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Last Updated: Sunday December 25 2005 10:30 GMT

Meet the stars of The Snow Queen

Gerda and Kay in The Snow Queen
Gerda and Kay in The Snow Queen
The Snow Queen - the classic tale by Hans Christian Anderson - has been made into a drama by the BBC for Christmas Day.

It's the story of an evil queen who bewitches a boy called Kay by turning his heart to ice. His friend Gerda has to undertake a gruelling journey to break the spell.

Newsround spoke to the two stars of the film - 13-year-olds Pax Baldwin and Sydney White, who play Kay and Gerda.

What was it like making the Snow Queen?

Sydney: It was an amazing experience because we filmed it in Canada. There were load of amazing things we got to do like working with the reindeer.

Pax: It was really good fun. In total we were filming for three and a half weeks. We were on a really tight schedule because they needed to get it finished in time for Christmas.

The Snow Queen is an old story. Do you think it will still appeal to kids today?

Pax: It's quite an old-fashioned story but I think it is more gripping than a normal fairytale. I didn't know the story before I got involved but I think it will definitely appeal to kids today.

I think that is because there is a lot of action and mystery in the story which makes it fun to watch - and the main theme of friendship, like falling out and making-up, means people can relate to it easily.

Does the Snow Queen share any similarities with the White Witch in Narnia?

Pax: They are very different. The Snow Queen is very spiritual, mind-powering and bewitching whereas the queen in Narnia is an evil ruler whose power is over the land, not the mind.

How did you get the part?

Sydney: I've been working on it since I was nine. I auditioned to sing on the soundtrack to begin with. We did some small concerts and then the movie was made.

Pax: At school they have an in-built agency which put us forward for auditions. The director taught us all a song which we had to sing. I didn't find out that I had got the part for quite a few months.

Pax and Sydney
Pax and Sydney

You both starred in the West End musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. How does being on stage compare to filming?

Pax: They are both amazing but in different ways. With stage you have a live audience - with filming you have a crew and a time limit. In the studio you get another chance at what you're doing - but you don't when you're on stage.

Are you anything like the character you play?

Pax: Kay is a street urchin who looks after himself. He has a wild imagination and doesn't have any friends. It's when he gets taken in by Gerda and her mum that he starts to get more confident.

I see myself as quite like him as he has a cheeky side but there are differences as he is quieter and has a vivid imagination - and he's more withdrawn than me.

Sydney: A few people say I am like Gerda. I'm sometimes as stubborn or determined as her - but not as angelic.

She wasn't that difficult to play - it was really like acting as myself but without actually being me.

How difficult or challenging was it to make the film?

Sydney: It was quite difficult. Because a lot of it is animated, we had to film most of it in front of a blue screen which meant you had to imagine the view, and sometimes people. It got easier as we got used to it though.

The mornings were quite tiring and even though I wanted to do it, it was a struggle to get out of bed sometimes.

Pax: It was strange because even though Kay is with the Snow Queen a lot, I didn't actually film any scenes with her. It was only when they put it all together at the end that I could see what it like, which was amazing.

I found for the first couple of scenes it was a sense of getting used to it but after that it was just normal. Some scenes were harder as there was more to imagine but we did have some props to help us.

What are you working on now or what would you like to do next?

Sydney: I don't have anything planned in particular but I am going to be in Prime Suspect.

If I could be in Harry Potter as one of the main characters that would be great - but it's one of those things that you might be constantly remembered for doing - although I still wouldn't mind if that happened!

I would love to be famous and if I'm going to be it would be a big bonus. Also I have got a band and would like to make it big that way.

Pax: I've been in Holby City recently - but as for the future I'm just carrying on at school. I love working on anything from musicals to serious dramas.

I also play the drums and have got a band together with Sydney - we'd like to be a McFly-based band that appeals to the same kind of audience.

If I could be in anything I would be in soap or a long-running series where your character gets to develop and change over a long period of time.



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