Sunday 15 September 2019

Claire Foy – I would direct a play, but films look too much like hard work

The Crown said she won’t be following the lead of Andy Serkis.

Breathe Screening – BFI London Film Festival 2017
Breathe Screening – BFI London Film Festival 2017

By Laura Harding, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

The Crown star Claire Foy has said she would love the chance to direct a play, but would not be keen to join the ranks of actors who also make films.

The actress will next be seen in Breathe, the directorial debut of actor Andy Serkis – but Foy said she is not bothered about following in his footsteps.

Breathe Photocall – BFI London Film Festival 2017

She told the Press Association: “I would like to direct a play, I would not like to direct a film. It looks like really hard work.”

Foy said she does not think directing a play looks easy, but considers the amount of creative control in theatre to be more appealing.

She added: “It’s more of a whole thing. There are a lot of cooks, aren’t there, in a film? And also people ask you stuff all the time and what you say has to be the final answer.”

Her Breathe co-star Andrew Garfield added: “It seems like you have to pretend to have the answer, that is what Mel Gibson (who directed him in Hacksaw Ridge) would always say – ‘I have to always pretend like I know what the answer is to everyone’s question and it’s awful’.

“But it’s kind of reassuring because you go ‘Oh well, if you’re pretending then maybe I can pretend to do that as well’.”

The duo star in the new film as Robin and Diana Cavendish, a young couple fighting to live a normal life after Robin is crippled by polio.

The film tells the real life story of the parents of producer Jonathan Cavendish, who is Serkis’s partner in his production company, but the stars said the real-life component did not bring as much pressure as expected.

Garfield said: “You would have thought so, but then there is something about Jonathan and his mother and the whole Cavendish brood that makes you very, very comfortable and makes you realise that any pressure you’re feeling is only within your own head.

“All that Jonathan wanted was for us to have a good time and play the parts as we saw fit and use him for any kind of reference or as a resource for how to play them truthfully – and I think he would have much rather us not talked to him at all, we really hassled him with questions and wanting knowledge.”

Foy added: “Diana wasn’t really there, she came once and then never wanted to come again. I think she found the whole thing quite boring, but I’m very very grateful for her being so kind about the film because she didn’t need to be because this is her life and she’s been really lovely and generous and gracious and just like herself.”

Breathe is released in UK cinemas on October 27.

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