One of the biggest questions from Ransom Riggs fans was why the characters of Emma Bloom and Olive Abroholos Elephanta were swapped for the film adaptation of "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children." Olive (Lauren McCrostie) is supposed to have an air peculiarity, but on screen she has fire. "I'm really glad you asked that because it's something I do enjoy addressing," actress Ella Purnell, who plays Emma, said during an interview.
"Obviously, the decision did not come from me, it came from [screenwriter] Jane Goldman and [director] Tim [Burton] and the producers, and when I first read it I was kind of bummed because I wanted to be the fiery, badass character, like every girl does," she recalled. "Every girl relates to her because you want to be Laura Croft. But when I sat down and thought about it, I was actually really glad that they gave me the opportunity to create a whole new character because if you try to exactly replicate a book as well-loved as this book, you will never please everyone. So you might as well make an adaptation of the book."
Emma and Olive aren't the only differences from page to screen: Purnell noted how the ending is completely different, while Samuel L. Jackson plays an amalgamation of characters from the book in the form of Mr. Barron.
"There are several reasons why I'm happy that they [made the change]," Purnell continued. "First of all, I got the opportunity to create a new [character]. Second of all, I didn't try to go near fiery Emma. I created a whole new character. I didn't even read the books before I felt like I actually had an idea of who movie Emma was. Third of all, I think it's much more common to see girls playing with fire, boys playing with fire. You see it quite a lot on the big screen, but how often do you see a girl being dragged along by a rope? That's so rare, and that's so Tim Burton. Fire isn't that Tim Burton, but a girl with these big gothic, lead shoes? That's very Tim."
She concluded, "Fourth of all, I think, from an actor's standpoint, emotionally it gives me somewhere to go. If she's already really, really strong at the start -- I mean, I suppose that's a whole other emotional storyline that I haven't thought about. But for me, it made much more sense to start a little bit damaged, a little bit hurt. She's been betrayed, she's lost her trust, and she's been dealing with these feelings of hurt and betrayal and sadness for 60 years, and she goes on this whole journey where she steps into herself. She becomes slightly more confident, she becomes slightly more protective of her younger siblings, and she grows into herself a little bit. She may be thousands of years old, but, at the end of the day, she's a 16-year-old girl. She wants a boyfriend. No, I'm joking."
"Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" is in theaters everywhere.
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