Compiled by: Jack Foley
Q. How thoroughly did you research this subject as you were
A. Ive been researching global warming and climate change
for several months during the writing. My education has been continuing
throughout the making of the movie because people are so excited
to discover that anybody is making a movie of their subject that
they are constantly approaching us. Being the science nerd of
the gang Im happy to talk to all of them.
Q. Does the subject matter become more worrying for you, the
more you learn about it?
A. I think any time you look into a serious issue like this,
you can take it one of two ways: you can become paranoid and throw
up your hands and say you dont know what to do, or you can
take the approach that its a really interesting and important
topic. And once you know about it, you feel more empowered, because
you know a little bit about whats happening, what your choices
are, and what you can do about it.
Q. At least any discussion of the subject matter is a good
thing, regardless of the artistic licence you might be taking?
A. Thats exactly the approach that I have to it, and
that I think we have, as filmmakers. We cant be expected
to educate the public in a Hollywood movie, it would be foolish
to think you can teach people about a serious and complex scientific
issue in the course of two hours of entertainment.
However, I think anything that sparks peoples interest in
something this important is a positive thing. I think a lot of
groups see this as an opportunity for them. Of course, some see
it as an opportunity to get their political message out, but I
am more sympathetic to groups that feel its a chance to
get their information out, and let people learn about what scientists
know and dont know, and what actions people can take.
Really the idea is to let people make informed decisions and informed
choices in their lives. One of the biggest problems with the issue
of climate change is that people, as a whole, dont know
that much about it.
Q. Are you anticipating the film to be controversial at all,
either in the US or beyond?
A. I guess there will be some controversy about the film and
its message. But I hope that doesnt overshadow the
underlying message, which I dont think is particularly controversial.
Its that we have to take care of our environment, we need
to co-operate as countries and individuals, if were going
to survive adverse conditions.
This is a serious problem, obviously the movie is fun, and it
has a provocative scenario, but there are far less extreme scenarios
that could happen as a result of global warming that people should
be concerned about.
Are you likely to be crushed by a giant ice cube in London, or
Manhattan, any time soon? Probably not. But if youre a farmer
in Bangladesh, or if you are someone who lives in a low-lying
area ,where the effects of global warming are already beginning
to be felt, then this is not something to dismiss as simple Hollywood
Q. In working with Roland, are you conscious of the pressure
to top what he has done before?
A. It was a real privilege for me to be able to work with
him. Roland and Mark Gordon are both at the top of the Hollywood
food chain, these are guys that have made billions of dollars
at the box office, and this is my first movie as a screenwriter
to make it to the screen.
Thats like someone from the club league being asked to play
in a championship game; it was a terrific experience for me, to
be lifted up to a very big Hollywood film. Roland and Mark had
me involved throughout the entire picture. I was brought on set
the whole way, Ive been involved in the editing and now
Im here to help promote the film. I think thats a
testament to their willingness to try and work with a fresh voice,
to try and bring in something a little bit different."
Q. Were you a big movie fan going into this project?
A. When I came in to meet with Roland, I explained that I
didnt know much about disaster movies, in fact, Id
never even seen one. I had barely seen any of his films, the only
one I knew was Independence Day, though Ive seen more since.
I was not a film fan. I grew up in London but didnt got
to the cinema at all really. At Harvard, I studied literature
and art, and, if anything, I was a bit of a snob about film. I
didnt think of it as particularly high art. I got interested
later, after I got out of university it occurred to me that maybe
film was something Id be interested in doing.
So I came to the medium relatively late, and that probably appealed
to Roland, that he would be working with someone who maybe wouldnt
be as firmly locked into the formula of the disaster picture.
My influences were more outside of the cinema. As a result, thats
probably why I tend to gravitate more towards character and the
Q. What are your thoughts now that The Day After Tomorrow
is about to be unleashed on the public?
A. Im thrilled with it. Im obviously biased, but
I think its a pretty terrific ride for people. I look forward
to getting the chance to see them enjoy it.