Lucy Dahl Shares The Childhood Story Behind The BFG
“Everything was a fairy tale,” Lucy Dahl laughs as she recalls growing up with her father, author Roald Dahl.
Roald is well known for his books Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, Mathilda, and The BFG, which was released earlier this year in theaters and now on DVD/Blu-ray.
“He would test his ideas and his characters and people on us, although we didn’t know it at the time. We just thought that we were getting great stories and he created this whole sort of kingdom of where we lived.”
Lucy Dahl is the youngest daughter of Roald Dahl and Patricia Neal. She is a writer, a screenwriter and a producer. She wrote the teen comedy Wild Child, starring Emma Roberts, Aiden Quinn, Alex Pettifer and Natasha Richardson. She is currently writing and creating a new comedy for TV, as well as executive producing a TV adaptation of one of her father’s stories.
“My father worked very, very hard to get us through school. My mum was always working in America. But back to focus on the BFG – he is real to me. He lived under our apple orchards which was beyond our garden, and every single night, he would blow dreams into my sister and my bedroom and dad would tell us a story about some idea he was brewing. Sometimes it was about the BFG, sometimes it was about some other thing that he was thinking about. Though we didn’t know at the time. We just thought it was a story and then even in the middle of winter, even if it was snowing outside or blizzarding, we would always have to leave out little old bedroom window open a crack. Our bedroom was tiny.”
Growing up, the Dahl family didn’t have a lot of money. Their little farmhouse was set in the Bingham countryside and she shared a tiny bedroom with her older sister Ophelia.
“So after he told us a story, he would say goodnight, and we would lay there and we would wait for the BFG to come and blow dreams into our room and sure enough, within five, I have no, no idea how long it was. It wasn’t long, and this bamboo stick would come in and blow dreams on us. It would start with Ophelia first which annoyed me, I have to admit.”
“I would get my dreams and then it would retract and then that was just it for years and years and years while we were young growing up and then when we got to age where we thought that maybe, when our friends started to say there’s no such thing as the BFG we questioned. And Dad said, “you mustn’t, the minute you stop believing in magic, it will never happen’ and it also must have worried him tremendously because the next morning when we woke up his precious lawn, his garden – he was an avid gardener – and the grass had huge brown markings that said BFG across the whole garden that he had done with weed killer. And he said to us, ‘you’ve made the BFG cross that you’re not believing in him and he obviously wanted to tell you that he’s here’.”
Then we realized that it wasn’t the BFG sticking a dream through our window one night when I think dad had a bit too much to drink and he fell off his ladder. One night the bamboo stick was coming back through the window and we heard this enormous crash, crash bang and we were told never to go to window to look, but we did and there was my poor old dad at the bottom of the ladder saying ‘I’m fine, I’m fine’.
The BFG is on DVD/Blu-ray/Digital Download today! Buy it on Amazon