A 'Softer Side' of Susan Pevensie

Actress Anna Popplewell shares the moment that defines her character in the movie, 'Prince Caspian.'

Anna Popplewell as Susan PevensieAs the second oldest of the four Pevensie children, Susan is gentle and poised, much like the confident and well-spoken actress who plays her, Anna Popplewell. Even though "Prince Caspian" is the final Narnia movie she will be in (her character doesn't return to Narnia in the books), Popplewell's ties to C.S. Lewis won't end with the movie. After this film, she returns to Magdalen College, Oxford to continue her studies in English literature, the same college and academic study C.S. Lewis taught at for 29 years.

Describe your earliest Narnia memory.

I remember reading the books when I was little and really enjoying them, and I actually reread them during the first auditions, the casting process.

One of my funniest memories about being involved in the films is meeting William [Moseley, who plays Peter], because we actually had our first audition together. I was 13 and Will was 15, and now he’s 21 and I'm 19. I remember him being very charming and very self-assured and fun. Andrew [Adamson, the director] made us play a word game in the audition, and I beat him [William] senseless. I won by such a long way. But he was lovely.

Why do you think Susan retreats into herself after she returns to England from Narnia whereas Peter is fighting and having identity issues?

I don't think she necessarily retreats into herself completely. I think it's just that she's quite a studious person, and that comment [in the movie, about her being alone] is meant to show that...she's approachable because she's by herself a lot of the time. I think also if you've been an adult for years, if you've been a queen or king, then maybe you don't communicate on the same level with people your own age anymore. I think later in the series Susan is described as getting into lipsticks and nylons, but she's not there yet.

Yeah, it's further down the road.

This is all conjecture, because it's not in the books, but, I imagined that Susan went back to England, and she's not quite the same as everyone else because she's had these crazy experiences.  She is a hardworking type, and she doesn't quite fit in. It's not really because she's nerdy or horrible or mean or anything like that. It's just she has this kind of maturity to her that's going to set her apart from people her age.

What are some of her good and bad qualities?

She has a lot of common sense, and I think sometimes it gets in the way. I think what you're seeing this time around is a much more sympathetic Susan. She's still the voice of reason.  I think it's a very difficult position to be in the family because she has a lot of sensible ideas. She has a lot of ways of thinking about things. Yet Peter is the leader, and so she has to take orders and to listen to him even though sometimes she knows he's not doing the best thing.  I think she's a lot softer this time around. I think she's a lot more open to all that Narnia has to offer, and maybe a lot more human.

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