Adapted from the work of Ian McEwan, Sir Richard Eyre returns to the silver screen with The Children Act, and to mark the film’s release we had the pleasure of meeting the man at the helm, as well as the film’s leading two stars – Emma Thompson and Fionn Whitehead.

We asked Thompson, who plays a high-court judge, on her research into this archaic, elusive world, and she goes on to tell us about the joys in being an actor, constantly understanding new people and worlds. This leads into Whitehead (Dunkirk) talking about getting into the head of a teenager who is willing to sacrifice his life for his religion, and he tells us about secretly joining up to as Jehovah’s Witness meeting. Given the young actor has been very vocal about his admiration for Thompson, we asked her if she can recall working with any true legends of the screen when she first started out, and what that meant to her.

To Eyre we asked about his friendship with McEwan and the challenges in adapting a novel for the screen. He also tells us whether he felt he needed to understand the character of Adam in order to tell this story, and what we can expect of his forthcoming adaptation of Shakespeare’s King Lear, starring Anthony Hopkins. Finally, Whitehead tells us about his next project, collaborating with Sebastian Schipper (Victoria) on Road.

Watch the full interviews below:


In the midst of a marital crisis, a High Court judge must decide if she should order a life-saving blood transfusion for a teen with cancer despite his family’s refusal to accept medical treatment for religious reasons.

The Children Act is out in cinemas now.