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The Rise - Luke Treadaway, Gerard Kearns, Iwan Rheon and Rowan Athale interview

The Rise

Interview by Rob Carnevale

LUKE Treadaway, Gerard Kearns and Iwan Rheon talk about their new heist flick The Rise (which is out to own on Blu-ray and DVD on Monday, September 30) and why it differs from other films in the genre.

Director Rowan Athale also discusses bringing the film to the big screen and some of the biggest lessons he learned along the way.

Q. What appealed about their characters in particular and how do you think The Rise differs from other heist movies?
Iwan Rheon: What drew me? The opportunity to work with Gerard Kearns really is what drew me to the project. And I think it’s different to other heist movies because it’s got Gerard Kearns in it.

Gerard Kearns: [laughing] I think it differs from other heist movies because its realistic in the sense that they are not chasing millions of pounds, they’re chasing grands and I think it shows it in a gritty realistic environment where a lot of people from that environment could identify with the characters. What attracted me to the character was the journey that he went on, from not wanting to be involved in the heist to then wanting to be a part of it and make sure it worked and the success and becoming a hero, from a victim to a hero rather than just playing the guy that just gets killed off for the sake of the story. Rowan kind of developed it more and that pushed it that extra mile and that was very important to me.

Luke Treadaway: I think just the chance to play a part that, you know, isn’t necessarily likeable all the time but, you know, he’s real and has got chinks in his armour. I really liked the script and I thought Rowan had done something very clever and very hard, which is to write authentic dialogue. A lot of the stuff in the film, when you watch it, people might think a lot of it was improvised because I think he’s managed to write in a way that people naturally talk, which is very hard to do, and obviously it’s a great cast.

Iwan Rheon: Especially Gerard Kearns!

Luke Treadaway: Especially Gerard Kearns!

Q: How long did you have with each other to develop the close bond that exists between you all?
Luke Treadaway: We had a few days. When we got to Leeds we were living very close to each other.

Gerard Kearns: To be fair, we’re all of a similar age and it was really easy, it was no effort.

Luke Treadaway: Good casting.

Q: Can you reveal one interesting fact about a fellow cast member you learned while preparing/ filming?
Gerard Kearns: Yeah, Iwan is an excellent songwriter.

Luke Treadaway: That’s true, and you know what, so is Geri.

Iwan Rheon: Geri’s got wicked songs. Luke and Matt play as well and we all had little jams in our respective hotel rooms, it was great.

Gerard Kearns: It was like a jam night every night.

Luke Treadaway: I can reveal that Matt is the ambassador of Yorkshire. That’s a real fact.

Gerard Kearns: You know in Ace Ventura when it says “Home of Ray Finkle”? Instead of Ray Finkle there’s a picture of Matthew’s face with his thumbs up.

Q: Luke, how did you enjoy being part of something so well received as the Curious Incident in London’s West End and what did the Olivier win mean to you?
Luke Treadaway: It was absolutely amazing…

[Claps from the cast]

…I was so excited to start it, it was nearly two years ago, or maybe it was two years ago that I first did a workshop for it at The National and seeing the way in which they wanted to tell that story was just really exciting.. and to be a part of it was, you know, an amazing experience and one I’ll remember forever, it was really special.

Q: And Iwan, what was it like being part of a show as amazing as Game of Thrones?
Iwan Rheon:* It’s wonderful. The only thing that could possibly be better than working on such an amazing show as Game of Thrones is working on a film like The Rise with Gerard Kearns particularly, and he really opened up my eyes to acting in a pure and guttural and organic and raw form. He likes to rehearse naked which was interesting but it kind of made the film.

Q: Gerard, what can we expect from The Smoke?
Gerard Kearns: Fire, excitement… I saw the first two episodes the other day and I was really pleased with it. I think Lucy [Kirkwood] has done an incredible job on it as a writer and I think kudos for pulling together a great show. I think people are going to be excited about it when it’s released.

Q: Rowan, how did you go about trying to put a different spin on the heist movie?
Rowan Athale: The difference was that it would be entirely driven by the characters and more about why they’re doing it than what they’re doing.

Q: How easy was it to assemble such a great cast from emerging talent to established actors such as Timothy Spall?
Rowan Athale: It was great actually, the guys that we cast were at the top of all of our lists… and when I say ‘our’ I mean mine and the producers, so it worked out perfectly.

Q: What was the biggest challenge and biggest lesson learned?
Rowan Athale: The biggest challenge is to get your first film made, without a shadow of a doubt in this current climate. It almost doesn’t really happen, I mean that was more of a challenge for the producers , aside from that it’s just working with no sleep.

The Rise is released on Blu-ray and DVD on Monday, September 30, 2013