There’s a distinct bleakness to Clio Barnard’s Dark River, and yet the talented filmmaker maintains a certain beauty to her storytelling – and when we sat down with the drama’s two lead stars Ruth Wilson and Mark Stanley, they discussed with us what it was like collaborating with her, and how she managed to find that sense of hope amidst this affecting tale.

We asked the duo, who are both at their very best in Dark River, their source of inspiration for their characters – and Wilson explains how she took much of Alice’s traits from a dog. We also discuss the challenges in portraying characters without a great deal of dialogue, and whether, given the harsh nature of this story, they were able to switch off after a day’s shoot.

Given how much the pair bare their soul on screen we asked what it’s like for them watching it back, and why they feel the farm setting, which also worked so well on God’s Own Country, makes for such a wonderful cinematic environment. Finally we asked Stanley about collaborating his his Game of Thrones’ colleagues Sean Bean and Joe Dempsie.

Watch the full interview below…


Following the death of her father, a woman returns to her home village to claim the family farm she believes is rightfully hers.

Dark River is released on February 23rd. You can read our review here.