Tag Archive | "Interviews"

Rise of The Krays Interview – Simon Cotton and Kevin Leslie

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Rise of The Krays Interview – Simon Cotton and Kevin Leslie

Posted on 24 August 2015 by Chris Ford

Recently I had the pleasure to talk to Simon Cotton and Kevin Leslie who the Kray brothers in the new Krays movie The Rise of The Krays, we spoke among about how it felt to play such infamous figures, if they would have liked to meet the Krays and how they felt about the other two Krays movies that have been made.

To celebrate the release Simon and Kevin have also signed three posters which along with a DVD of the film we will be giving away.

To win one of the four prizes just email us at enterthecomp@gmail.com  with the answer to the following :

What is the name of the East End pub The Krays are famously associated with ?

A. The Blind Beggar

B. The Kings Head

C. The Dog and Duck

The Rise of The Krays is out on DVD and Blu-Ray from the 31st August and you can pre order your copy now

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Interview – Harry Macqueen

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Interview – Harry Macqueen

Posted on 25 February 2015 by Eddie

Harry Macqueen_(photo Sam Churchill)

Critically acclaimed directorial debut Hinterland from Award-winning Actor/Director Harry Macqueen will be released in UK cinemas and On Demand from 27th February 2015 we caught up with Harry recently to ask about the film.

 

What was the inspiration for the film?

Perhaps because I’m an actor what inspires me most is natural human interaction so I knew a wanted to make an intimate film about two people with a relationship as its central pivot. There are so many film makers I love but most specifically to this project I think the work of people like Joanna Hogg, Richard Linklater, Kelly Reichhart and Win Wenders as well are stand-alone films like Chris Petit’s RADIO ON (1979) were all inspirations. I think going out into the unknown and doing something on your own terms, like many of the above did, is inspirational so I wanted to give that a go myself.

 

Did you have anyone in mind when you created the characters?
Harvey and Lola aren’t based on anyone directly. I think they kind of came to my mind almost fully formed when I was planning the film. I knew that they needed to be different but also complimentary for there to be some uncertainty bubbling away as the story unfolded and that Lola should be a musician, he a writer. I also knew that her innate freedom and ability to express herself should be at odds with him. They largely took shape over the course of several months of work-shopping and rehearsing though which was a really interesting process in itself.

Did the person who bequeathed the money to you know about this project?
The person bequeathed me the money in their will so no I would be surprised if they did!

Did they have any part to play in the creation?
Only in that I wanted to make something that would have made that person proud and that drove me on. I hope that has happened.
You had a £10,000 budget and 13 days to film how limiting was this to the story you wanted to tell?
Happily the story I wanted to tell was a very intimate one and the success of which I knew lay in the natural performances between the two characters. You don’t need much money to make that happen I don’t think so no it wasn’t too limiting. Ironically there is also a real freedom in being restricted sometimes, if you embrace the conditions in front of you. Hinterland was very much about getting the best out of what we had and not worrying too much about what we, in an ideal world, would have liked to have had available to us. But it was a huge challenge that’s for sure – making films always is.
Were the locations in Cornwall known to you before this project?
Yes, absolutely. That part of the world is one I know very well and the literal journey they take in the film is very autobiographical. I wrote the film with these locations in mind and, I hope, the film is a love letter to Cornwall in some way. It is effortlessly beautiful and dramatic down there which acted as a lovely counterpoint to the fragile relationship in the foreground.
Have you got the bug as a director now ?
Ha. It’s a really interesting time for me at the moment. I am and will always be an actor but I hope to be lucky enough to make more films as a writer/director too. I see all these roles as pretty complimentary but I’ve certainly got the bug for being constantly creative and making things happen.
Do you think the British film industry is healthy right now? (There certainly seems to be a lot more British made films like yours being made)
There is a phenomenal amount of talent in Britain that’s for sure (me excluded of course!). To be honest I don’t feel I have enough experience this side of the camera to comment properly and Hinterland is quite a unique film in that I didn’t explore any traditional funding avenues so I don’t know a huge amount about that either.
That said, I think as long as people like Peter Strickland, Joanna Hogg, Ben Wheatley or Jonathan Glazer (to name only a few) are able to have the freedom to make such original films we can’t be in too bad shape. We also seem to have been pretty well represented at the big award shows this year and our studios are constantly busy. It depends how you define ‘healthy’ but we are making lots of interesting work and that’s the important thing, for me. But you are right indie film making has massively increased recently and that can only be a good thing for everyone from the ground-roots upwards. The process has become a bit more democratised and that’s brilliant.

