Saturday 14 December 2019

Hacksaw Ridge composer says director Mel Gibson not afraid of emotion

Andrew Garfield stars in Hacksaw Ridge, scored by Rupert Gregson-Williams
Andrew Garfield stars in Hacksaw Ridge, scored by Rupert Gregson-Williams

The award-winning British composer who scored Mel Gibson's Oscar-nominated movie Hacksaw Ridge has hailed the director as a film-maker who is not afraid of emotion.

Rupert Gregson-Williams said the pair collaborated closely to create the music for the film.

It stars Andrew Garfield in the true story of a US Army medic who saved dozens of men in the battle against the Japanese for Okinawa in the Second World War.

Gregson-Williams, whose previous film scores include Hotel Rwanda, The Legend Of Tarzan and a string of Adam Sandler movies, told the Press Association: " All directors are different and Mel is lovely to work for because he is very hands on.

"He knew what he wanted and gave me room to go and write something.

"If he likes something he will tell you and and if he doesn't, he doesn't want to know.

"We worked closely together, not in a musical way but in a story way. It was about how he feels the music is portraying the character.

"He is very generous and gave me room to do what I wanted before he started reining me in.

"He did have certain parts of the film that took a lot. I was working for five weeks and spent 10 days on two moments - four minutes of film - because they were pivotal moments."

The film has been nominated for six Oscars, including best picture, a best actor nod for Garfield and a best director mention for Gibson.

Gregson-Williams said: " Mel is not afraid of emotion.

"It can often be with people who are telling stories that they are afraid of showing too much but he does it in two different ways. I love that about him.

"In Hacksaw Ridge he makes story out of complete chaos in the first battle, instead of just being destructive.

"His timing is amazing. Musically, he held me back until the second battle and his idea was brilliant."

The composer is working on the score for Wonder Woman, the first big screen project to centre on the female superhero.

He recently composed music for the lavish Netflix series The Crown, about the early life of the Queen.

He said: "Peter Morgan (the creator and writer) and Stephen Daldry (the director and executive producer) are incredibly creative and took every single minute as seriously as they would have done a 100 million dollar movie because it was like scoring three or four movies.

"It was that amount of music.

"It was intense working with Peter to get the tone right. He didn't want it to be an advert for the Royal Family.

"We were really pleased with what we ended up with but it was a long journey. I have got a few extra grey hairs from it.

"I love that David Bowie interview where he says the only way you know you are being creative is when your legs aren't quite touching the ground. That is how Peter Morgan makes you feel.

"If you stay in the shallow end, it's safe. He pushed me in areas I hadn't been pushed before."

Hacksaw Ridge is released in UK cinemas on January 27.

PA Media

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment

Back to top