Baranski discusses her role as Cinderella’s Stepmother in Rob Marshall’s screen adaptation of Sondheim’s Into the Woods, her long working relationship with Marshall, and why she accepted a small part in the film.
The Stepmother is a peripheral character. But frankly, those little musical entrances are very tricky. That’s how she’s introduced: She breezes down the staircase, and you have to hit your mark. I often say playing small roles is more challenging than a large role because you have very little time, especially onscreen, to say, “This is exactly who that character is—so it has to be cut and crystal.” If there’s a laugh, a funny moment, you have to score it.