What’s next for you ?

It’s a little hard to think ahead right now as Hinterland is still pretty all consuming. I’m sketching out the script for another film and I have a few auditions coming up so hopefully some acting – I’ve had to take a back seat on that front for the last six months. I am also developing a TV comedy show with a few mates. We’ll see what happens I guess.

 

HINTERLAND is in cinemas and on demand 27 February

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Alan Ford – Interview

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Alan Ford – Interview

Posted on 20 October 2014 by Chris Ford

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Recently I had the pleasure of talking to Actor Alan Ford, probably best know for his role as Brick Top in Guy Ritchie’s Snatch.  Alan talked to me about his new film The Smoke.

You are about to star in ‘The Smoke’ can you tell us a bit about it?

It’s a story about some guys in London, including a lawyer called Brad (played by Matt Di Angelo) who get into some adventures, and fall foul of a Mr-Big type gangster, who’s played by me. I don’t want to give too much away! I’ve known the writer, Darren Ripley, for about 13 years now and he always said once he got his film together he’d give me a part in it- and eventually, he did.  He got it together, got it produced, and I was very happy to go along and be part of it.

In The Smoke you play a crime boss figure, this is the sort of role you are known for (and do so well)  is that a good thing as an actor or would you like to have more variety in your roles?

Well, it’s like I always say- it’s better to be typecast than not cast. When I worked in theatre I played all sorts of roles, everything was open to me- and when working in TV and film initially too. But it was when I played Brick Top in Snatch that I became well known for playing a gangster- and most of my work since then has been sort of recreating that role. I would like to – like all actors- show off and do different things- I’m capable of a bit more, but it’s not always in my control.

As for being typecast playing working-class, cockney type gangsters- I would imagine other actors, like Nigel Havers for example, have the same problem, from the other direction. I’m sure he would like to spread his wings a bit more- I think it’s just something actors have to accept.

I think you are best known for playing Brick Top in Snatch, working with Guy Ritchie did you know while filming you were working on something a bit special?

Absolutely. I read the script and thought it was really terrific. It was given to me because I’d been the narrator in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels; I did have a big scene in that but it got cut, and when they were looking for the Brick Top character, Guy Ritchie remembered me. I read the script… and I think every London based actor in my age group went up for it. I auditioned for it four times- each time, I put my suit on, made sure I was having a good hair day, put my contact lenses in. And the 4th time I was so fed up with being called back, I didn’t bother to put my lenses in- I just turned up casually, and it worked! It was then I knew I had the part.

I did learn all the lines before my first audition too, which I don’t think the other guys did. I just thought it was a really great part, and so I really wanted to go for it. So I learnt every single one of the characters lines from the film- every line, dot and comma. And then, when I was being screen tested I didn’t have to refer to the script- I could look straight down into the camera and do the lines like I meant it.

SNATCH-300-PI

Playing so many intimidating characters do people ever mistake you for that on screen gangster in real life?

People do assume that yeah, sometimes. But people are also very nice! I meet young guys in the street who know the ‘nemesis’ speech from Snatch, word for word. They’ve obviously watched the film over and over again. They’ll stop me, and they generally say things like ’Oh you’re just like my dad’ or ‘you remind me of my uncle’- which is very flattering! Means I’ve done a good job doesn’t it?

Of all the film and Television you have worked on what was the most enjoyable?

I think the most important job I’ve been involved in was back in the 70s. I did a TV series called Law & Order. Not the American one, or the British spin off of the American one- this was the original. It was on BBC2 in 1978, and it was a very important piece of work- it’s the things i’m most proud of being involved in- it was real social history, about policemen, gangsters- but what it was really like. It wasn’t a Sweeney-type, flash show. It was what it’s all really about- corrupt police, corrupt lawyers- true crime. No one was glamorised, it was showing what it was really like.

You have enjoyed a long and successful career and in that time you have worked in TV as well as movies so how do the two mediums compare?

