Hollywood Unscripted Ep 37 - Harry Bradbeer (Enola Holmes): A Stuck at Home Special

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Jenny Curtis: From  CurtCo  Media ...

 

00:00:02
Speaker 1: There's  no  place like Hollywood.

 

00:00:02
Jenny Curtis: Welcome  to  another  special  episode  of  Hollywood  Unscripted:  Stuck  at  Home.  I'm  Jenny  Curtis  and  today,  I'm  virtually  sitting  down  with  an  amazing  director  and  an  even  friendlier  person,  Harry  Bradbeer.  Harry  is  a  BAFTA  and  Emmy- winning  director  and  producer.  He's  directed  incredible  shows  that  we're  going  to  touch  on  today,  such  as  Fleabag,  Killing  Eve,  and  Ramy,  as  well  as  the  delightful  new  film  Enola  Holmes,  coming  this  week  on  Netflix.  Harry,  thank  you  so  much  for  joining  us. 

 

00:00:41
Harry Bradbeer: It's  great  to  be  here.  It's  exciting.  I  love  your  podcast. I love  it. 

 

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Jenny Curtis: You're  in  London  right  now.  Is  that  correct? 

 

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Harry Bradbeer: I  am,  yeah.

 

00:00:47
Jenny Curtis: I'm  recording  in  Los  Angeles  where  it's  a  bit  apocalyptic,  because  we  have  wild  fires  all  over  California,  not  to  mention  a  pandemic.  So  it's  definitely  a  week.

 

00:00:55
Harry Bradbeer: It's  definitely  been  a  week  for  you.  I  feel  awful  for  you.  I  mean,  it's  terrifying.  It  sort  of  changes  your  whole  attitude  about  our  connections  with  each  other. I think  that's  the  way  this  whole  pandemic  has  affected  us.  We've  started  to  think  differently  about  distance  and  intimacy,  and these are  kind  of  my  stock  and  trade  in  my  work,  so  it  interests  me  a  lot. 

 

00:01:15
Jenny Curtis: I  want  to  jump  in  and  start  at  the  beginning.  So  your  parents  were  in  medicine.  Is  that  correct? 

 

00:01:20
Harry Bradbeer: Yeah.  My  dad  wanted  to  be  a  surgeon  and  he ended  up  working with  children.  He  was  one  of  the  people at  the  forefront  of  deafness  in  children.  He  loved  children,  he  was  a  lovely  man.  It  was  said  that  no  children  ever  cried  in  his  surgeries.  He just had  a  very  gentle  nature.  And  he  met  my  mother  when  he  was  a  medical  student,  and  my  mother  was  in  medicine  at  that  point.  She  dropped  out  of  it after a while.  

 

00:01:41
Jenny Curtis: So  coming  from  that  background,  how  did  you  find  the  arts  and  realize  that you wanted to be  a  filmmaker? 

 

00:01:46
Harry Bradbeer: I  think  for  me, I grew up  in  Devon  and it's a  very  distant  place.  And,  really,  your  connection  with  the  exciting  world  is  through  TV,  and  the  occasional  visits  to  the  Odeon  in  Exeter.  So  I  loved  the  cinema.  In those days,  the  films  used  to  run  back  to  back.  So  you  would  go  in,  and  if  you  were  late  for  the  film,  you'd  watch  the  end and then you'd  watch  the  beginning,  which  I  think  scrambled  my  brain  in  a  way,  but  it  used  to  help  me  to  understand  how  film  narrative  worked. 

 

 I  watched  a  lot  of  television,  but  really  what  I  wanted  to be  was  an  actor.  I  was  kind  of  obsessed  with  it  as  a  child.  And  one  odd  kind  of  incident  really  got  me  going  into  the  idea  of  going  into  television,  which  was  at  Christmas,  we used to go  and  visit  my  grandparents,  and  they  never  got  on.  They  fought  a  lot  and  it  was  a  terrible  atmosphere.  But  there  was  one  moment,  after  we  had  the meal, we'd  sit  down  and  we'd  watch  the  Morcambe &  Wise  show  on  the  TV.  And  the  family  that  had  been  arguing  and  fighting,  all  suddenly  start  to  laugh,  it was  a  comedy  show,  and  everyone  was  together. And there  was  such  a  warm  feeling  of  connection  and  how  these  entertainers  changed  the  whole  tenor  and  atmosphere  in  the  family.  We  found  something,  we  linked,  you  sort  of  joined  together  on.  And  on  the  way  back,  I  think I  was  about  8,  I  said, " When  I  grow  I  want  to  be  in  entertainment."

