Interview with Ken Loach and Mark Womack
Film director Ken Loach and actor Mark Womack were in Liverpool recently for the premiere of their movie "Route Irish," which tells the story of a man who comes home from Iraq but is unable to leave the war behind. We interviewed them at FACT Picturehouse that afternoon. It was my first interview and we were allotted 20 minutes. Here's what happened...
I told myself I wouldn't ask any stupid questions so I did lots of research, and what do I do? My first question came out completely wrong: I meant to say "What was it like making your first movie with Ken Loach?" (I know Mark Womack has made a movie before because I bought it on video in 1990! "Dancing Through The Dark" about a stag and hen do, based on a Willy Russell play.)
Also, although I asked all my questions, regretfully I didn't mention blinded ex-soldier Craig Lundberg in the interview; I guess because when I met Ken Loach and Mark Womack earlier in the day (at the book-signing) we covered a lot of ground then. However they were both full of praise for Craig and said he was the most positive person they had met; I hope to meet him myself one day.
We only had 20 minutes allotted time but I could have spent another hour chatting: with someone like Ken Loach whose illustrious film-making career stretches back to "Cathy Come Home"(1966) there are so many things to talk about and I may never get the chance again, but I kept the interview Liverpool-centric.
Ken Loach is keen for people to see "Route Irish" as not just a film about the Iraq War but a revenge thriller/murder mystery based in Liverpool, about a man who is mourning his former carefree life which has been irrevocably changed, and the war that is always within him. Through it he turns the spotlight on the privatisation of war, and intercut with real footage demonstrates that war is big business, and anyone who stands in the way of profit will be unceremoniously removed.
All in all I am happy with the interview and the conversational nature of it. It was my first proper interview and at the end Ken Loach said "I hope that thing works" referring to the dictaphone, because I didn't dare listen to the test! I had been shown how to use the dictaphone but when it came to the crunch wasn't sure how to play back particular tracks, and scared to try in case I wiped something:/ So I was relieved to discover that a) it had recorded and b) it was audible, as I forgot to sit directly between the two subjects in the confined space we were in. It was a great baptism of fire, an honour and privilege to interview two people whose work I have admired for many years and whom I never thought I would have the opportunity to meet, let alone interview.
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