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Conversation with “Philomena” Director Stephen Frears

April 11, 2014 by Alison Bailes divider image
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“In the end it’s a fluke” says Frears referring to the 4 Academy Award nominations and the nearly one hundred million dollar worldwide gross of his most recent film “Philomena”. “You can’t legislate for this to happen but for a film like this to make that kind of money… it’s completely unpredictable”. Unpredictable, but hardly […]

“In the end it’s a fluke” says Frears referring to the 4 Academy Award nominations and the nearly one hundred million dollar worldwide gross of his most recent film “Philomena”. “You can’t legislate for this to happen but for a film like this to make that kind of money… it’s completely unpredictable”.

Unpredictable, but hardly shocking when you look at the component parts; a heartrending story ripped from real life, a script that walks a delicate line between comedy and tragedy, and the participation of “Britain’s National Treasure” Dame Judi Dench. Quite honestly, it screams success.

The way Stephen Frears tells it, his job is to find a good script, assemble the right cast and crew and then watch the magic from afar. During our recent phone conversation I couldn’t get him to take the credit for anything. When asked about the chemistry between co-writer and co-star Steve Coogan and Dame Judi he simply states that they are “Terrific! They did a very nice job.” When pushed about the process of devoting years to a project he says “It was good fun. The people were very nice”. And when asked what might link his many, varied films he states “they all tend to be very well written.” His modesty is almost comically in line with the stereotype of the stately British gentleman who is deferential past belief. “The main thing is to avoid having serious conversations” he blithely adds. Continue reading here…


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