Alyson Hannigan from How I Met Your Mother, is starring in DisneyPlus’ new film Flora And Ulysses, where she is playing Flora’s mother Phyllis. Hannigan was excited when the script came her way, being a fan of the book after her oldest daughter had read it in school. She says, “She absolutely loves being part of something that my girls will sort of aspire to be like the character.“
Flora & Ulysses tells the story of 10-year-old Flora, an avid comic book fan and a self-avowed cynic, who saves a squirrel she names Ulysses only to have its unique superhero powers wreak havoc in a series of humorous, antic-filled adventures that ultimately change Flora’s life—and her outlook—forever.
Hannigan, who is also best known for her roles in the American Pie films and the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series, discussed the differences in visual effects now a days verses when she played Willow in Buffy. In Flora And Ulysses, Ulysses the squirrel was CGI-ed into the film, and at times while filming the squirrel was replaced with a rat. Twenty plus years ago when Buffy was filmed, Hannigan compares how technology was so different back then and so much more advanced now. “The big special effect [in Buffy the Vampire Slayer] was the morphing. They would have a vampire do a scene and then walk off camera and stop rolling. No one was allowed to touch the camera at this point and his spot was marked. The actor would get make-up on and return to mark and start rolling again.“
In Flora And Ulysses, Hannigan sympathizes with her character Phyllis. “Her family is falling apart and she is just trying to do the best she can. There is no guideline of how to keep it all together. Sometimes when you are in the eye of the tornado, you don’t know all the destruction that is around. She is doing all she can and she is trying to make all the right decisions.“
As a mother, I couldn’t sympathize more with this sentiment. The year 2020 has been one of the most difficult years of many of our lives and as a parent, some decisions seemed almost impossible to make. Should we send our kids back to school during a pandemic? Should we keep them home safe? If we virtual school, will it effect our children’s mental health? We have been in uncharted waters this past year but if there is a silver lining to it all, it is one of hope for a better future. And this message of “hope” is one Hannigan hopes will resonate in this film.
“I hope the message is to never give up hope. I think a lot of people will be able to relate to that overwhelming feeling of lack of hope. Is this ever going to get better? It’s okay and it will get better and as long as you believe that it can, it will.“
I can not think of a better message a film can send to viewers right now.