JG: The shoot took 17 days in Nottingham, how did that go?
Tom Cullen: It was the most pleasurable experience I can remember having in a working environment, because of the journey all three of us took together helped.
Chris New: I’ve had experiences when you suggest something to a director, who will say no thanks. And then 10 minutes later will come back and suggest what you just told him.
TC: And the script helped but it was an ongoing thing, because there was room to improvise such as I said a line about Russell kissing my chest and then my hand. I got the script and then saw that was in there’.
AH: So we were always adding to the script throughout, but the most important thing was to keep this film honest and not make it about aesthetics.
AH: I think people are liable to over-edit to death, on this occasion it was always my intention to let the film unfold in the moment, allow there to be a freedom for the audience as well to engage and invest their time more with a natural flow and create their own relationship as well.
JG: When you were reading the script, where you aware that is was a relationship movie and not just an addition to queer cinema.
TC: As I was reading the script it became less important what their sexuality was, and it read like two men talking and arguing and it was more a character study.
CN: I liked the fact that it was romantic and dramatic at the same time, and that you could relate to these two characters as men, not just gay men.
AH: The rating does not bother me, because that was always the plan to aim for that and with this subject matter it was expected. However what bothers me is the writing afterwards, where in the box it says “Hard sex, hard drug use” which I think is a false representation of the film itself. The drug use is in one scene and the sex scenes.
JG: Don’t you worry that people may think you are making a political statement?
CN: When you are gay, the politics of the age overshadows your life and becomes part of your life. It is a shame because I thought we were living in a post-censorship age when clearly we are not.
With that, our time was up. To clarify, there are two sex scenes in the film between the two central characters – neither is graphic, they are shot realistically and with affection and care for the characters. Weekend is not truly groundbreaking in its portrayal of gay men, but you will have to go a long way to find a film that is both intellectually mature and ultimately entertaining.
Weekend is released on Friday 4 November, 2011 from Peccadillo Pictures. You can read our full review here.
For more BFI London Film Festival 2011 coverage, simply follow this link.