does Princess Aurora know about her royal history?

JUNO TEMPLE: Whilst Aurora is growing up; a lot of secrets have been kept from her. A lot of truths are not being told. Also, Maleficent is secretly watching her from far away. Maleficent is secretly making her own decisions about Princess Aurora. She keeps an eye out for the princess, along with Diaval. The fairies are completely oblivious to that. In fact, there are some very funny scenes where Maleficent takes advantage of that situation.

What can you tell us about the personalities of the different pixies?

LESLEY MANVILLE: Knotgrass is like the schoolmistress of the group. She gives out orders and she tells the others what to do. She keeps a tight rein on them. Then there’s Flittle, who is another grown-up in the trio. Flittle’s special magical power, of which she’s incredibly proud, is that she can turn things blue. She can turn everything blue and she thinks everything should be blue as well! And then there’s the baby pixie, Thistlewit, played by Juno Temple. It’s a nice balance because you’ve got these two older pixies with the younger pixie. Thistlewit is inexperienced and she’s the pixie who needs bossing around. She needs to be told what to do.

Is that an accurate description of Thistlewit, Juno?

JUNO TEMPLE: In the group of pixies, Thistlewit is the youngest member and she is definitely more ‘away with the fairies’ than the other two. She’s more distracted by nature. She wants to smell flowers and she wants to dance around, so she’s a much younger free spirit than the other two.

How does it feel to be part of such a fairy tale story?

IMELDA STAUNTON: It’s wonderful. Aren’t we lucky? Here we are, all grown-ups dressing up as fairies and pixies. There’s nothing better, quite frankly. I feel very lucky to be part of someone else’s really extraordinary imagination.

How would you describe the atmosphere on the set of Maleficent?

LESLEY MANVILLE: In all honesty, I have to say that I couldn’t wait to get up every morning and get to work. I’ve done a lot of very heavy, heady, heartbreaking, tear-jerking roles in my lifetime but to be playing a pixie who’s unashamedly frothy and funny is absolutely lovely.

What do you hope audiences take away from the movie?

JUNO TEMPLE: I hope audiences take away from this film a whole lot of enjoyment. I also hope they will be excited to see a new twist on the story of Maleficent because I think it’s a really, really interesting story. The character of Maleficent goes through such a great journey in the film, which is really fun to watch.

Is there anything else you hope the audience takes away from the movie?

JUNO TEMPLE: I hope it appeals to every single generation. And ultimately, I hope it makes people laugh and I hope it makes them cry. I really hope that the audience is transported to a completely different world with the movie. I hope they sit there and forget about everything else that’s going on outside; I hope everyone gets deeply lost in this creation that [Maleficent director] Robert Stromberg has created.

Disney’s Maleficent will be released on November 4 on DVD and Blu-ray.

What was your favorite part of this film?

About The Author

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Scroll to Top