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LIVE 24-SEVEN “ 12


YOU CAN DRAW ON YOUR OWN SENSE OF BEING A FATHER.


I’M A FATHER NOW AND IT’S UNIMAGINABLE THINKING OF KIDS SUFFERING AND JUST COMING THROUGH IT AND BEING BRAVE


way to understand that he is part of the problem and that’s why his wife has an affair and looks for support elsewhere and he works his way through it. And I liked the idea of this man working his way through a complete mess and that being reflected by World War II and the devastation caused in Europe and also his own personal war that he has inside himself and his family. And that’s what I loved about the most – it really moved me because it’s about two people that are trying to find a way to be true to themselves.


There’s a huge sense of loss that pervades the whole film. Would you say that the personal loss that the main characters suffer represents the loss on a much bigger scale? Yes. Everything has just gone. Lewis never even saw his son – there was just a hole in the earth after his son was killed by a bomb. You can’t even begin to imagine… There is that sense of total loss – half the population wiped out. And then the war stopped one day and you are still supposed to hate these people but Lewis has been there and seen the hate and rage and he’s killed and his task now is putting it back together.


Have you seen The Aftermath? Yes, I actually watched it yesterday and I loved it. I just sent an email to James (Kent, the director) because I thought his edit was one of the best I’ve seen in a long time. He kept it very simple and the simplicity of it makes the complexity of it that much more rounded. I think he did a fantastic job.


Would you say it’s a love story? It has some very pertinent things to say about what love is. And as a love story I found it even more moving and involving because of its honesty. It’s a love story in the way that we expect love to be about these things that move us and make us feel deeply but it’s not always about falling in love, it’s about standing in love. It’s a film I think therapists will enjoy because they can recommend it to their patients (laughs). It has a brutal honesty.


Tell us how this project started for you and what drew you in? I was in Cap Ferrat on holiday and I was sent the script. And you know, it’s a love story where a guy runs off with my wife. I’ve always loved that period of history and I think it’s a period that we don’t really know that much about – what happened at the end of World War II and the months after it ended. So I read it and I found the idea of playing Lewis really intriguing – in most stories he wouldn’t forgive but he finds a


Did you do any research to prepare for the role? I read many books to prepare for this and one of them was Anthony Beevor’s Berlin: The Downfall, 1945 and it’s harrowing. Germany was obliterated. And in our story you have this man, Lewis, who is based on a real guy, who was tasked to try and put that country back together. And I love that this is a story about those people who seem to have been forgotten. We talk about the conquerors, the heroes, but the people who did the work of actually trying to rebuild that country, feeding people, keeping them alive, and getting villages, towns and cities back together is overlooked.


Was it a hard character to play? What do you draw upon to play a man who is grieving in that way and has been through so much? You can draw on your own sense of being a father. I’m a father now and it’s unimaginable thinking of kids suffering and just coming through it and being brave. It’s what you shut down and what you let in. Lewis in his own quiet way is trying to make amends.


Does he try and rebuild his own marriage, too? Yes, but he’s struggling. I think he trying to have this relationship with his wife but he is quite scared of her sexuality, her femininity. And part of it is how he is struggling to express his loss. He has been apart from her for so long and he hasn’t had that touch, that intimacy.


Did you speak to anybody who remembered Hamburg at that time?


LIVE24-SEVEN.COM


CE L EBRI T Y INTERVI EW JASON CLARK E





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