Scenes of a Sexual Nature - Adrian Lester & Catherine Tate interview
Interview by Rob Carnevale
ADRIAN Lester and Catherine Tate talk about their involvement on Scenes of a Sexual Nature and their hopes for the movie…
Q. How did you both become involved with this film because it boasts such a great cast?
Adrian Lester: Doesn’t it? Great script and the ability to work for three or four days, which was what the script required, meant that you could afford to do it.
Q. Did you have much time to prepare for the roles in order to build any chemistry?
Adrian: Just on the day itself…
Catherine Tate: On the day, yeah. Actually, we kind of dislike each other really! [laughs] We were just a bit lucky that we managed to somehow pull it out of the bag. God forbid they’d have caught our real chemistry!
Q. There’s a wonderful ambiguity about the scene you share because the divorcees you play seem so well suited. Was that part of the attraction?
Catherine: Exactly, yes.
Adrian: It’s clever, clever writing. I think he [Aschlin Ditta]really did a good job on the script which means that as you read it, you’re looking at people that you feel you know, you’re reading about people that you feel you understand and you’re reading it and thinking: “Oh my God, don’t do that!” You’re also laughing at certain scenes that are hilarious.
Q. How about the young actress who plays your daughter? Was there any sign of nerves from her?
Adrian: No, no. She was just into it and confident. She was sitting on my lap at one point while I was doing this scene and I changed the way I said something – I said it a different way. So, she whispered to me that I did it wrong. I laughed and said: “Oh, of course!”
Q. Did you ever find her confidence daunting? Because some actors have admitted finding their younger stars’ confidence a little intimidating…
Adrian: Yeah, that is the case because they’re so relaxed in the little experience I’ve had with them. Somehow, it makes you want to get back into that world of pretend where you don’t worry about whether you look fat, or this or that. They don’t worry about it.
Q. This is obviously a great advert for the British film industry. Was there a sense, while making it, that you were – as a group of actors – doing your bit to support it?
Adrian: Well, when you find a product that’s good and a script that you know is going to be made, for me I just think that if I can be a part of it, I want to be a part of it. You want to do the junkets and you want to do everything you can to help it go.
We’re all playing on the same team, after all, and we’re being compared to so many major teams around the world – but we’re not doing quite as well. Now and then we score some brilliant roles and we’re all happy for them.
Q. How was working with a first-time director?
Adrian: He helped make the script what it is because it was his baby project and he’d been working on it for ages.
Q. And how was shooting on Hampstead Heath? Did you get any hassle from onlookers or inclement weather?
Catherine: I think we got away pretty lightly really. We had the weather on our side and passers-by were really compliant to being asked to wait while we filmed something. Dogs didn’t bark too much!
Q. Catherine, you’re very busy at the moment with several film roles coming up in this, Sixty Six [also released this week]and Starter For Ten. Are you enjoying where your career is taking you?
Catherine: It’s bizarre for me. I’d sort of never done a film before but then last year I did four! And I’ve just done one now – and they’re all coming out within months of each other which is good and bad. But I mostly have little roles in them.
Q. Are you building up a leading role then?
Catherine: I’ve actually just done one for a film called Mrs Ratciliffe’s Revolution. It’s a true story based in the ’60s in Yorkshire. It’s about a family who defects to East Germany and when they get there realise what they’ve done but can’t come back because they were required to burn their passports. So the mother, who I play, engineers an escape for them. It sounds a bit heavy but it’s a brilliantly written offbeat comedy.
Q. Did you enjoy the experience?
Catherine: I loved it.
Q. And finally, what’s next for you, Adrian?
Adrian: I just did a pilot in America, so I’m waiting to hear whether that’s going to be picked up. And I’m shooting a psychological thriller, Case 39, in Canada.