I prefer films. I like the whole business, the people who work in it- the way you get the film together, muck in, all work really hard, it’s really intense… and then it’s all over. Great relief, onto the next one. I wouldn’t like to be in a long-running soap or anything like that- I like to do one-offs. Get it done, and then go home, wait for the next one. I like the flux, and the constant change!

What’s next for you?

I’m between engagements at the moment! I’ve got lots in the can that’s coming up- I did a TV series in Ireland recently caller Damo & Ivor, for RTE. And I’ve got another film coming out on DVD next week called The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared- a really good film that I’m very proud of being involved in. It didn’t get a long run here, ultimately because it’s a foreign language film, but the DVDs out next week. I also did the second series of a show called Lilyhammer, which is being shown on Netflix, and I think the DVD of that is out soon. I’m very proud to be working on that with Stephen Van Zandt, one of the Sopranos. I had a great time doing it- although it was freezing cold last year- we were filming 20 degrees below zero out in the fjords of Norway.

But then my next job was in Phuket, sweltering, doing 100 year old man. I like never knowing where I’ll be going next- it’s always a surprise (and sometimes a shock!)

 

The Smoke is released on DVD & digital platforms on October 20th, 2014, courtesy of Signature Entertainment.

 

WIN THE DVD !!!

We have FIVE copies on DVD to give away, if you would like one just send us a email to enterthecomp@gmail.com , a winner will be drawn at random on OCT 31st.

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Polly Anna Mcintosh – Interview

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Polly Anna Mcintosh – Interview

Posted on 16 October 2014 by Chris Ford

Recently I spoke to Scottish actress Polly Anna McIntosh about her New film White Settlers, her controversial choice of Brown Sauce on chips and the Scottish / English relationship

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Can you tell us a bit about your new film White Settlers?

It’s about a newly married couple who move from the rat race of London to buy their dream home in the Scottish borders. It’s a foreclosed house that the family who owned it couldn’t keep up payments on and the couple get their dream conversion for a song. The house has a further dark history, having been the site of a ferocious battle between the Scots and the English but Sarah and Ed are not much interested in history, just their own future.  On the first night there together, Sarah gets spooked by bumps in the night which Ed teases her about and brushes off as her paranoia. In the middle of a petty argument Ed goes missing and Sarah must escape and ultimately fight the very real threat that descends upon her.

 

Being Scottish yourself was there any hesitation being part of the film and how it portrays the locals in the film?

I actually don’t feel it’s anti Scottish. It’s simply a setting for a tale about haves and have nots but I like the ambiguity of who the bad guys really are in this one. Having been written by a Scot and as a Scot I don’t feel so sensitive about exploring this theme in this setting.

 

Do you think there are enough strong female roles in films? Do you think Sarah is a strong woman?

I think both Sarah and Ed are flawed, I think that’s part of what interested me about doing it in the first place. I think she’s both strong, much more so than she knows at the start, but I also think she can be manipulative, needy and controlling. I feel “strong female characters” are those that the writer is unafraid to show the complexities of.

And no, there aren’t enough of them but I do believe there’s a market for them. Very much so. It’s not always that the mostly male writers out there are necessarily misogynistic, I think they are often just a bit thoughtless and we have this mire of our history to wade through where very often the male-centric industry is lazily unthinking when it comes to developing female characters. They could be having a lot more fun with their work by just looking at these characters as equal in interest to the men and with more women coming through as writers and directors and, frankly, with more actresses recognising they can encourage better rewrites when attached to projects, I think we can redress the balance all round.

 How has the feedback been from the public with this being released at such a sensitive time for Scots/English relations?

I’ve had my first shitty tweet on the subject. No one ever gave me grief before so yes, it’s clearly an incendiary subject. I think people get arsey about it “using” the referendum in some way but in fact the film was written ages ago and made last year when none of us were thinking about it.

It’s an entertaining thriller at the end of the day and I don’t feel it’s an irresponsible one either.

 

 Can you tell us one of your favourite places when  in London and Scotland?

In Scotland I just love walking my old home town of Edinburgh. I love to get a hot chippy in the cold and cover it in brown sauce. In London I love a walk through Richmond Park in the deer rutting season (October). It’s so dramatic. Of course that’s actually a very Scottish thing to witness…

 

White Settlers 2 – The English strike back ,  how about it? 