 

 I  went  to  school,  did  tons  of  plays  there.  Went  to  university,  tons  of  plays  there.  And  then  someone offered  me  the  chance  to  direct  a  play  in this little  tiny  theater  in  the  round.  Do  you  know  three  quarters  in  the  round,  where  the  audience  are  all  about  it?  And  there  was  something  about  the  perspective  I  had  on  the  performances,  and  the  control  and  encouragement  of  actors  into  certain  kinds  of  performances,  that  presented  shapes  and  frames  for  the  audience  that  were  so  close  to  them, that  it  took  me  to  think  maybe  I  should  be  making  films. 

 

 I  wanted  to  get  close.  I  didn't  like  the  proscenium  experience of the theater,  I  didn't  like being  miles  away.  I  couldn't  stand  going  out  for  an  evening  and  just  spending  an  hour  and  a  half  with  people  shouting  at  me.  I  wanted  to  be  there  with  the  experience. 

 

 So  there  was  a  film  society  at  my  college,  and  I  went  down  there  and I asked if  I  can  make  a  movie.  He  said, " Well,  we  can  give  you, "  I  think  it  was  70  quid  for  10  minutes  of  reversal  film.  Reversal  film  is  like  a  negative,  you  just  get  one  shot  at  it.  You  expose  it,  and  then  you  develop  it,  and  then  you  cut  with  it.  It  gets  cut  into  pieces,  cut  to  shit,  and  it's  scratchy  and  awful,  but  you  do  get  your  film.  And  I  made  that.  And  it  was  actually  a  short  film  about  a  schizophrenic  man  who  became  a  rather  famous  murderer  in  London  in  the  1940s and  50s,  called  John  Reginald  Halliday  Christie. 

 

 And  the  way  I  found  a  way  to  tell  the  story  was to  have  one  actor  play  all  the  parts  and  make  the  actor to then  address  the  camera.  So  that  idea  of  breaking  the  fourth  wall  was  right at  the  beginning  of  all  of  my  interests.  So  I  made  that  little  film  and thought, "Well,  I  want  to  be  a  filmmaker  now.  So  what  do  I  do?" And  I  heard  about  this  exchange  scholarship  to the  University  of  Michigan  and  no  one  else  knew  where  the  Foreign  Studies  office  was,  so  I  got  it.  And  I  picked  shop  at  the  University  of  Michigan  for  a  year  and  made  some  short  films  and  some  TV,  and it  was  my  first  impact  of  American  culture  of  making  art,  which  was  so  practical  and  gloriously  immediate. 

 

 I  had  friends  who  were  in  film  schools  or  doing  Media  Studies,  they  spent  the  first  term  studying  Hitchcock,  which  is a  wonderful  thing  to  do,  but  studying  theory  and  gender  specifics  in  60s  French  New  Wave.  And  they  just  said, " All  right,  we're  making  a  commercial  this  week."  I  said, " I've  only  just  arrived!"  And  it  was  so  inspiring.  God  bless  them,  they  taught  me  a  lot  about  how  to  make  a  film,  how  to put  it  together.
 I  think  so  much  of  filmmaking  is  organizing  of  your  mind,  in  conjunction  with  a  clear  idea  of  what  you  want.  And  I  learned  early  on  that  you  don't  need  to  do  something  complicated  but  you need  to  do  something  complex,  which  starts  with  a  simple  idea.  And  the  things  we  made  weren't  tremendously  good,  but  I  learned  a  lot  from  it  and  I  had  a  wonderful  time. 

