Back for another round
Paddy Considine talks about journeyman, his second film as director
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.