Supernova director Harry Macqueen on working with besties Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth

The story of Sam and Tusker, an older couple performed by Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci, struggling via the results of early onset dementia, is emotionally shifting due to the energy of the 2 key performances and Macqueen’s considerate script and directorial hand.

Macqueen, 37, is a sometimes-actor who made his on-screen debut in Richard Linklater’s Me and Orson Welles earlier than happening to direct and star in Hinterland in 2014.

Supernova is his most bold undertaking but, and has attracted stellar evaluations, notably for Firth and Tucci’s on-screen bond.

He talks to concerning the private origins of Supernova, casting finest mates Firth and Tucci and what modified and didn’t change when the couple on the centre of the story shifted from straight to homosexual.





That’s proper. It began as a result of I used to be working with a woman who had younger onset dementia and once I was working together with her, she didn’t know that prognosis. So, I watched somebody change rather a lot over the course of the 12 months after which tragically, a couple of 12 months and a half after that, she handed away.

It got here into my life in fairly a wierd manner, and I believe I used to be profoundly moved by that, as anybody could be. Then I simply went and tried to be taught as a lot about it as attainable. I volunteered for native charities and labored rather a lot in London, within the dementia world.

After a couple of 12 months or two years, I assumed this can be a actually vital and attention-grabbing matter for a movie. I used to be impressed by all of that have.

I believe it ought to be tough to confront to begin with. With one thing like this, that’s such a real-world human story, it helps if it involves you in a really natural manner, and it actually did with this movie. Hopefully you may see that in the way in which it’s written and the way in which it’s put collectively.

Hopefully it’s not pushing the melodrama of the scenario or any of that. A very massive a part of it for me was to constantly take into consideration condensing and synthesising it into this lovely little advanced relationship, and all the opposite problems with the movie cling off that ultimately.


For those who have been in that scenario, on this relationship, it’s unlikely that you simply’re going to reference it each 5 minutes, you simply reside with it. So, it’s grounding the connection in its context after which permitting that context to play out to the viewers in its personal time.

I believe it’s vital to see the characters hanging out with one another earlier than you perceive that there’s fissures within the relationship. And it’s a movie, so there’s all the time going to be.

You possibly can’t deny that 20 years of a relationship as finest mates actually helps. There’s rather a lot to be mined from that however I additionally suppose it’s vital to say it’s additionally not useful generally as a result of you need to then separate what is helpful and what’s relevant to the character and scenario and the movie, from the connection that you’ve got woven with that particular person.

Truly, that’s very tough. We labored very laborious on that, attempting to take from their very own life and Colin and Stanley’s love for one another, what was related for us and leaving a number of the stuff that wasn’t. It was fairly the duty.

No, no, undoubtedly not. Colin and Stanley are far too good at what they do. What’s superb about watching folks which are that good at appearing is how seamlessly they’ll switch from being Stanley and Colin to Tusker and Sam.

It’s fairly lovely to observe. However what it does imply is while you’re working with these two guys particularly is that it’s a number of enjoyable as a result of they’re a number of enjoyable and so they do spend a number of the time taking the mickey out of one another, laughing round. That’s simply who they’re as guys.

So, it’s a pleasant expertise to be part of, a privilege to have been allowed entry into their relationship as a filmmaker.

Ultimately, it was very, very straightforward, which could be very fortunate. We went to Stanley first and he simply fell in love with the script. I didn’t know on the time that he was mates with Colin, and he prompt we converse with Colin for the opposite function. Colin, it seems, had already learn the script and cherished it.

This was the type of script that perhaps Stanley and Colin as actors don’t get that usually and it’s lovely of them and courageous of them to really have been concerned in a movie like this as a result of it’s a small movie comparatively, definitely for the stuff they do.

I’m actually not a really skilled director or certainly author, and it’s exposing enjoying these roles and so they don’t really want to try this at this stage of their careers, let’s be trustworthy. Hats off to them for trusting this undertaking.

It did as a result of the characters have a unique lived expertise. Stanley and Colin have each simply turned 60, so when you’re in your late 50s as, let’s say, the characters have been once we have been filming it, a queer particular person has a really totally different lived expertise than somebody who’s heterosexual, so you have got an obligation to ensure that it’s a part of the character.

However the scenario didn’t change within the slightest and I believe that’s essential. It didn’t all of a sudden grow to be a homosexual movie in among the methods it may’ve achieved. I believe that was an vital factor to bear in mind for me as a result of it’s about common expertise – love and loss, belief and betrayal, they’re common experiences and also you’ve received to deal with them like that.

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