 

 So  then  I  came  back  and  looked  for  a  job,  and  I  started  making  tea  in  production companies  and  post- production  houses.  I  mean,  I  was  just  asking  them  if  I  could  do  anything.  And  I  was  terrible  at  it.  I  mean,  I  was  bad  at  getting  out  of  bed.  I  didn't  want  to  be  a  producer,  I wanted  to  be  a  director,  but  it  was  the  only  way  to  start.  And  I  soon  ran  into  the  ground  and  got  fired.  I  was  not  the  best  production  assistant,  I  think. 
 I  wrote  to  this  one  connection,  and  this  was  John  Schlesinger,  the  director  who  directed  Midnight  Cowboy,  one  of  the  films  that  I'd  watched  when  I  was a  boy  and  transported  me. And the only  reason  why  I  wrote  to  him was, it was  a  film  that  changed  my  attitude  to  film  and  performance.  Because  if  you've  watched  that  movie,  you  start  off  with  a  guy  with  a  fairly  simple  idea.  He's  arrogant  and  confident,  he  wants  to go to  New  York  to  be  an  escort.  And  he  doesn't  get  any  of  these  things,  his  life  collapses.  And  he  ends  up  on  a  bus  with  a  dead  man  in  his  arms,  and  it's  the  best  thing  that  could  have  happened  to  him. 

 

 I  was  watching  this  film,  everyone  else  had  gone  to  bed,  and  I  realized  that  films  were  about  not  what  you  wanted,  but  what  you  needed.  A  man  seeking  acknowledgement,  validation,  all these  very  Fleabag- y  things,  acceptance.  He  wanted  to  make  money  but,  in  the end, he  found  love.  I  have  held  that  idea  in  my  heart  ever  since,  and  in  my  work.  So  that's  why  I  wrote  to  John. 

 

 My  connection  with  him  was  that  his  grandmother  came  over  from  Germany  with  my  grandmother,  my  Jewish  side,  my  mother's  side.  My  mother  hadn't  seen  him  since  they  were  little  children,  playing  together  in  the garden. And  so  she  wrote  him  a  letter,  I  wrote  him a letter, and  he  replied  and  he  said, "Come  and  see  me."  So  on  a  snowy  day  in  January,  I  went  up  to  see  John,  in  this  great  house  in  Kensington,  a  big  house.  And  he  was  an  extraordinarily  little  man,  and  lovely,  and  warm,  and  asked  me  what  I  was  doing  and  what  I  wanted  to do. I said I was  a  director, " And  I'm  a  production  assistant  and  I'm  making  tea  and  I'm  not  doing  a  very  good  job  of  it."  And  he  had  this  quite  imperial  voice  and  he  said, " Well,  my  dear  boy,  you  must  use  your  brain.  If  you  want  to  write,  you  must  write  a  script."

 

And I said, "Yeah, but I need to live."  And he  said, " Well,  I'll  give  you  some  pennies  if  you  read  these  scripts."  So  he  wrote  me  a  couple  of  scripts  to read  and  I  became  his  script  reader  and  his  researcher.  So  I worked  for  him,  reading  scripts,  and  I  even  researched  an  opera  for  him.  He  also  introduced  me  to  David  Puttnam  and  Norma  Heyman,  and  a  number  of  other  folks  who  gave  me  similar  work.  So  that  kept  me  going  for  a  few  years,  while  I  wrote  a  script,  which  was  based  on  a  short  story  I  had  written  on  a  visit  to  a  friend  in  the  country.  And  that  turned  into a little  short  film  called  A  Night  with  a  Woman,  a  Day  with  Charlie,  that  was,  like  all  of  the  things  that interest  me, it  was  a  love  story,  but  about  two  men  who  had  this  unspoken  love  between  each  other.
 And  it  was  about  a  guy  Harold,  that  was  sort  of  me,  I  suppose,  who  was  abandoned  in  London  and  went  to  see  his  old  friend,  who  was  played  by  Rufus  Sewell,  in  the  middle  of  Wales.  And  it  had  a  kind  of  Hitchcockian  feel  to  it, it  was  very  emotional.  It  was  about  two  lonely  people  finding  each  other,  which  again  is  something  that  seems  to  come  through  my  work  all  the  time.  And  they  end  up  dancing  together.
 It's  a  funny  little  film  and  Channel  4  saw  it,  back  in  the  UK,  and  they  loved  it  and  they  bought  it.  And  that  paid the bills for  the  film, and  so  I  just  made  my  money  back,  and  they  put  it  out.  And  that  way,  I  got  an  agent  and then  I  started  working  in  TV. 

