Q&A: 'Brave' director Mark Andrews and producer Katherine Sarafian

KS: And she’s riding a horse a lot of the time.
MA: Shooting from horseback, it’s crazy.

People have talked about Pixar finally having a female lead character. Why do you think it took as much time as it did, and did that add to any pressure in helming the story?
MA: No, we can’t really be constrained by the [notion] of, “Here’s our first female protagonist.” Because then when we’re making the story it would become about that and not about the character, not about the story of who this young woman is and her role in life, that point of time when she’s transitioning from adolescence to adulthood, the dynamic tension between her mother wanting so much more for her, all the best but not giving her room to explore it herself. We focus at Pixar on the characters first and build from the ground up instead of marketing ideas or [that] now’s the right time to have our first female protagonist. It’s the right story at the right time and the right idea.

You did a research trip to Scotland and ate like the locals.
KS: Yep. Haggis haggis haggis.

How did that sit with you, and was there anything you weren’t up for trying?
MA: No. well, there are fish in milk. Kippers in milk. Which is a unique taste.

That hasn’t made its way across the pond.
MA: No, no, no. [For] good reason. But everything else there is wonderful. Haggis is actually an excellent, excellent food.
KS: Have you tried it? Have you tried haggis?

I haven’t.
KS: It’s delicious. I hadn’t had it before I went to Scotland. We took two research trips. We ate haggis in every town. We stopped in every little stop in the Highlands and they would serve haggis and we ate ‘em all.
MA: It’s just like hamburgers. You have better hamburgers—there’s probably a favorite hamburger place you go in the city, and not all hamburger is the same. You got some better recipes and other recipes. And haggis is kind of the same thing. The misnomer is that you’re eating sheep stomach. You don’t ever eat the sheep stomach. That’s just what they cook it in.
KS: Just a casing.
MA: It’s a casing to marinate in.

So no big deal.
MA: No big deal.
KS: You split the stomach open and the stuff that spills out is what you eat. Which is completely different than actually eating the stomach.
MA: Which is meat and barley at oats and onions and vegetables.