We continue our coverage in the lead-up to the release of Breathe this week with another interview, this time with the film’s director Andy Serkis who makes his directorial debut with the film.

Serkis has been close to the story for a long time given that it’s the true story of his producer’s Jonathan Cavendish parents Robin and Diana and their battles with Robin’s health but Serkis says that his biggest trepidation wasn’t taking on the challenge but speaking to Jonathan about the film, saying:

“The most trepidation I had was when I first read it actually and we had been setting up lots of other projects for The Imaginarium for me to direct and took it home and read it and thought that it was such an amazing story on paper and if I was to take this on-board I would hate to fail with it. So the biggest trepidatious moment was going into to talk to Jonathan and sitting down with him and saying that this was perhaps a ‘little out of my wheel-house but how do you fancy me directing it’ but once he said yes that it was all good.”

Ably assisting Serkis in bringing the story to the screen are his lead actors and he struck gold with his casting here with Andrew Garfield (Silence) and Claire Foy (The Crown) taking on the roles and the director said that it was their sensitivities and generosity that made them perfect:

“Just because they are both incredibly emotionally truthful actors and that they would be able to sustain a level of generosity with each other and a real connection. Andrew is an incredibly sensitive actor in the sense that he is very much in tune with other actor’s energies while Claire is just this brilliantly open and honest person who is so emotionally eloquent but is also no nonsense so the combination just seemed perfect.”

Finally, we tried our best to ask about Star Wars: The Last Jedi but Serkis, as ever, was coy about the film but echoed many of the other cast members reactions to the script that he wasn’t prepared for where Rian Johnson has taken the story, saying:

“Yes, truly. It was not a direction I was expecting it to go and you’ll certainly find out why when you see it!”

Breathe opens in UK cinemas on October 27th.