 

00:09:35
Jenny Curtis: Before  we  move  forward,  I  want to go back to  the  letter  you  wrote  to  John  Schlesinger.  Do  you  remember  what  you  said,  other  than  the  connection  between  your  mothers?

 

00:09:41
Harry Bradbeer: I think  I  spoke  to  him  about  how  much  his  movies  had  meant  to  me.  And  I  didn't  really  know  how  to  approach  it,  it  was  so  difficult  because  I  didn't  know  who  he  was. I did  what you  were  supposed  to  do,  which  was  to  say, " How  do you do?  Could  you  possibly  spare  me an hour of  your  time?  I've  always  heard  about you since I  was  little  boy,  and  I  love  Midnight  Cowboy  and  it's  made  a  lasting  impression  on  me  for  many,  many  years."  The  fun  thing  about  John,  I  remember  someone  was  asking  me  about  him, they said, " Do  you  have  an  anecdote  about  John?"  It  was  a  journalist,  yesterday.  I said, " I'm afraid they're  all  filthy,  all  rude,"  because  he  was  very  funny and  very  naughty.  But  he  did have  this  wonderful  way  of  introducing  me  to  people. 
 When  he  wasn't  in  LA,  he  would  come into  London  and  we'd go to  the  theater.  And  then  afterwards,  we  would often go to the IV,  which  was, in those days,  the  exclusive  restaurant  that  you  could  only  get  into  if  you  were  known  to  them.  And  there  was  a  table  by  the  door,  where  Noël  Coward  used  to  sit,  which  John  and  other  notables  would  take.  And  they  took  it  because  then  people,  as  they  came  in  and  out,  would  say  hello.  So  you were  kind  of  on  a  production  line,  the  grandest  production  line  of  your  life.  Like  the  Queen,  with  people  marching  past  and  saying  hello. 

 

 And  I'll  be  sitting  there,  tucking  into  whatever  I  could  eat,  because  I  was  so  hungry,  because  I  had so little  money,  and  John  would  introduce  me  there.  He  would  say, " You  know  Harry  Bradbeer,"  as  though  you  can't  possibly  be  so  ignorant  to  be  unaware  of  this  rising  star.  And  so  they  would  always  say, " Oh  yes, of course. Yes,  absolutely."  He  managed  to  convince  everybody  that  I  was  terribly  important.  It  was  very  sweet.
 So  yeah,  that's  John.  And  we  worked  together  for  about  four  years  and  then,  eventually,  I  took  wings.  So  he  sort  of  helped  me  in  the  nest  and  he  fed  me  like  a  little  baby  bird. 

 

00:11:24
Jenny Curtis: I  want  to  fast  forward,  just  because  there's  so  much  I  want  to  talk  to  you  about.

 

00:11:28
Harry Bradbeer: Yeah. 

 

00:11:29
Jenny Curtis: How  did  you  get  involved  with  Fleabag?  And  how  did  you  meet  Phoebe  Waller- Bridge?

