Thursday, 11 June 2009

Screening of 'Looking for Eric' with Steve Evetts and Eric Catona

I attended the screening of the new Ken Loach film - Looking for Eric, out in cinemas June the 12th for a quick Q n A with the leading man Steve Evetts and producer Rebecca O Brien.

Looking for Eric is a captivating drama surrounding the story of Eric Bishop, a Manchunian postman who’s life is a mess of different dilemmas that are revealed throughout the film, a frail and gentle middle aged man having to deal with gangs, family woes and his own strength - the only miracle that saves his life from falling to pieces is the magical appearance of a football superstar - Eric Catona - as his prophetic mentor.
The realism is powerfully gripping, and Steve Evetts captures our hearts as the lovable Eric Bishop. The striking aspect of Ken Loach’s directing is the super-realistic portrayal - so much that seeing Evetts in the flesh makes us feel as though we are meeting his character in person.

Steve: Ken shot the film in sequence which was a great way to work, you don’t often get opportunities like that, there was no script and the scene where I am talking to the poster of Catona and he suddenly appears behind me was the first time I met ‘im! Ken kept the room dark and had him hid behind a curtain and so when I turned around - that was real shock!

I never even knew Catona was going to appear in the film! Working with him was amazing but you have to overcome that feeling and see it as two actors working together. He isn’t like a normal star though, he has this presence. When we were out in Manchester fans would mob him wherever he went, one guy burst into tears on the spot just because Catona couldn’t give him an autograph. He’s a fascinating man!

Rebecca: Catona first approached us with a proposal for a film about a man who gives up his life to follow his success, but it didn’t really grab us. This story is all Paul’s (the writer) but Catona still plays himself. The trumpet and the proverbs, they are all Catona’s own input, it had to be Eric as himself as much as possible because Looking for Eric was all about these two guys as real men and the audience had to see them as that.

Steve: Its almost too real, the car crash which opens the film was also a spontaneous moment. It was an actual head on collision! Ken was in the back and I was meant to be going around and around the roundabout but one of the stunt women got a bit cockey and we crashed, and Ken just got out the back and said ‘Well we might keep that’, like nothing fazed him at all!
With Ken secrecy in his films is really important. You never know what is going to happen, we learnt the characters entire life story through improvisation so your living in the present, actually fearing for your life as much as the characters - it becomes you. The scene where the police raid the house was a first take. The guards weren’t extras - they were a real armed response team so the fear is real!
Its like a game, and adventure. Its beautiful really!
Despite all the drama the film is really a comedy though, its got some great characters that are all just genuine funny blokes, it is a comedy, but after all a comedy is a tragedy with a happy ending.

1 comment:

Nickque said...

It was good'un! Just proof why the British Film Industry is underrated!! Like the eyes ( background of title)!! x