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Tyrannosaur Review and Paddy Considine Q&A

The star of Dead Man's Shoes discusses his directorial debut

Written by . Published on October 5th 2011.

Tyrannosaur Review and Paddy Considine Q&A

THERE were some disgruntled dog-lovers at the Cornerhouse preview of Paddy Considine’s new film, Tyrannosaur, last night.

In a Q+A session with the Red Riding and Bourne Ultimatum star, a couple of audience members suggested the animal cruelty in his directorial debut was a tad gratuitous.

"It’s a thought-provoking story which concentrates on the survival of human beings in extreme situations." 

Paddy was quick to win them over though: “I love dogs. My dad had a staff and he loved it more than me. He used to wrap it in blankets.

"I didn’t set out to make a film about cruelty and I didn’t do it for shock value. Dogs are incredibly loyal it’s just that dogs can be pushed into something they don’t want to be, like the dogs in the film. And the same’s also true of people.”

Looking like an over-styled rocakabilly in dark jeans with turn ups, heavy boots and slicked black hair, there was a slight concern that Paddy might be a bit of a luvvie.

But far from it. He came across as a friendly chap and chatted to the audience like they were old mates.

Considine spoke about directing, his influences, working as an actor and how the aggressive roles he’s played sometimes lead to uncomfortable moments when he’s out with his family.

“People always do that 'c**t' line from Dead Man’s Shoes when they see me. It can be a bit awkward when I’m in Pizza Express with my kids and someone shouts: 'what you looking at, you, you c**t,' and I’m like, erm, hi, yeah.”

He also told the audience that one of his favourite roles was playing the Joy Division/New Order manager, Rob Gretton, in the Manchester film 24 Hour Party People.

“That was a great role because we found a load of footage of him, so I could really get my teeth into it and mimic him. That was a fun project.”

As well as acting, Considine has a number of other strings to his bow -screenwriter, musician, photographer - but he’s keen to make it as a director.

“I think directing might be my true calling," he said. "I’ve spent a few years winging it as an actor but I feel most alive when directing. Throughout the process of making the film, I did feel that this is what I love doing and I want people to know that I have my own voice and my own ideas.”

And he’s got a list of pretty impressive friends to call on for support, including Gary Oldman, who he met on set in Spain. He counts him as one of his closest friends and mentors; it was Oldman who convinced Paddy to write and direct his Bafta-winning short film, Dog Altogether, which he expanded to make Tyrannosaur, his first feature-length film.

Like many of the films he’s starred in, Tyrannosaur is harrowing from start to finish, and that’s not including the dog cruelty. A feel-good film it’s not.

Set on a council estate in Leeds, it tells the story of an unlikely friendship between a destructive alcoholic and a Christian battered wife.

It’s a thought-provoking story which concentrates on the survival of human beings in extreme situations. At times it’s tough to watch and though not wholly original (there are scenes which are reminiscent of Shane Meadows’ This is England) the powerful performances of the two protagonists make it utterly engaging.

Olivia Colman, who plays the altrusitic Hannah (the wife), is better-known as her role in comedies like Peep Show and Hot Fuzz. This film is a departure for her but she was remarkable in the role and complemented Peter Mullan, who plays Joseph (the alcoholic), really well.

Both actors have faces capable of displaying the weight of the world, storing tons of pent-up sorrow behind their eyes. There actually wasn’t much dialogue in the film, and it wasn’t always needed.

The film won two awards at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and has been tipped to be one of the best British films of 2011. If you’re a fan of gritty films and good cinematography, give it a go. It’s not one for casual escapism though; it’ll stick with you for a while.

Tyrannosaur is on general release from Friday, October 7.

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Daniel SarathOctober 5th 2011.

Your opening statement is misleading. I was on the second row and there were no "disgruntled" patrons complaining about animal cruelty. One person joked that it's "not a film for dog lovers, is it?" while another called the scene "very moving" before asking about the connection between animal cruelty and violence. The statement treats these members of the audience, whose questions were very intelligent throughout the night, very unfairly.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 6th 2011.

Agreed. Even the young lady who was questioning whether there was perhaps a link between Bod's ownership of a Staffy in the film and his propensity for violence was not attacking Considine for the film's content.

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