 

00:11:33
Harry Bradbeer: There  was  a  pilot  and  I'd  been  shown  it.  And  Phoebe  and  the  producer  were  looking  for  a  director  to  take  it  on  and develop it into  the  series.  I  saw  the  pilot  and  I  saw  her  face,  and  there  was  a  kind  of  recognition.  There  was  something  in  her  that  I  adored,  as  well as  a  mischief.  There  was  a  fierce  intelligence  and  a  fury  in  her  performance.  There  was  an  energy  that  I  hadn't  seen  in  a  while.  So  I  said, " Well,  I'll  meet  you." 
 And  I  didn't  know  this,  but  I  was  one  of  about  35  directors,  I  think,  they  saw  because  they  couldn't  quite  get  someone  that  quite  met  with  Phoebe's  mind.  Anyway,  I  walked  in  and  she  said, "Well,  what  did  you  think  of Fleabag?"  And  I  said, " Well,  I  am  Fleabag,"  By  which  I  meant  that  this  character  is  so  relatable  to  me  because  she  says  what's  in  her  mind.  I  just  have  logorrhea,  I'm  kind  of  a  victim  of  an  inability  to  be  a  very  good  liar.  I  tend  to  tell  you  the  truth.  And  it's  also that the truth  is  much  easier  to  remember  as  well,  I  find. 
 So  there is  that  honest  truthfulness  to  her  which  I  related  to.  And  I  asked  her  about  what  she  planned  for  it.  I  said, " What happens at  the  end?"  And  she  said, " Well,  the  truth  is that  her  friend  Boo,  it turns out that  she  slept  with  this  guy,  that  caused  her  suicide.  So  in  effect,  she  killed  her."  And  I  said, " My  god,  that's  Greek.  That's  rich,  that's  dark."  I  said, " There's a wonderful, dark  sadness  to  this  comedy."   And  what  I didn't  say  before was that  I'd  never  ever  met  for  a  comedy  before,  I'd  just  done  drama,  that  my  agent  had  said, " Why do you want to  do a comedy?"

 

And I said, "Well, I don't  really  see  this  as  a  comedy.  I  see  it  as  something  else. Because  it's  funny,  all of  that  works,  it's  stumbling  on  the  apt  with  its  tail  wagging.  I  love  it.  But  we  must  go  like  an  (exudate) ."  I  said, " I  will  go like  an exudate for  every  ounce  of  vulnerability  and  pain  in  your  character,  because  this  story  could  be  of  epic  proportions."  There  is  something  rich,  universal,  and  very  deeply  meaningful,  I  felt,  just  from  the  little  that  I  had  seen.  But  there  was no  series  written.

 

 So  what  I  ended  up  being  was a  kind  of  partner  in  the  telling  of  that  story, and  the  structuring  of  the  series.  And  it  really  worked  with  a  lot  of  me  asking  her  questions  about  her  experience.  And  she  had  such  a  clear  understanding  of  that character. And I had a very clear understanding  of  how  the  story  could  be  shaped.  And  so  we  worked  beautifully  together.  It  was  an  amazing  meeting  of  minds. 

 

00:14:15
Jenny Curtis: A  Moment  of  Your  Time,  a  new  podcast  from  CurtCo  Media. 

 

00:14:19
Speaker 4: Currently  21  years  old,  and  today I'm going to read a poem.

 

00:14:21
Speaker 5: I felt  like  magic  extended  from  her  fingertips  down to the base of  my  spine.

 

00:14:26
Speaker 6: You  have  to  care  of  yourself  because  the  world  needs  you  and  your  voice.

 

00:14:28
Speaker 7: Trust me,  every  do- gooder  that  asked  about  me  was  ready  to  spit  on  my  dreams.

 

00:14:31
Speaker 8: Her  fingers  were  facing  me.

 

00:14:33
Speaker 9: It  can  feel  like  your  purpose  and  your  worth  is  really  being  questioned.

 

00:14:36
Speaker 10: Ain't  going  to  stop  me  from  playing  the  piano. 

 

00:14:38
Speaker 11: She  buys  walkie- talkies,  wonders  to  whom  she  should  give  the  second  (crosstalk) .

 

00:14:41
Speaker 12: Pets  don't  love  humans.  We  never  did,  we  never  will.  We  just  find ones that are more  (crosstalk) .

 

00:14:45
Speaker 13: The  beauty  of  rock  climbing  is  that  you  can  only  focus  on  what's  right in front of  (crosstalk) .

