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Karen Allen on Reimagining SCROOGED in 2018

Karen Allen on Reimagining SCROOGED in 2018

A Christmas Carol is one of the most iconic Christmas stories of all time, and that wasn’t something that was lost on Karen Allen as she prepped for a role in Richard Donner’s 1988 comedy adaptation Scrooged. “At first it was kind of a hesitation, like ‘don’t mess with Charles Dickens,'” Allen laughed. “Like, who are we to be messing with his incredible story? Which I grew up with and loved, whether I was reading it or watching the various films, some of which are better than others.”

Allen, of course, plays Claire, the social worker and moral counterpoint to Bill Murray’s TV executive in the film, which is now getting a Blu-ray release in celebration of its thirtieth anniversary.

Despite her apprehensions, Allen saw something special in the hands of Michael O’Donoghue and Dick Donner. “To put it in the modern world, to make him a television executive, and to make Claire a social worker who worked with the homeless, was just so smart,” she said. “Taking these two extremes and putting them together, they definitely took some liberties with Dickens as there wasn’t always those commonalities between the stories. At first it felt kind of audacious, but then it’s like, ‘Why not?’ I think it’s a wonderful question. Who would Scrooge be in the modern world?”

In the original comedy classic, Bill Murray brought to life a cruel and selfish television executive in the place of the original story’s money lender. But as for where a contemporary retelling could draw inspiration from, Allen is not short on ideas.

“Well, there’s certainly a lot of material to be gotten from what’s going on in the world today,” Allen chuckled. “He could be in the President’s administration in the United States. There’s everything that’s been going on in Wall Street and the financial world, he could definitely be one of those men who’ve gone to prison for completely manipulating the markets. I think it’s that sort of person who’s just lost every sense of that human part of themselves, just consumed by their own greed. I definitely don’t think that we’re at a loss for finding role models for that right now.”

The Scrooged thirtieth Anniversary Blu-Ray (and Digital HD) is out now!

Images: Paramount

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