Pitch it to me!

 Whats next for you?

I’m in development on a comedy I’ve written, a film I’ll direct, and am preparing to play a comedian. As research I’m doing stand up comedy. Stand up is way scarier than shooting any scary movie.

 

White Setters is out now  to view-on-demand and  DVD on Monday. For more information on what Polly Anna is up to why not follow her on Twitter? @PollyAMcIntosh

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Director Adam Wimpenny – Interview

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Director Adam Wimpenny – Interview

Posted on 04 August 2014 by Chris Ford

blackwood-poster

This week sees the release of ‘Blackwood’ a classic English ghost story with a bit of an update. With a very strong cast including Russell Tovey Ed Stoppard and Paul Kaye Blackwood prooves to be a very enjoyable take on the Ghost Story including much that wasnt expected.

Last week I caught up with Blackwood director Adam Wimpenny and asked him a few questions about Blackwood:

Adam

If you had to summarize the film in one line what would it be?

Blackwood is a modern take on the classic English ghost story, with a twist.

What drew you to make Blackwood as your first feature film ?

I always wanted to make a ghost story, as a kid I grew up in a big, old, drafty farm-house on the Yorkshire moors so I think it always got my over-active imagination thinking there were things living in the attic. I’m a huge fan of suspense and tension movies and they’re a lot of fun to direct, so Blackwood seemed like a perfect first film.

How did the script translate to film? Were there difficult aspects to capture?

There were certainly a number of ambitious aspect to the script. Joe the writer had put into the script a a number of scenes that required some dangerous stunts and special effects including huge storm scene. As a director you get excited by these things on the page but on the day of shooting you wonder how on earth you’re going to pull these things off, especially when you’re working to a tight budget. I remember standing around in a freezing cold forrest with all these poor actors being dowsed in ice cold water for hours on end. I had to make a lot of apologies at the end of that filming day!

Blackwood has a very talented cast, you have worked with Russel Tovey and Paul Kaye before, were they obvious choices to you?

I’d directed Paul in a TV comedy series called Strutter and I’d made a short film with Russell called ROAR. Both of them had been fantastic to work with and I was really keen to get them involved with Blackwood. In the script the antagonists are Jack and Patrick, a local groundsman and a priest, and I thought they’d make a great double act together. I was really drawn to the idea of counter casting two actors known mostly for their comedy as these dark, sinister characters and they really deliver.

The strongest part of the film for me is the final 30mins, things unravel, they aren’t as they seemed, was that part of the story difficult to tell without giving things away in the lead up to it?

We really wanted to make a film that rewarded a repeat viewing. All the films on my DVD shelf are movies that have intricate twisty-turny plotting. There’s something satisfying about playing with the audiences perception and point of view in a movie, and as long as you don’t cheat and play by the rules then I think the audience enjoys being led down the garden path by film makers. However, trying to make sure the story is water tight and everything stacks up always involves a lot of head scratching and when you’re shooting the film all out of sequence as you frequently do in film making, it can become a real headache!

Was it difficult to get a film like Blackwood a cinema release especially in the summer up against lots of US blockbusters ?

Releasing a film is never easy, there’s a lot of films out there and it’s difficult to get heard above the noise of the big ten pole block busters. However, people who have seen the film have been very supportive and some of the major cinema chains have taken us under wing. We’ve resorted to using some novel marketing strategies too. Joe the writer is one of the worlds leading street artists and he created a huge piece of glowing 3D street art that was photographed in Canary Wharf last week to promote the film. The piece has gone viral and captured peoples imaginations so you have to do some left field thinking to get the people
talking about it.

Would you say the British film industry is in a good place at the moment?

I certainly think there’s a great deal of talent here and there are many opportunities for film makers although I wish there was more UK money available to support new emerging UK talent. A great number of Hollywood projects are coming to the UK to use our studios, cast and crew so we’re doing something right but I’d love to see us making more ambitious genre movies that can appeal to an international audience whilst retaining our British sensibilities.

You have previously worked on a lot of TV, The Real Hustle stands out for me as a bit of a classic and I imagine was a lot of fun to work on, did things ever go wrong? Were the ‘Hustlers’ rumbled much?

