I once interviewed Jim Broadbent to mark the release of his congenial drama Le Week-End, and off camera politely asked if he’s consider adopting me as a grandson. Naturally he looked weirded out by such a request and brushed it away instantly – but the intention stands, for he’s one of the most affable, endearing actors working in England – and it’s a sentiment shared by Ritesh Batra, director of The Sense of an Ending.
“It’s very hard not to like Jim, both in person and on screen, he’s a very endearing presence,” Batra said. “I always read about how Tony is an unlikeable character but since I read the novel I’ve always liked Tony, but perhaps that’s to do with me not being from here. I always loved Tony, but Jim makes it very easy to like him, definitely.”
Batra’s preceding endeavour was the BAFTA nominated drama The Lunchbox (which you have to see if you haven’t already) but is now presenting his first film in the English language, adapting Julian Barnes’ novel of the same name. Batra discusses with us his meeting with the author, and the challenges in casting younger versions of roles inhabited by Broadbent and Rampling (which eventually went to Billy Howle and Freya Mavor, respectively).
Lastly he discusses the impact The Lunchbox has had on his career, and just how fondly he looks back over the entire experience.
The Sense of an Ending is released on April 14th. You can read our review here.