Three Interviews with HUMANITAS Winner Steven Knight
As the thriller Locke arrives on disc we talk to writer-director Steven Knight about its making, Tom Hardy, World War Z and more...
One of the best thrillers of the year takes place inside one car. Said car is being driven by Ivan Locke, played by Tom Hardy.
Steven Knight, the creator of Peaky Blinders, wrote and directed the movie (having previously helmed the mighty Statham in Hummingbird), and he spared some time to talk about the film as it arrives on DVD and Blu-ray...
Shooting Locke, you did the drive down the motorway 18-20 times for real to film it, and pulled together your cut from there. Were you aiming for the claustrophobia of a small theatre? (From Den of Geek)
Yeah. While making Hummingbird, we tested the cameras by shooting from moving vehicles. Then we would view the test footage in a cinema, and I found it really good. So I wanted to put an actor in there, in that moving image. I shot it from beginning to end each time, and the other actors who were phoning in were in a conference room, and I'd cue them. Then we'd take a break, and do it again. That was the way of trying to capture the moment.
You have penned the screenplay and are in the director's chair, so where did this project start for you? And what inspired this story? (From Female First)
It began after I had finished making a more conventional film with Jason Statham. In that process, I had used these digital cameras and we had shot a lot of footage from moving vehicles.
I sat and watched the test footage on a big screen and found it quite hypnotic and wondered if that could be turned into a piece of theatre where you would shoot a play in that environment.
I was looking for story where someone has everything and nothing, and I just wanted to point the camera at an ordinary man: there is nothing about this story that would make the papers or the local news. It really is just an ordinary tragedy.
I was lucky enough to get Tom Hardy to play the starring role. After that, it became quite easy to get the thing put together.
It seems to me that everything about Locke is a producer’s worst nightmare… a main character who is a pretty ordinary guy… a construction manager who cheats on his wife. No one in the film is in any danger, it has one setting, one character… did you think to yourself that you had to have a star to get this film made? (From Filmoria)
Yeah but not just a star, you need a really good actor. I always think that whoever is on the screen, people are looking at Tom anyway. It was great to get him to play the part. A lot of these decisions were not deliberately perverse, but not what you’d normally do. The whole thing I set up as everyone can have a holiday from what they normally do and it will be fun. So we shot the whole thing from beginning to end. Every time I said ‘action’, we shot the whole thing, then took a break then shot the whole thing again which I then edited together. In terms of selling it, I think I wrote a paragraph about what is was about to IM Global and they said ‘fine’.
But my thought was, I’m pretty sure that people are intelligent enough to come to a cinema and sit and look at the experience of an ordinary person and find the drama within it. Rather than have the imagination put on the screen for them with special effects and everything. One of the best comments I got from this was people saying that they forgot that they hadn’t seen the other characters because they’d invented those characters for themselves. And I think that’s a more old fashioned way of telling the story with people picturing things in their head. The whole thing was ‘would it be enough to do this?’ and we had no idea if it would be or not until we took it to Venice and the response was so amazing. It was almost like in every way doing the opposite of how you would normally make a film.
Read more from the first interview at Den of Geek: http://www.denofgeek.com/movies/locke/31817/steven-knight-interview-locke-world-war-z-2-and-more
Read more from the second interview at Female First: http://www.femalefirst.co.uk/movies/steven-knight-interview-522087.html
Read more from the third interview at Filmoria: http://www.filmoria.co.uk/2014/08/interview-with-locke-writerdirector-steven-knight/