That was a great show to work on. Every day was a rush as it was always touch-and-go as to whether we’d get busted. Quite often I’d spend half a day setting up a location with hidden cameras and rehearsing with Alex, Paul and Jess but when it came to pulling off the scam all I could do was go hide in my covert van, sit back and watch things unfold. It felt like being in some MI6 sting operation. Amazingly I can’t remember one time we got busted which goes to show how easily people can be seduced with a smile and a bit of charm. The biggest problem became other people recognising us during a sting. Often you’d here some kids yelling ‘Oi! Real hustle!!’ which didn’t help. The guys started waring comedy moustaches for a few weeks but they looked so silly they didn’t last.

Whats next for you, any more films in the pipeline?

Working with the same team again I’m in the process of setting up our next film. It’s a conspiracy thriller and we’re talking about shooting it in Singapore. It’s a great script with lots of atmosphere and suspense again so if it goes the distance it’ll be a fantastic project to direct.

Thank you for your time and good luck with Blackwood

Blackwood is out in cinemas now and I highly recommended you check it out.

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Martin Kemp & Leo Gregory Interview

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Martin Kemp & Leo Gregory Interview

Posted on 19 May 2014 by Chris Ford

Battlestar Galactica (Movie) TV Small Screen Heroes_INT_DVD_RET_

Top Dog the new British crime thriller based on the acclaimed novel by Green Street writer Dougie Brimson. Produced by Jonathan Sothcott (Vendetta), directed by Martin Kemp (The Krays, EastEnders) and starring Leo Gregory (Green Street, Cass), Ricci Harnett (28 Days Later, Rise Of The Footsoldier) and Vincent Regan (Clash Of The Titans, St George’s Day), s released Monday 26 May on Blu-ray and DVD through Universal Pictures (UK).

Top Dog tells the story of Billy and his football gang as they take on the local protection racket, maybe not quite thinking through the consequences of doing so!
I thoroughly enjoyed Top Dog it’s a well made well acted British crime movie and if that sort of movie is your bag I’m sure you will love this.

I managed to speak to director Martin Kemp and Actor / Producer Leo Gregory last week and they gave me a great insight into the making of the film check it out below.

Top Dog is released Monday 26 May on Blu-ray and DVD through Universal Pictures (UK).

You can Pre Order from Amazon here

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Interview – John McCarthy

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Interview – John McCarthy

Posted on 30 April 2014 by Chris Ford

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

The Railway Man tells the true story of a former British Army officer Eric Lomax, who was tormented as a prisoner of war at a Japanese labor camp during World War II, discovers that the man responsible for much of his treatment is still alive and sets out to confront him.

John McCarthy who was famously held captive himself in the 80s in Lebanon is a big fan of the book the film is based on and knew Eric Lomax personally. John kindly sat down with me to discuss the film this week.

How did you first become aware of Eric Lomaxs story?

I met Eric through a charity in London that helps torture survivors that we were both involved with, I became involved after my experiences as a hostage in Lebanon. It was amazing meeting this lovely old man who at this point was in his 80s tall very elegant with a very very soft Scottish accent, you really couldn’t believe this man had witnessed something so nasty in the past.

We talked shared experiences, I was this much younger man with this fresh experience and we just talked about what it was like for us both, his experience putting what happened to me massively in perspective, I thought fuck mine was bad but child’s play compared to what happened to this man!

If You didn’t know Erics story was true doesn’t it almost seem like a Hollywood tale?

Yes exactly, reminds me of that old line, the truth is stranger than fiction! And it is. Although Hollywood now would most likely have Eric throw his nemeses off the bridge at the end!

Its an extremely well made film and of course starring Firth and Kidman they are big names so people will hear Erics story through them and that’s great because not only are the performances great its such an important subject and I don’t just mean the Japanese treatment of the British and Australians which is clearly terribly important but more so understanding what torture is and what it does to people and of course the people that perpetrate it .

Your own story has been portrayed twice in film, once by Colin Firth in Hostages and again by Linus Roache in Blind Flight , were you happy with how your story was portrayed in both cases?

