I have the pleasure of interviewing David Thewlis, Mark Gatiss and Jonathan Bailey at the world premiere of their new film by James Marsh The Mercy which also stars Rachel Weisz and Colin Firth.
Here is what they had to say:
What made you want to get involved in this film?
Firstly, James Marsh called me one morning and asked me if I wanted to do it. I had worked with him before on Theory of Everything and he is a beautiful guy and I really enjoyed my time working with him on that and on this. So that initially but I never heard of the story, I looked into it that same day and found it absolutely extraordinary, just the initial introduction to the story and that just snowballed from there and I became more and more fascinated with it and found the research for this very compelling.
Tell me a bit about your character?
I play Rodney Hallworth. He was Donald Crowhurst’s press agent who basically was the man who egged him on to do this kinda made scheme, even to the point when Crowhurst thought that he should pull away, retire from this idea. And he was extremely selfish motivation and pushed him t go and endanger his life, well more than endanger, finishes his life.
How did you get in that mindset?
I’ve met quite a lot of journalists, that’s not a smear on all journalists, I love a lot of them. But there’s a few I’ve met that I have no time for and I think he was quite typical of his character. When I see him talking, there are a few tabloid world and it wasn’t very difficult getting into his head I don’t think.
It’s a fantastic cast, how was it working with them?
I made before of them before briefly but never worked with them properly and spent all this time working with them. They are both great. Everyone was great. It was a very enjoyable film to make.
What are you doing next?
I’m doing the Avatar sequels. I’m not allowed to say anything. I’m absolutely forbidden I haven’t even read all of the scripts. It’s so forbidden. I’m surprised I can tell you I’m doing it, I‘m not sure.
What made you want to get involved in the film?
Principally the story, which I, oddly Tom Hiddelston told me the story several years ago when we were rehearsing Coriolanus together. He told me one lunchtime and it was like listening to a sort of fireside tale, a seafaring tale. And I never heard it. And the way he told it was really compelling. I had no idea where it was going. And where it ends up is not where you expect. And then a couple of years later, the script arrived and I wanted to work with James – the director – and worked with Rachel before and Colin is obviously a great attraction to it. But principally the story is amazing.
What are you up to next?
Off to South Africa on Thursday, if my Visa ever comes back. I can’t tell you about that. That’s a small cameo. And then Steve Moffatt and I are writing Dracula which we are starting this year. And then we are doing a big League of Gentlemen tour which will take a while.
How do you feel about the criticism League of Gentlemen received when it came back?
Well I don’t read reviews.
Will there be another series?
Nope, we are doing a tour which will last a long time. Which will be it.
You mentioned Dracula, can you tease anything about the upcoming show?
It’s about a vampire, famous vampire drinks blood and is undead. Well it’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It will definitely be inspired by the book. The book is brilliant. And that’s all I can tell you at this time.
Why did you want to get involved in The Mercy?
Erm, James Marsh. When I met him he is just lovely and brilliant and he is really intelligent and sensitive. The story is unbelievable. I hadn’t seen the documentary but it’s a story that’s known in my dad’s generation. You know they know about it. It’s just an extraordinary feat of insanity so it was a no brainer.
How was it working with this brilliant cast?
Yeah yeah, they were brilliant. A lot of my stuff is with David Thewlis and he is lovely and so thankfully our scenes didn’t have to bare the emotional weight of the film, so we had a good time. And the little scenes I have with Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz were great and they are really brilliant in it.
Has it made you ever want to circumnavigate the globe?
No, I’m alright. I will up the Thames in one of those Jacuzzi dingys.
What are you working on next?
I’m in a play which is opening on Thursday. And then I did a series with Jack Ryan which will be aired this year and other than that nothing.
Will there be a season two of Crashing?
No. I don’t know. It was so close to happening. It was good wasn’t it? We had a great time. I think they were storyboarding it but unfortunately, politically, certain channels make decsions. Netflix were interested for a bit. Maybe it will come back. We would all be keen to do it.