From starring in Shane Meadows’ cult classic ‘Dead Man’s Shoes’, appearing in movies such as Hot Fuzz and Pride, to writing and directing the brilliant ‘Tyrannosaur’, multi-talented Paddy Considine has been a key player in the British film scene since the turn of the century.
This year he goes Shakespearean alongside Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard to play Macbeth’s best friend Banquo in Justin Kurzel’s anticipated take on the iconic play. At the premiere, I was lucky enough to fire some questions his way…
Did you find the verse of Shakespeare challenging when learning the script?
“It was something that I was pretty frightened about doing. I’d seen movies of Shakespeare but had never seen it in theatre, and never read it. I thought ‘that’s not where I’m at. I’m not the guy to hire for this sort of thing’. I shied away from it a little bit and at one point thought I shouldn’t do it at all. Then I thought about how it’d be hard to live with the fact that I’d walked away from it. It was just my own personal little battle of course! I started learning it and tried not to be a slave to the material.”
How much were you influenced by past adaptations?
“I never looked at anybody else’s performances of Banquo. I just brought what I brought and that’s what’s ended up in the film. The combination of working with Justin Kurzel and Michael Fassbender led me to it really. I loved Justin’s film ‘Snowtown’ – it came out at a similar time to a film I directed, and I just really thought he had a voice and that he was a very unique filmmaker.”
Did working with him live up to your expectations?
“Yes! It was fantastic. It was everything. I just wasn’t disappointed at all. Working with him was a good reason to do it and like anything, it becomes a challenge. I went about learning the work and got stuck into it.”
Was there an overall pressure on set around creating a new version of such an iconic play?
“I didn’t feel any of the pressure. My challenges are always with myself. I didn’t get bogged down by other people’s interpretations. This was new to me so I took it on as role and didn’t think there was anything to honour other than the role I was playing in this film. That’s how I approached it, rather than having this sort of big weight on me!”
Macbeth is now available on DVD.