Yes although less so with Colin Firth in Hostages not disappointed with his performance at all but that film came out very soon after my release and I wasn’t involved with it at all so you cant really be telling my story when I haven’t even come to terms with it and it was before I wrote my book. With Blind Flight I worked on that with Brian Keenan and actually ended up becoming very close with Linus and still am, that film really did it for me I was involved with it so I was very confident on how we put the script together and the production.

Do you think The Railway Man film is a good translation of the book?

They have done a great job obviously theres a lot of flash backs which isn’t the way the book is written but they had to do that really to highlight things to get through it in time , what they do show is a man curiously devastated , we meet him on the street and think whats wrong with that old boy you know? But hes obviously totally fractured as Patti Nicoles character discovers.

In The Railway Man Lomax eventually had his chance at revenge and ultimately chose forgiveness, do you think you could be as forgiving given the same opportunity to confront your captors’?

I’ve talked about this with Brian before, it depends which guard it was really, we were abused by one or two of the guards holding us over the years, obviously the whole situation was horribly abusive you know chained up and kept in terrible conditions but in fact only a few of the guards really took advantage of that totally control they had of the situation to take it further, push and explore what the weird elements of their mind wanted to do to us and I would say that was limited to four people out of maybe forty. You have to remember most of those guys were in their early twenty’s and most of their lives had been dominated by civil war but by on large they still had a bit of humanity left in them so they didn’t seem to abuse us beyond what they had to. If one of those guys came up to me Id like to think Id be able to just shake hands, if it were one of the bad guys I don’t know what Id want to do Id hope I’m mature enough and over it by a long way to shake hands and keep moving I don’t think Id want to hit them but I certainly did when I was locked up, I would have loved to reverse roles.

People ask me do I forgive them? Well not really, I don’t have the desire or a need to, Im free and they have moved on in their world and hopefully they have all had productive lives. For Eric it was clearly very different as his life had been totally blighted by that, I was encouraged to tell my story it was totally another world for Eric , men didn’t talk about and that the fact that they had been prisoners at all wasn’t quite right you know? Where as I was a hero apparently.

Many journalists have been captured and sometimes killed while reporting in dangerous parts of the world, what is your position now having experienced being held against your will, do you think the danger is worth it for the story?

From my point of view I am wary now of going to hot war zones, Im in the middle east a lot but Im not going to Damascus this week or Bagdad which is getting violent again. I do think its important we get information on what is going on in those places as so often our governments will be involved in whats going on and making decisions on our behalf , so for the public to be informed about that is terribly important.


What do you think of the recent rise in Bloggers reporting from the front line in places like the Ukraine, good idea for free speech or should they leave it to the professionals?

I think its important that we trust our news sources so a blogger is a incredibly valuable news source if you can understand their background, its like the BBC operates on three sources to confirm everything which slows down news but ensures its credible.


Your fellow hostage Brian Keenan said upon release “I’m going to visit every country in the world, eat all the food of the world, drink all the drink of the world and, I hope, make love to every woman in the world. Then I might get a good night’s sleep” did you have similar ambitions of your own, if so have you fulfilled them?

Probably yeah but the most important thing about that is the last line of that about a good nights sleep, that’s what I would actually like most of all is to lay down and not wonder where I am in the world and if I’m safe but yes I think those ambitions sum up what one wants to go with their liberty.

The Railway Man is out on Blu-Ray and DVD from May 5th which you can order from Amazon here

I would also thoroughly recommend John McCarthys book about his experience ‘Some Other Rainbow’

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Interview –  Director Paul Tanter

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Interview – Director Paul Tanter

Posted on 07 April 2014 by Chris Ford

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Today April 7th, British action thriller ‘He Who Dares’ arrives on Blu-ray and DVD from STUDIOCANAL, telling the story of a group of ruthless terrorists who kidnap the Prime Minister’s daughter, fortifying themselves in an underground car park rigged with explosives. Sending in a crack SAS team, they must take back the building one level at a time. Directed by Paul Tanter (The Rise and Fall of a White Collar Hooligan), He Who Dares is a thrilling ride that harks back to British action at its best; at times I found myself thinking “would that really happen?” but then as Paul says himself in the inteveiw below the film isn’t a documentary, sometimes we need to remind ourselves its ok just to enjoy something! anyway last week I had a brief chat with Paul heres what he had to say:

Where did the idea for ‘He Who Dares’ come from?

