Misty Copeland Brings Things Full Circle With The Nutcracker Role

Before Disney's The Four Realms, the ballerina says she "never imagined" being a part of something so magical

By Zach Johnson Jan 18, 2019 8:00 PMTags

Misty Copeland was dancing on air while making The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.

In this exclusive sneak peek at one of the bonus features included in the film's Blu-ray and digital release, Copeland—who had a featured role as the Ballerina Princess—speaks candidly and joyously about what it meant to her. "I never imagined I would be a part of a film of this magnitude, so when Disney wanted to have me be a part of it, it was just like a no-brainer. The Nutcracker was the very first ballet that I ever performed in, and I performed the role of Clara," Copeland said. "It makes sense, I think, to have ballet—to have dance—be a part of this film."

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The holiday movie, directed by Lasse Hallström and Joe Johnston, boasts a diverse roster of talent that includes Eugenio Derbez, Omid Djalili, Mackenzie Foy, Morgan Freeman, Richard E. Grant, Keira Knightley, Matthew Macfadyen, Helen Mirren and Jack Whitehall. Being in such esteemed company gave Copeland a confidence boost. "I don't have a ton of experience, really, performing in front of a camera," she explained. "It's been a bit challenging, because I'm not reaching the back tier of the Metropolitan Opera House and emoting in that way; it's just for the camera that's right there in front of me, so it's almost like you have to tone it down a bit."

Although she acknowledged the similarities between acting and dancing, Copeland said, "The whole approach is just so, so different." In fact, the ballerina admitted, "It's almost more exhausting, because there's so much stopping and starting, which we're not used to [doing].

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is available Jan. 29 on Blu-ray and digital.