High Rise Rising To The Top
After the big budget extravaganza of The Hobbit, Luke Evans fancied a change of pace with High Rise. Helmed by Kill List’s Ben Wheatley, the adaptation of JG Ballard’s dystopian thriller was shot over a hectic six- week period in Belfast.
“It’s mental!” Evans tells Red Alert. “Films like this don’t really get made any more so I’m glad to be part of it. It’s incredibly different to everything else I’ve done. It’s the ’ 70s, so the period has got a very specific aesthetic and personality. Ben Wheatley is nothing short of a genius.”
Centring around Tom Hiddleston’s young doctor Robert Laing who is embroiled in growing social unrest after moving to a luxury block, Evans plays Richard Wilder, a documentary filmmaker who has been ostracised for criticising their decadent lifestyles. “He’s the agitator but he’s more than that,” he explains. “As the film unfolds, you see that he’s shrouded in slight craziness, although he’s probably the sanest person in the whole high rise. But it’s only as the film develops that you understand that and see this man, who has been struggling to keep hold of reality but totally losing it at the same time.”
High Rise was first optioned by producer Jeremy Thomas after its publication in 1975. “It’s a super dark book,” says Evans. “JG Ballard was a genius! His daughter came to the set, which was really nice and she said that he would be very proud of what we were doing. Just to see it being made is great for a start, because it’s taken a long time – 30 years to be precise!”
High Rise is released in UK cinemas later this year.
The stark, effective poster for the film.