Martin McDonagh's first feature film as writer-director, In Bruges, opens in the UK this month, having already attracted attention in the US. In The Times, he and one of the film's stars, Colin Farrell, talk to Ed Caesar.
EC: Brendan Gleeson, who plays Ken, says you’re a genius, because you won an Oscar for Six Shooter without having the first idea what you were doing as a director. How has your education progressed since then?
MM: With the short, I didn’t take control over many of the aspects of film-making that I should have done. I didn’t get involved with the director of photography, or the costume designers, or the production people ... All of those things I really needed to do. If your name is on it as the writer/director, you need to make sure it’s your statement. So I didn’t learn as much as I should have done. I was terrified going into the feature. What made a difference was the three-week rehearsal period. That felt more like what I was used to: analysing a script, people talking about character and getting at the truth of something.
EC: Did the script change much during that rehearsal period?
CF: Not a word.
EC: That’s unusual. Scripts normally change dramatically during a rehearsal period.
MM: That’s a description of a shit script, although it’s probably arrogant to say that.