This week sees the anticipated release of British drama Breathe , which marks the directorial debut of Andy Serkis (War for the Planet of the Apes) and tells the true-life story of Robin and Diana Cavendish, the parents of Serkis’ producing partner Jonathan.

Fresh from its debut at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival and opening the London Film Festival earlier this month, we sat down with the stars of the film, Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy, to discuss the film and their roles as the real-life couple.

While the film has all the hallmarks of your typical true-life love story, it’s in its humour, both through the film and its characters, that is perhaps its biggest strength with the vitality and lust-for-life that Robin and Diana had in the face of heartbreaking circumstances beautifully portrayed on screen and Garfield says that it was key to the story, saying:

“It was vital, otherwise it would have felt a bit maudlin and self-pitying and they just weren’t that way Robin and Diana – they were just very joyful and a friend of Robin described it as ‘Things would more likely to be funny than not’, every moment, and that’s what they were.”

Foy adds:

“There’s always that thing that people are funny, aren’t they in life? I think sometimes films can be too sad because everything is very serious but everyone is quite witty. It doesn’t have to be a comedy for people to crack a joke every once in a while and smile.”

SEE ALSO: Read our review of Breathe here

The chemistry between the leads is wonderful and such was their relationship that they developed something of a shorthand with each other, moments where even if they were surrounded by lots of people, would bring them together and make it seem like it was just them in the room. Both stars said they were dependent on that as filming progressed, with Garfield saying:

“It was easy and it was something we lent upon even though we had each other and a wonderful director, DP and many other cast members and Jonathan but the primary relationship was with Claire and I really lent on her to find out if I was doing alright and that was all a wonderful thing.”

Foy says as filming went on, she found herself checking in on Garfield lots more due to him being chairbound for the majority of the shoot, adding:

“I was always quite conscious of making sure and checking in and seeing if he was alright. I’m a terrible nurse, though, apparently!”

You can watch the full interview below.

Breathe is out in UK cinemas on October 27th.