Georgie Grows Up; When She Appeared in the First Narnia Film, Georgie Henley Was a Cherubic Schoolgirl. but This Time Round, as Rob Driscoll Discovers, Her Character Has a New Darker Side
MOVE over Emma Watson - there's another stylish young British actress in town, starring in her very own blockbuster movie franchise. Georgie Henley first sprang to fame as Lucy Pevensie in 2005's The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - the first epic fantasy movie to be adapted from the revered Chronicles of Narnia novels by CS Lewis.
Three years later she was back in the sequel, Prince Caspian.
Now, aged 15, she's completed the hat-trick with this week's release of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, arguably the most ambitious and far-reaching of the Narnia tales, in which she adds swordfighting and serpent-repelling to her considerable list of onscreen accomplishments. The film also shows a new dark side to Lucy's character, a challenge that Yorkshireborn Henley particularly relished taking on board.
"I was so thrilled about making this film, because this is my absolute favourite Narnia book," enthuses Henley. "Lucy has always been regarded as a very good, brave person, but in this book you find out that she is actually human and flawed.
"She does have a dark side like everyone else. The main theme running through this film is temptation. Lucy is definitely tempted and has to overcome her temptations.
"Without giving too much away, she is extremely jealous of her older sister and her sister's beauty.
"She is also jealous of her sister's intelligence, because she believes Susan is the apple of her parents' eye.
"Basically, Lucy thinks that she should be getting more attention."
The events of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader take place three Narnian years after the preceding novel, Prince Caspian.
While the two elder Pevensie siblings, Peter and Susan, are away, Lucy and Edmund (played by 19-year-old Skandar Keynes) are reluctantly visiting a relative at his home near Cambridge in wartime England, around 1943.
Their greatest challenge is dealing with their annoying cousin Eustace Scrubb, played by 17-year-old Will Poulter. The three young people come across a painting of The Dawn Treader, a majestic sailing vessel whose look was inspired by dragons.
The canvas suddenly comes to life, flooding the room and submerging the teens before transporting them to Narnia's Eastern Sea, where they are rescued by Caspian the Tenth (Ben Barnes), now King of Narnia, and his crew aboard the Dawn Treader, the very same single-masted ship depicted in the artwork. Edmund and Lucy are thrilled to be back in the land they once ruled as a High King and Queen.
But Eustace, a newcomer to this world, is much less enthusiastic.
The trio soon learns the reason for Caspian's voyage east: he is fulfilling an oath to find the seven lost Lords of Telmar, the best friends of his murdered father.
Their journey takes them to five islands, each of which brings the ship's crew unexpected peril and adventure and each has its own hidden, seductive secret.
Also on board this trip of a lifetime are the warrior mouse called Reepicheep (now voiced by Simon Pegg) and, of course, the children's ultimate friend and all-powerful protector, the Great Lion Aslan, voiced again by Liam Neeson.
Lewis' first book set in Narnia, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, may be the series' most famous and popular, but many devotees of the classic stories point to The Voyage of The Dawn Treader as the best of all seven Narnia novels.
"It is certainly one of the most beloved books in the series," says producer Andrew Adamson.
"The Voyage of The Dawn Treader returns to the wonder, magic, awe and adventure of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. …