Shrek Forever After: All-Star Cast Returns

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Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, and Eddie Murphy star in “Shrek Forever After,” directed by Mike Mitchell. The film is being released in 3-D and IMAX by Dreamworks Animation on May 21, 2010.

It’s hard to believe that nearly a decade has passed since Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy and Cameron Diaz first brought to life the characters of Shrek, Donkey and Princess Fiona. Joined by Antonio Banderas as Puss In Boots in “Shrek 2,” the foursome have delighted audiences for nearly a decade with their unique vocal talents and their take on these characters’ alter egos.

“I love the message of these movies,” says Mike Myers. “The lessons that Shrek has to learn and has learned are ones that we all can relate to. To be able to inhabit a character and convey that process is an amazing journey for me as an actor.”

Evolving Characters

Over the course of the films, Shrek and Fiona have gone through enormous changes and faced numerous obstacles as they navigate the world of Far Far Away. “When I first met Fiona, she just was this young princess trapped in a tower and I’ve watched how she’s grown over the last four films,” says Cameron Diaz. “We’ve seen what a wonderful mother and partner she’s become and how she’s grown as this person and as an ogre and accepted herself for who she is and embraced that and brought the people that she loves into her life. It has not only been a pleasure but an honor to be able to portray her.” Diaz also responds to the added role that Fiona has as the leader of the ogres. “It is very empowering, a little ‘I am ogress, hear me roar!”

The filmmakers were equally amazed with the way the cast responded to the direction of the story for the final chapter and what was in store for their characters. “They all embraced the concept as soon as we pitched it,” says producer Teresa Cheng.

Trusting director Mike Mitchell

“When they came up with this story of an alternative reality and all the characters not really knowing each other, it was almost like it started from the beginning, almost like a new movie,” says Antonio Banderas. “I thought it was just a fantastic concept, and the re-imagination of Puss as this spoiled, pampered pet is inspired.”

“We would come into a session with just script pages and give the actors the set-up and they just trusted us,” says director Mike Mitchell. “It’s a great collaboration.”

Cameron Diaz agrees; “To Mike, Gina and Teresa, these characters are so important. Shrek, Fiona, all of them have become their story and when I arrive for a recording session, I just have full confidence in the story that they’re telling.”

A re-imagined Fiona

With the new direction and role of Fiona, Cameron Diaz had quite a range of emotions to convey since her character was completely re-imagined for the film. “Cameron gave us an incredibly stellar and connective performance,” praises producer Gina Shay. “The depth of emotion that she brought to Fiona combined with her strength was just very organic.”

The performances resonated with all the cast members as well. Now that Shrek and Fiona are no longer together, and with Shrek racing against the clock to find True Love’s Kiss, the emotional stakes were raised. “The thing that stuck out with me more than anything is that I’m still having an emotional reaction to Shrek and Fiona and wanting them to get together,” says Eddie Murphy. “You get so caught up in the story, that you kind of have to remind yourself that you’re watching animation!”