Golden Years UK Film Premiere Interviews
Introducing BBC One’s ‘DIY SOS’ handyman Nick Knowles, along with co-writer and director John Miller. Both, tell us how the journey has been for them making the feature film ‘Golden Years‘ – where pensioners, KICK ASS!
I begun with asking both Knowles and Miller if they could elaborate on their journey and whether there were any obstacles they overcame? John Miller, the films co–writer and director said “Initially it started as a short film idea I had, where it began with a robbery and you didn’t know who done it. Who would you least expect to rob a bank? A group of pensioners”!
For Nick Knowles, co–writer, this had been his first feature film, although he has wrote numerous history dramas for the BBC in the past, this has been a ‘big step’ for him. Seven years in the making Knowles discusses that the journey has been ‘very tough’ finding the cast, budget, production and distributing the film altogether.
I was curious to find out from Knowles, whether there were any comparisons or difference’s from creating a television history drama, to an actual feature film?
Knowles says, ‘If you write for television you tend to write in series, in a movie, you actually have to Start – Middle – and End. If it’s film you have to do so many things wrapped around it in order to do it’.
I asked Miller and Knowles: Where there any influences or personal stories they could relate to that encouraged them to tie within this film?
Knowles began with, ‘I think everybody has stories like that. My father became ill and had to be in a home and be looked after. He would be in a room with somebody who would gamble all their money, all their life! My father then had all his saving’s taken off him before the Government paid for it. Whereas the guy in the next bed, who had spent all his money gambling and drinking all his life, had it paid for straight away. I think we have to make the rules better for pensioners. We have to value them more’.
Miller added “There is a war verteran in the film called Charlie, who is based on an old friend of mine’s grand–father and he’s a real pivotal character within the film. Simon Callow plays ‘Royston’, who is based on Nick’s ‘Uncle Martin’, who was a larger than life character”.
We caught up with legendary British actor Simon Callow, who plays Royston within the film. I asked Callow: What intrigued you about playing the role of ‘Royston’?
He highlights him as ‘A show off, A charmer, He is irrisitable and I think people would be drawn to him because he is a life enhancing man. Oh I love the character’.
I went on to ask Callow: Can you tell us more about the film and how do you feel this film relates to our modern society? Callow added, ‘It’s about older people taking their lives back, taking initiative back and not allowing themselves to be shuffled around by Governement, big business and so on. I don’t know if that’s nesserily a very good example to follow, but It’s something everyone can sympathise with’.
Another legend we spoke to was Virginia McKenna, who plays ‘Martha’ in the film. McKenna begins with mentioning to us, ‘I havent been to a premiere for a goodness probably 25–30 years. It’s very exciting’. We are very glad to see McKenna back onto our screens.
I asked her, How did Nick Knowles get in touch with you to star within the film?
McKenna says, “We’ve known Nick [Knowles] for a while and my son worked with him in Africa. Nick had the script and was like: Do you think you’re mum will ever act again? My son said: Why dont you send her the script. Which he did, and, I loved it! It combines the seriousness of the subject in a light hearted and fun way. I think it’ll appeal to all generations”.
Next, we bumped into Lily Travers who plays ‘Alison’ in the film. Traver’s is actually Virginia McKenna’s biological grand–daughter. MarkMeets were tempted to ask how she felt playing alongside her grand–mother on screen? “It’s a massive privilege to work with her. Something I’ve always wanted to do” says Travers.
We went onto ask her ‘What intrigued her to get on board the film? Was it through her grand–mother or her agent?
Travers says: “I got the script through my agent. I looked at it and it’s an absoultely cracking script. All the subtle jokes within it, everything’.
We asked Virgina McKenna how she felt playing alongside her grand–daughter? McKenna added, ‘Oh, a joy! My darling grand–daughter Lily, who I’ve watched acting since she was about five in school plays and all the rest of it. Now she has a part in the film’.
Catch up with an array of notable British actors and actresses starring in this ‘gob smacking, hilarious and exciting’ – Brit Comedy! The cast includes: Bernard Hill (‘Arthur’), Philip Davis (‘Brian’), Simon Callow (‘Royston’), Virginia McKenna (‘Martha’), Lily Travers (‘Alison’), Alun Armstrung (‘Sid’), Una Stubbs (‘Shirley’), Sue Johnston (‘Nancy), Ellen Thomas (‘Thelma’), Brad Moore (‘Stringer’), and others.