NATIVITY ROCKS! | How to make a sequel the hard way…
What’s more difficult than trying to direct a class of eight-yearolds in a play? How about doing it while trying to direct a film at the same time? Not tough enough? Why not adlib the entire thing too? Debbie Isitt has been making Nativity films for almost 10 years now, so she really only has herself to blame, but she looks remarkably calm in the middle of the messiest, loudest, craziest set TF has ever seen.
“It’s pretty much always like this!” she shouts, screaming over the sound of an entire class of kids all hurling themselves at a fancy dress box, a film crew trying to reset the lights, 50 parents clutching lint brushes, and one guy on the piano who’s playing a live background score in the corner.
The script is fully improvised, as per the other three films in the series, so none of the actors know what’s going to happen next – just as well your co-stars have been roped in from the local primary school. “I’ve already made two children cry today,” says Craig Revel Horwood, making his film debut between seasons of Strictly Come Dancing. “I always said I wanted to be in a horror movie and I guess this is as close as I’m going to get!”
Back in character, Horwood tells one little girl that she “looks stupid in her glasses” and she bursts into tears.
“It’s tough when you get in the moment,” says Celia Imrie, comforting the kids off camera as the “nice one” in the group. “I think these children are quite brilliant. And I think everyone making this film is utterly mad!”
ETA | 23 NOVEMBER / NATIVITY ROCKS! OPENS NEXT MONTH.