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netribution > features > interview with david morrissey > page one

I met David Morrissey through the tireless industry of Nicola Hollinshead at the Highgate Film Festival. Most of you will know him from Hilary and Jackie, Our Mutual Friend and more recently from his part as the young Nazi officer, Weber who befriends, betrays and finally spares the life of Corelli in Captain Corelli's Mandolin. A graduate of The Everyman in Liverpool alongside the likes of Ian Hart and Cathy Tyson and then Rada, Morrissey become an experienced director in between increasingly powerful acting roles.
I caught him at a bad time. He was coming to the end of what seemed a hellish period in post on a two one-hour feature he's directed for the BBC, called Sweet Revenge. He's working hard, later in the week I saw him on a panel at the Highgate Film Festival talking about the state of the industry from two inner points of view.


| by tom fogg |
| photos by tom |
| in london |

Where did you study David?
I studied at Rada, and a while before that I was at the Everyman in Liverpool.

What was that?
The Everyman was a youth theatre, I was there with Ian Hart and Cathy Tyson. Quite a lot of actors came out of there really, It was run by a man called Roger Hill and it was a very exciting time. Then I left there and bummed around for a while and went travelling and then I went to Rada.

For people who don't know you - what have you been in?

Recently I was in Holding on, Captain Corelli, a film called Some Voices, Hilary and Jackie. I was in Our Mutual Friend and a Dickens adaptation called Pure Wickedness. That did very well - won a BAFTA.

Did you always want to act?
Yeah, it was always one of the things I always fancied doing.

You did three or four shorts in a row?
I did three shorts.

When did that all start?
It started in about '96. I wrote a short called The Barber Shop with James Bolam which I produced. Then I did a thing called A Secret Audience which is an adaptation of an 18th Century short story about Napoleon. It was all on 35mm.

I just remembered that we had to change the name of The Barber Shop as it clashed with something else, it's now called Something for the Weekend. But,

How did you learn the trade?
Just from always being on set as an actor. I directed the second shot so that was the start of it. I did Bring me your Love which was based on a Charles Witchowski short story, I completed that then went over to do a feature film for the last time.

Has being a known actor helped your career as a director?
It only helps you in the fact that you know more people, because you've got more people to put on your invite list who know you really. You can get in touch with people. It' s more to do with just who you know and who you met really.

How into your acting career did you realise you wanted to direct as well? What was it that did it?
I did it because I have always been a nosy actor so it was to do with … I'm not sure really. I guess where I started with this was that I enjoyed being on a film set and as an actor you're on a lot of film sets. I had things I wanted to do, writers I'd wanted to work with, being able to do a bit of that really.

Tell us about Bring me your Love.
I'd read a short story, I loved it and really thought it was a good adaptation and then just got it together and did it really - that was it.

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