Back for another round

Paddy Considine talks about jour­ney­man, his sec­ond film as di­rec­tor

Empire (UK) - - PREMIERE - Chris Hewitt

It’s been five years since Paddy Considine made his di­rec­to­rial de­but with the su­perb, heart-wrench­ing drama Tyrannosaur. but just when we be­gan to think that his name should be added to the list of bril­liant ac­tors who di­rected just one film (Charles Laughton, Mar­lon brando, Gary Old­man, to name but three), along comes Jour­ney­man. in this exclusive in­ter­view, con­ducted just be­fore the start of shoot­ing, Considine talks for the first time about head­ing back be­hind the cam­era…

You must be ex­cited to be di­rect­ing again.

I am, yeah. It’s been too long. I wasted a lot of time try­ing to get another film off the ground (the Years Of the Lo­cust, based on the 2009 true-crime-and-box­ing book by Jon Hot­ten).

Where did Jour­ney­man come from?

It’s an idea that i had for years. I started writ­ing it in Glas­gow when i was di­rect­ing my first short film (Dog Al­to­gether, the 2007 Bafta-win­ning pre­cur­sor to tyrannosaur). I did about 20 pages and put it away. Then i was walk­ing re­cently with a friend of mine, a screen­writer named Ge­off thomp­son, and he asked about it. So i looked at it again, started fine-tun­ing and i was off…

What’s the film about?

It’s about a guy who goes into a fight and he suf­fers a head in­jury. It’s about the im­pact that has on his mar­riage and his life and fam­ily. When he comes out of the coma, like a lot of peo­ple with head in­juries, he has a to­tally dif­fer­ent per­son­al­ity. He has to grasp some­how who he once was and what hap­pened to him. That’s why it’s called Jour­ney­man. It’s not to do with jour­ney­man fight­ers. He is a world cham­pion, but re­ally it’s about some­one go­ing on a jour­ney within them­selves and com­ing to terms with the al­ter­ation to them­selves, to their per­son­al­ity.

You’re star­ring in this too, and you’re in train­ing right now. Do you see it as a tra­di­tional box­ing movie?

I don’t see any point in mak­ing a box­ing movie. There’s loads of them. I’ve loved box­ing all my life and have been around it in var­i­ous ca­pac­i­ties for years and years and years. Box­ing was the per­fect back­drop for this story, but it’s not a box­ing movie. There are fights in it, and box­ing is in it, but the ul­ti­mate vic­tory, if you like, isn’t in a box­ing ring. The re­demp­tion isn’t in the fight it­self. I’m try­ing to avoid those kinds of clichés. My crew are ask­ing me which box­ing films they should watch. I said, “None!” I don’t want them to watch a sin­gle box­ing film. That’s not what we’re try­ing to achieve here.

Are there any au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal el­e­ments in the film?

I know that I went on quite a jour­ney through my mid-thir­ties. I kind of dis­ap­peared a lit­tle bit. I was go­ing through a tough time. I got di­ag­nosed with all these dif­fer­ent things (in­clud­ing Irlen Syn­drome, a dif­fi­culty pro­cess­ing vis­ual in­for­ma­tion), and I feel I got swept un­der the wave of neu­ro­sis and dark and depressing things that were go­ing to de­stroy me if I didn’t turn my life around. It took me a few years to get back. There are echoes of that in the script, echoes of for­get­ting and be­ing lost and hope­fully ar­riv­ing. Peo­ple who’ve read it and who know me have said that they know what it’s about. But hope­fully it will feel univer­sal. There’s some­thing in there that a lot of peo­ple will re­late to.

Jour­ney­man is out in 2017.

paddy Considine deep in train­ing for his dual role as Jour­ney­man star/di­rec­tor.

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