Bill Nighy on Autumn de Wilde’s Emma. and his favorite unsung movies


– We gather here – Achoo! – In this time of man’s great innocence – In no sense? Innocence. No? – I want to start in to talk about Autumn, Autumn de Wilde, I think
it’s so fascinating you know, knowing that
she has this history with music videos,
there’s a lot to this film that feels very musical
in the way it moves and choreographed, almost. I wondered if it, as
an actor in the movie, did it feel different to you? – The reason I’m in the movie is because I met Autumn de Wilde. And she spoke about it in
a way that I’ve never heard anybody speak about anything before. She’s very unusual, and extremely smart. One of the first things she did was to screen Bringing Up Baby, the Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn movie for the whole of the cast to give them a tonal reference for the, what she called screwball comedy element that she wanted
to include in the movie. She has as you say, she’s
directed music videos with Florence and the Machine, Jack White, Elliott Smith, Ryan Adams, Shelby Lynne, all kinds of people. She’s sort of done
everything except a movie, she’s done a Prada commercial, she’s an eminent photographer, everything in the frame of this movie is meticulously attended
to, as a photographer might. So she has all of those skills, and the only thing she hadn’t
done was make a feature film and now she has, and so it’s great. – You haven’t always
been the biggest fan of, or as interested in doing
period pieces, necessarily. – Yeah. – Did this change things for
you, did this feel different? – Yeah, I mean it was, as I
think I’ve touched on it before, the reason that it seemed that I’d be okay and I’d be protected was
because of Autumn de Wilde. I thought she would look after me and she would sort of
address the fears that I had. Which is basically that,
because of the archaic language which I’m not familiar with I would be persuaded into
a kind of performance that was not authentic or something, and she looked after me in that respect. Yeah, maybe, you know, I’m up
for anything you know really, I haven’t consciously avoided them, or maybe I have, I dunno. It’s the trousers are very difficult. – The trousers! Alexandra Byrne’s costuming,
I think it’s fantastic and specifically one
of the outfits you wear in a few scenes, it’s this long coat with this pattern on it, – Yeah. – Did you get to work with her pretty intimately on the costuming? – Yes I did, I mean she did everything, she’s just, she is as the cliche goes, she’s touched by genius, she’s the Oscar winning costume designer and she handed me, I mean they’re gifts, just from the performance point of view that and my overcoat, which was like an acre of cashmere, she said don’t tell anyone it’s cashmere, you know it’s kind of outrageous. And everybody looked
fabulous, and very very, I mean she’s really
something, it’s brilliant. (dramatic music) (feeble laugh) – There’s a lot of
humor that comes through with Mr Woodhouse and
the chill in the room, is that something you relate to? He seems to be afraid at
all times of getting sick. – Well you know in 1815, they were frightened of getting sick because you know, more often
than not it will kill you you got a common cold it would kill you. People died of influenza, you know. So he could be forgiven to some degree but he is what they call, I’d never heard of this word before, but he is apparently a valetudinarian, which is someone who is
obsessively concerned with other people’s health. So it’s extreme. But he’s also, he’s been a single parent for a long time, so it’s
a sole responsibility. But also, he’s just a
good old fashioned father who adores his daughter. – Did you and Anya have to build a sort of familial connection? – It sort of just happened. And we didn’t have to do
anything before we went to work. She was fantastic to work
with, and super prepared and completely… And she was inspiring. She’s very very intelligent,
she’s very very bright and as soon as you
started working with her you realize you were working
with somebody who paid a great deal of attention and had done an enormous amount of work before she got there. (dramatic music) – A lot of people know you as
Billy Mack from Love Actually but I wonder if there’s
role of yours that you feel has gone under-appreciated. – There’s one thing that I was in which I, not because I was, you
know, fabulous in it, but I always thought it
should have more exposure. It’s a thing called The Young Visiters and it’s spelt wrong ’cause she spelt everything wrong. Which was a book written
by a nine year old girl it was directed by David Yates who then went on to direct
all the Harry Potters Hugh Laurie is in it, and I’m in it, and Jim Broadbent was a producer on it and I always thought it
should go out every Christmas so there you are. – Yeah I always scream
at people and tell them to watch Pride, I love Pride so much and you’re fantastic in that as well. – Yeah thank you, thank you. – ‘Specially with, you’ve
got Andrew Scott and that, and George MacKay, and
they’ve really kind of been in the limelight this last year. – Yeah, yeah, no it’s wonderful. I’m very proud to have been in Pride. I was desperate to be in Pride ’cause you know it was such a big story if you live in Great Britain it was one of the big stories, you know. And nobody knew that story it concerns itself with a couple of things that are close to my heart, one was the miner’s strike, which was so badly represented at the time you never got any sense out of any of the newspapers or anything and to have an honest story about those decent men and women finally, was something to be involved in. If your grandchildren were to ask you what you were obscurely proud of, you know, the developments
in your lifetime, it would be to some degree emancipation of gay men
and women in my lifetime and obviously the civil
rights movement in America. You know those would be a couple of things you didn’t get in the way of. You know, nothing to do with me, except I didn’t hinder them. Also that was that element
of that film as well and the way the two stories
dovetailed was just marvelous. (dramatic music) – Emma – Emma – Emma – And her father
– Probably there are – Is a gentleman
– separate provisions – And it’s simply
– certainly in respect – Her fortune!
– To her relations! (dramatic music)

2 thoughts on “Bill Nighy on Autumn de Wilde’s Emma. and his favorite unsung movies

  1. She was going for a Howard Hawks slapstick style of comedy. Like John Hughes, no one can imitate Howard Hawks.

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