Ewan Bremner Interview
Ewan Bremner Interview
What was David Mackenzie like as a director on set?

Ewan Bremner

He's very free with his material because he's not married to it, so there's more space for spontaneous invention. I worked with him on Hallam Foe as well and it was a similar experience for me. He very much encourages me to just use the page as a stepping off point and encourages me to sort of build a lot of stuff into it. A lot of my dialogue is kind of borne out of a conversation with David.

It might have been a conversation we'd had a year before about something completely unrelated, like the whole stuff with the laughing gas in the film, none of that was in the script, it all came from a conversation about some medical experience and how that related to another experience. So this would happen when we were actually shooting it. I'm not doing a hell of a lot in the film but he gives me a licence to just play with it and encourages that and trusts me to do that and it's worked out alright, I think.
Do you feel like you respond better to that approach than the meticulous 'say it as it's written' approach or are you happy for each experience to be different?

Ewan Bremner

Well, I've been doing this a long time – I've been working as an actor since I was a teenager and I've struggled with various elements of it like any actor will and I find in my old age that obedience is actually quite a good policy sometimes. I respect the filmmaker – ultimately it's their film and their vision for their film might be different to how I see it but ultimately they're the one who's making the film and my job is to be in service of them and help them make the film that they're trying to make or trying to get across and I want to serve that as well as I can. And it's not my agenda, it's their agenda.

I feel that anything that pushes me has always been good for me, whether it's been hard or not. As an actor, you're adapting to your environment and each production is a different environment, different work environment, no two directors work in the same way, no two actors work in the same way. And if you don't do that, then the film becomes all about you, or you think the film should be all about you and that's not how I like to work. And I welcome that and I hope that I always will be adaptable and that I won't seize up and get like a grumpy old cynical actor. [Laughs]
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Content updated: 17/06/2019 02:41

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