Thursday, 6 October 2011

Tyrannosaur Q&A with Paddy Considine, Olivia Colman and Eddie Marsan

Thanks to the lovely folks over at the Phoenix Cinema, I was fortunate enough to attend a Q&A session with Tyrannosaur Writer and Director of the film Paddy Considine, along with two of the film's stars - Olivia Colman and Eddie Marsan.

Considine talked a lot about this being his directorial debut and showed unashamedly his complete adoration for his cast members. On Colman's performance, he said she was "a force of nature" and it was "a transformation of the soul". There was no gaining weight or changing your hairstyle. This was an entirely different transformation, he explained.

On directing in particular, Considine said that he had worked on so many film sets in the past and just knew that he had to stand out on his own and "make my own stories". He admits that acting is not his primary form of expression.

On Considine's skills as a director, Colman said that he was "so passionate, so fair" and everyone just loved him which made it easier to get things done. The entire film was shot in only four weeks and Colman insists that it was "not long enough".

When I asked all three how they prepared for the film, given the sensitive subject of domestic violence, Considine said he was familiar with the environment, though clarified he did not mean his own parents, Colman said she worked with an abuse charity and read a couple of case studies - which she argued were so horrific that if they were in the film, nobody would have believed they were true. She also said that Eddie Marsan is such an incredible actor that he was terrifying. And as Considine added, it's not acting - it's reacting. When filming one of the dramatic final scenes, Considine allocated a lot of time to allow Colman sufficient time and care to reach the places she would have to reach to really pull off the scene. But then, when it came to shooting, she just "tore the place apart".

All three talked a lot about the script. Marsan and Colman both said they had most of the preparation they needed in the script itself because it was so well written, it was all there for them. Marsan said: "The characters were so clear. It was written by an actor." Even Considine admitted that he didn't write the script just to have actors "improvise" with it. When asked if it was easy to give his script over to his actors, if they had suggestions, he added: "It's easy to give it over to good actors, it's not easy to give it over to wankers [laughs]."

When asked how they kept themselves from getting bogged down in the seriousness of the film's theme - Considine joked that they had a bouncy castle on set. "They do their best work when at ease," he said.

He also stuck up for British cinema and said it was time to stop apologising for British cinema and just make great films - to rapturous applause.

Considine spoke openly about his recent diagnosis with Asbergers Syndrome and explained that he was actually quite relieved to know he wasn't "mentally ill" as he has been told since he was a teenager. He says it has not restricted him in his film-making. He is focused and wrote the script to Tyrannosaur in a week and prefers being "on the outside looking in". He actually found it easier directing as he was running the ship.

So will this be the end to Considine's acting career?... "I will act again," he says. "I've got family. It's alright. [laughs] I haven't done my best work yet. I like to think there's another few discoveries on the way..."

Well Paddy - so do we... so do we!

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