Four Lions director is Chris (Brass Eye) Morris – he’s got a pretty controversial rep hasn’t he?
He gets portrayed as a wild-eyed maverick who is controversial for the sake of it – it couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s not a controversial film – it’s a comedy about 5 hapless guys who couldn’t even organise a stag do!
It is quite a testosterone-driven film – how was it working with so many other blokes? (who include rising Brit actors Riz Ahmed, Kayvan Novak, Adeel Akhtar)
Whilst filming in Sheffield we stayed in university digs and we were all in the same corridor! It was 7 till 7 with nothing else to do and so got to know each other very well. And actually the dynamic of the group is the same as the dynamic in the film - I’m the grumpy old bugger!
We love the film is so darkly funny and so British…
There are lots of British references in it. The film was screened at The Sundance Film Festival which was in Utah and of course the Americans didn’t know what a Sainsbury’s Nectar Card is. When I was watching it there was couple from Arizona sitting behind me who said ‘You know, we’re so glad you were laughing because we didn’t know when to laugh’. But I hope it travels - like The Wire traveled from America to the UK.
And there’s been great reviews. You must be chuffed?
I’m very proud of this film. I was actually a bit surprised because there are laugh-out-loud funny bits but I was also quite moved by it and when I was watching the film I really cared about the characters. I expected to laugh, but I didn’t expect to be moved.
What’s next for you?
I’m filming Spooks for the BBC at the moment and am about to start a play at Royal Court called Sucker Punch.
Four Lions is out on May 7th.
By Marisa Bate