Screen­writer of The Mar­tian

SFX - - Reviews -

One of the first things that strikes you about Mark Wat­ney is that he’s re­ally funny. Was that an im­por­tant side of the char­ac­ter for you?

I grew up around sci­en­tists, and they’re very funny peo­ple. I’ve been think­ing about it a lot as to why that is, and I think it’s be­cause sci­en­tists have to deal with fail­ures so much – 90% of the time you’re go­ing to screw up – and if you’re go­ing to be fail­ing all the time, you can’t help but de­velop a sense of hu­mour about it.

Was there a “Eureka” mo­ment when you came up with the idea of us­ing Mark’s vlogs to de­liver his in­ter­nal mono­logue?

That was one of the things I strug­gled with very early, be­cause so much of the story is just first- per­son diary en­tries – it’s past tense about things that have al­ready hap­pened, and that’s not good for cin­ema! But I wanted to pro­tect that in­ter­nal mono­logue. Think­ing of it as vlog­ging helped, but I think the thing that re­ally cracked it was when we re­alised that it’s not just that he’s record­ing things, it’s that this is what’s keep­ing him alive. He be­lieves in the mis­sion so much that he’s still do­ing the pro­ject, liv­ing to pass this in­for­ma­tion on. Richard Ed­wards

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