We rather enjoyed the movie, so hot footed it down to Vue in Leicester Square to catch up with the cast and crew.
On working with Dexter
Well he’s my greatest, oldest friend, so it was so nice to go full circle and have him directing. Between us we’ve made 150 films now, and it’s just fantastic to get one of us [behind] the camera, and it was always going to be him. He’s a hard worker and a grafter.
The great thing about actors who direct is that they understand about actors very well, so it was great to have another actor direct you. Whatever you say about Dex, he’s a classy actor so if he says it should be this way, it should be happening. Matt Vaughn, who’s sort of the Godfather of all of us, he’s not technical, he couldn’t direct an actor if he tried, so it’s lovely to know Dex.
On ‘stealing’ the film from Charlie Creed Miles
Ah no, I didn’t do that. Certainly not. I was just very grateful to be involved. I think everyone did this for the love, the entire cast. To work with a man like Dexter, he’s the most enthusiastic man on the planet, and he just set the tone for the incredible working environment so everyone could do their job, and we all loved it.
On the chance to get away from being described as a ‘child actor’
Yeah, I suppose it is a bit of a transition. I relish the opportunity to play a very mature character, which is a challenge for me, but I loved it. Dean’s a character that really attracted me. He’s a 16 year old who carries responsibilities that most 16 year olds can’t imagine. It was a real wake up call for me to see what real life is like. I’m very lucky, I come from a great family and don’t have to think about those things. It’s a real eye opener, and the character’s fantastic and I enjoyed every minute of it.
On the serious tone of the film
That was striking a balance. The great thing about Danny [King – Fletcher’s co-writer] is that he does have a great comedic bent, and that was something that I completely exploited and wanted to very much be a part of Wild Bill, and why I initially started speaking to him right away, because I knew the subject matter was particularly, or could be particularly dark and bleak, and I didn’t want to make a bleak, dark film. I wanted to make a film that actually had a point, and I felt that this story had that, but at the same time I didn’t want us to come out of it feeling like we’ve just been bashed over the head for 90 minutes. So my way of thinking was, if I got someone involved like Danny King, he was going to elevate that humour in the story, and find the things that were funny. We talked about how someone trying relentlessly and failing is kind of funny, Laurel and Hardy trying to get a piano up the stairs is funny, because they can’t do it, and they don’t stop trying, and they’re beset with obstacles and things that knock them back, and that’s where the humour comes from, and I knew that Danny had that in spades. He knew the Language, he knew the people, and he knew the world, so that was where that came from.
On having young actors in the film
I was very lucky with the kids that I got. Sammy Williams is phenomenal and Will Poulter is a massive talent emerging and I exploited that. As soon as I met them I knew they were the guys I needed, but also I have a history of being a child actor myself, and I know that world, and I was very comfortable, very confident that I would be able to work with these young actors, and I think they give two of the best performances in the film.