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Disney Dream Portraits by Annie Leibovitz: Behind The Scenes With Olivia Wilde as the Evil Queen

George Savvas

by , Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort

Last week, I shared three beautiful new Disney Dream Portraits created by Annie Leibovitz for Disney Parks. As promised, today I’ll kick-off a three-part series taking you behind the scenes of a few of these photos shoots.

I’ll begin with Olivia Wilde as the Evil Queen. Olivia’s photo shoot took place last October in New York City. The underground lair you see in the photo was an incredibly detailed set based on the film – there was even real fire in the mirror! When I saw the set, I really couldn’t believe how realistic it was, complete with staircases, huge columns, torches and an ornate frame around the mirror.

Crowns for the Evil Queen Photo Shoot

Annie and her team were attentive to every wardrobe detail as well, and the crown was no exception. There were several different crowns on hand, and a couple of them were tried out, but ultimately, the first (and largest) one was judged to be the best.

Olivia Wilde Preparing for the Evil Queen Photo Shoot

I’ve come to understand the important role that music plays on these shoots. It can help set the mood of the scene, inspire, as well as make the actor feel more comfortable. It can be an interesting mix. The music playing during this shoot alternated between Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” and the original soundtrack of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” In fact, the music from the first scene with the Magic Mirror was so chillingly perfect, it was played several times and gave most of us in the room goosebumps. When it was over, Olivia remarked, “You should play that music on every shoot!”

Olivia and Annie were both interested in exploring this iconic Disney character; her motivations, her feelings, the meaning of every expression and subtle movement. I think this video gives a great sense of the true collaborative spirit on the set.

I hope you will check back here tomorrow for a look behind the scenes of our shoot with Queen Latifah as Ursula.


  • Absolutely so great, and the music gives it such a spooky effect !!

  • Alec Baldwin??? Are you kidding me. Please. Olivia a stellar selection for the evil queen. :) Keep up the great work reporting these behind the scenes, they’re awesome!

  • Finally, I saw a live Evil Queen. She looks really gorgeous, but her eyes are full of hate.
    Well done!

  • I am a huge Disney Fan and I absolutely LOVE these pictures!! I would definitely buy them if they put them together in a book!

  • The evil queen is my favorite villain…beautiful and bad so I’m sooooo glad she was included in this series of photos. I think she’s sometimes the forgotten villain so I’m glad to see her portrayed in such a great way. My granddaughter knows she’s my favorite villain to the point that she makes up her own evil princess character so we can be on the “same team” when we’re not being princesses.

  • I hope they do something like this for the Jeff Bridges Beauty and the Beast picture!

  • And is that Alec Baldwin as the Mirror on the Wall?

  • What Amazingly Wicked Beauty!

  • Love all these photos. I collected previous ones from magazines. I especially loved David Beckham as Prince Phillip. Is there any chance these will be released as prints to purchase outside of magazines? They are so awesome!!!

  • These images are just incredible – would love to suggest a nice coffee table book featuring these images and the stories of their creation! If you include a DVD-Blu-Ray to watch as well, that would be ‘BONUS’!!! Please keep these coming – we were disappointed when we thought they stopped last year.

  • WOW! Dream job!!! Amazing! I never thought of the prep-ing and emotional mindset stuff the models (at least Disney models!) need to do and think of to get the proper emotion— It’s almost more acting than just modeling- well, still-life acting anyway! She’s great! I always thought that those people in those kinds of pics were at least mostly animated rather than a real pic of someone since they look so much like the orig. animated characters! Great job! (Need any help on the set? :)Keep the videos coming!

  • Thanks for highlighting the use of music in setting the tone for the photo shoot. Great selections!

  • Wow, all the photos are spectacular!!! Love them!! :)

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