Hayley Mills Follows In Judi Dench’s Footsteps To Check Into Stage Version Of ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’

Show producer Simon Friend (The Father) told Deadline, ”You’ll recognise the characters but I can’t stress enough that’s it’s not a play of the film. Though we have arranged to use the same title as the film because it’s undeniably recognisable.”
There are, she said, two choices: “You can fight it by having plastic surgery,” or you can age gracefully without having work done. Mills began her career aged 12 in 1958. She lamented that it’s much harder for a woman to get older in show business.
If you can’t move your face how can you act? I don’t do that (Botox) now.” However, Mills said that several years ago she had bags under her eyes taken away. That scares me. ”I have also had Botox but I’m terrified of it because of what it does to the muscles in your face.
”Oh, my god it was all such a long time ago. Mills said she’s often surprised that people remember her. How do they recognise me, apart from anything else?”
She’s excited, she said, by the plans producer Friend and director Lucy Bailey have for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel tour and its season in London.
However for the stage, Moggach has adapted her own tome about seven British retirees who depart the Home Counties of England to see out the sunset of their years at what they’re led to believe is a luxurious hotel in Bangalore, India. The screenplays for the films, directed by John Madden, were written by Ol Parker.
It’s close to where she grew up with father and Mary Hayley Bell, her writer mother.” /> Her suitcases will be ready for the first performance at Richmond Theatre on August 30.
However, she receives no residuals from the Disney years. Nothing more,” she explained. During the pandemic lockdowns, new fans discovered her Disney films on Disney+. ”I was paid for doing the films and that’s it.
It’s the second role Mills has taken that’s been associated with Dame Judi, following a stage adaptation of the 2004 film Ladies In Lavender, which featured the grand dames Dench and Smith.
So let’s embrace it!" ”There’s a kind of flaming hoop that you jump through at a certain point where you finally accept, this is what I look like, this is who I am," she said. "No one escapes old age unless you die.
Mills said that the play’s a tonic, a life-affirming play about people looking for hope. But I don’t know how many of them really believe it’s possible, but they all discover something really fundamental when they’re there," she said. “They come to the Marigold Hotel with hope they can find a better life.
Mills will play recently widowed Evelyn Greenslove, played by Dench onscreen.
“The films I did with Disney launched my career and I’m working to this day," she said. But she’s philosophical.
“They became great friends. Her father, John Mills (Ryan’s Daughter) starred with Dench in a 1974 musical theater production of J.B. I adore her … my father absolutely adored her,” said Mills. Priestley’s The Good Companions.
“Much to one’s delight, old people don’t look so old anymore,” she declared. But she made a marvelous discovery when she reached a certain age.
She bites her tongue whenever she spots Pollyanna merchandise. ”Dolls, books, games and all kinds of things with my face on,” she said with a sigh.
”I’m happy to be in Judi’s footsteps,” Mills told Deadline.
EXCLUSIVE: Hayley Mills, still fondly remembered for Disney classics Pollyanna and The Parent Trap, is checking into The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel to take it on the road in the UK and then to London’s West End.
Both pictures, starring Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Bill Nighy, did immensely well at the box office. Strictly speaking, it’s a play based on the book (Deborah Moggach’s These Foolish Things) that spawned successful movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in 2011 and it’s 2015 sequel The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
She answered her own question. ”At the risk of being a bit cheesy I get the feeling, and it’s a very nice feeling, that a lot of people feel I’m part of their childhood; the movies that I made for Disney particularly, they saw when they were young .So many people say, 'Oh god ,I grew up with you!' And they show their own children those same films.”
“What we can’t believe when we’re young is that spiritually we don’t change as we age. Mills agreed. We look in the mirror and go, oh my god!,” she said. We feel the same as we did, only we’ve got aches and pains.
That youthful exuberance doesn't always dissipate.” Moggach observed that “we get old people wrong and we forget that they were kids and teenagers once.
Mills, who won an Academy Award for her performance in Pollyanna in the days when there were statuettes for juvenile performances, will share residency at The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel with an ensemble that includes Paula Wilcox (Trying) as Muriel Donnelly (Dame Maggie played her in the films) and Paul Nicholas (Rum Tum Tugger in original London production of Cats) as Douglas Ainslie, (Nighy in the films).
She was paid not a penny.

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