Marc Abraham’s career has known box office success as well as critical lionising, with films such as Children of Men and Spy Game standing out for attention on a resume which covers over twenty years in the business. Having made the transition from producer to director with 2008’s Flash of Genius, his latest film I Saw The Light is a study of country legend Hank Williams. He spoke with CineVue’s Tom Duggins, making his infectious passion for William’s writing apparent from the get-go in an interview that focused on the folklore of country and the difficulty of representing pop stars on screen.
Tom Duggins: How do you feel about the stereotypes surrounding country music as a genre?
I think Hank does feel people are looking to him for solace. And who isn’t? Where he objects is when it gets personal. I think it’s very current – because that sort of questioning is very common today. It’s a fine line even for a journalist, because you’re dealing with people who are putting their personal lives out there. They’re living off their work, but they’re also living off People Magazine too, and then if someone starts to delve into it, they don’t like it. I get both sides of that, but I don’t think that, if you’re a serious journalist, asking people about their relationships is really valid. Because, just think, you’re a guy, you’ve got a relationship with another woman, you say the wrong thing, it gets interpreted in the wrong way. You can break up a marriage. There’s a lot at stake. But in Hank’s case, in the interview, it’s when he’s asked about his drinking that Hank gets mad.