A few years ago, myself and actor/producer Simon Phillips were shooting a scene for our police drama “Riot” (initially released as G.B.H). We were shooting in the bottom level of a 15 storey underground car park and, for some reason, we were talking about hostage films such as Die Hard, which is one of my favourite films, and Simon remarked that the car park we were in would actually be a perfect place for kidnappers to defend themselves as there’s only one way in – it’s not like a building where you could land a helicopter on the roof or go in through windows. We started working on a script and around the time we were finishing it, “The Raid” and “Dredd” both came out, showing there was a huge demand for that kind of action film – storming the castle, so to speak.

Your new film ‘He Who Dares’ shows the SAS as less of the professional ruthless outfit most tv and film portray them as and more amateurish to the point of embarrassment (mostly) , do you think the film will upset them at all?

I disagree. I think it shows them facing a near impossible situation and dealing with it the best way they can whilst cut off from the outside, outmanned and outgunned. I think anyone watching it, be they soldier or civilian, will see it as entertainment, not a documentary.

Do you feel you made the film you set out to or would it have been a different movie if there was a bigger budget?

All films would be a different movie if they had a bigger budget. We make all of our films on tight budgets and tight time constraints but always punch above our weight because we’re good at ensuring maximum production value. Every filmmaker would like a bit more time and a bit more money but we made an exciting action film and I’m extremely happy with the end result.

Is it difficult securing distribution for British crime films? It feels to me there’s less stigma attached to the straight to DVD film that there once was.

The majority of films released in the UK are straight to Home Entertainment (DVD/Blu-ray/iTunes/Sky Box Office/Virgin On Demand etc). Anyone who thinks “straight to DVD” is a bad thing usually has no idea how film distribution works and has probably never made a film that’s been distributed. There’s always a market for good stories performed by good actors, whether it’s crime or other. Obviously it helps if you have a track record of making stuff that people want to watch – the distributors are more likely to be interested in what you’re making next.

You tend to work with a lot of the same actors on your projects, what’s the reasoning behind this?

Because they’re good and I like them! When you work with people often, you develop a short hand with them that means you can hit the ground running with them. I’m lucky to have worked with some great actors who have become good friends and come back and do stuff with us often, including Simon, Rita Ramnani, Nick Nevern, Peter Barrett, Tom Knight, Rebecca Ferdinando, Billy Murray, Lorraine Stanley and Peter Woodward. It’s nice to reward loyalty, too.

Simon Philips I think especially is fantastic in everything I’ve seen him in, I’m shocked he’s not more a household name, how did you start working together?

We first worked together on “Jack Says”, many years ago. The film was in preproduction but needed a fresh rewrite and Rita, who was attached to the film to play Erin, recommended me to Simon for the job. Rita and I went to university together several years before and she remembered me from my writing things for the drama crowd. I took on the job and the producers were happy with the result, so I wrote the next film in the series, “Jack Said” as well as the accompanying graphic novels, then the next one, “Jack Falls”, which I got to co-direct.


You have form for making sequels’ of your past work, do you forsee a ‘He Who Dares’ sequel? (actually maybe a prequel!)

I do like sequels and trilogies – we did three Jack films and White Collar Hooligan 3 will be out this summer. We’ve actually already completed filming on the sequel, which will be out later in the year. We were confident enough in He Who Dares to crack on and make the second before the first was released. Wouldn’t rule out a third either!


I really Enjoyed White Collar Hooligan 1 and 2, when can we expect a 3?

Thank you very much. I’m pleased with the reaction to both films. I don’t know the exact date yet but it will be out this summer sometime around the World Cup. A lot of the action takes place in Rio during the tournament, so I’m sure it will be timed around that.


I see you are working on a film ‘Rise of The Krays’ can you tell us more about that?

It’s a period biopic of Ronnie and Reggie Kray and their rise to power. Simon Phillips and Billy Murray are producing – it’s great having Billy on board as he knew the twins back in their day and he’s full of stories about them and information about their characters and background. It’s my first period film, if you don’t count “The Fall of The Essex Boys”, which was set in 1995. I’m very excited about it and can’t wait to start shooting!

Thank you for your time

Thank you too!


‘He Who Dares’ is out now on DVD and Bluray now.

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