 

00:14:49
Speaker 14: And life. And  so,  our  American  life  begins. 

 

00:14:53
Jenny Curtis: We  may  need  to  stay  apart  but  let's  create  together.  Available  on  all  podcast  platforms.  Submit  your  piece @ curtco. com/ amomentofyourtime.

 

00:15:01
Speaker 16: [ singing].

 

00:15:11
Jenny Curtis: I  love that  in  your  Emmy  acceptance  speech,  you  thanked  Phoebe  for  coming  into  your  life  like  a  glorious  grenade.

 

00:15:17
Harry Bradbeer: A  glorious  grenade,  she  was. 

 

00:15:19
Jenny Curtis: I  would  love  to  hear  more  about  your  collaboration  with  her. 

 

00:15:22
Harry Bradbeer: Well,  we  are  ruthless  with  each  other.  She  cares  completely  about  comedy,  I  care  completely  about  pain,  and  the  two  things  are  necessary  in  life.  It's  like  life  is  tragedy  and  humor  together.  When  we  first  got  together  for  that  first  cup  of  tea,  I  asked  her  lots  of  questions  about  what  the  experience  was  for  Fleabag.  I  think  the  reason  why  it  works is that  I  asked  her  a  lot  of  questions. 
 Directors  often  will  tell  people  what  to  do.  I'm  interested  in  what  an  actor  feels  about  a  character,  because  an  actor  is  their  first  storyteller.  And in  this  case,  the  storyteller  was  also  the  writer.  So  I  tended  to  sort  of  use  her  like  a  sponge,  I  sucked  all of her  story  out  of  her  and  then  I  interrogated  everything  for  truth.  She  calls  me  her  truth  hound.  I  will  listen  to  any  pitch,  but  I  will  interrogate  it  ruthlessly.  And  that's  why  I  say  we  have  a  really  helpful  fighting  relationship.  It's  like  a  sister- brother  relationship. 

 

 I call her  my  sister,  she  calls  me  her  sister.  That's  one  of  our  jokes.  We  are  sisters.  Because  she  thinks  that there's  a  woman  inside  me,  which  probably  there  is.  I  mean,  Jung  would  say  there  was.  She's just  like  another  bit  of  me.  My  mother  was  going  to  have  another ...  a  little  sister,  and  she  couldn't,  and  I've  always  wanted  one.  And,  somehow,  Phoebe  became  that  sister.  But  more  practically  about  how  it  works,  she  would  write  a  draft  and  I  will  encourage,  criticize,  build,  and  shape.  Sometimes  we  role- play.

 

 In  the  second  series,  we  had  Jenny  Robins  with  us,  we  met  on  Killing  Eve.  She's  an  amazing  story  producer.  So  it's  really  the  three  of  us  all  working  together.  I  stand  by  the  wall,  and  as  ideas  come  up  for  scenes,  I  put  them  on  Post- its  and  I  stick  them  up,  and  I  move  them  around  and  I  try  to  find  a  shape.  So,  in  the  making  of  the  second  series,  I  remember  how  the  midpoint  became  really  important  to  me.  The  point  when  the  priest  recognizes  that  she  is  talking  to  someone  else.  That  always  had  to  be ... It's  like  a  tent  pole  in  a  movie. And  this  was  a  movie  in  six  parts,  remember.  That  tent  pole  of  discovery  was  there  in  the  middle. 
 So,  first  thing  that  and  then  allowing  the  story  to  build  around  it.  Phoebe  had  many  extraordinary  ideas,  some  which  just  never  made  it  in  there.  We  tried  so  hard  to  bring  in  the  Tube  Rodent.  We  love  Jamie,  but  we  couldn't  find  a  way  to  put  him  in.  In many ways, it's like just being in a  writers room, except the director and the writer are working together, rather than a group of writers. 

 

00:17:53
Jenny Curtis: So  since  the  beginning,  you've  liked  breaking  the  fourth  wall,  as  you  said.

 

00:17:56
Harry Bradbeer: Yeah.

 

00:17:56
Jenny Curtis: And  this  tool  develops  from  season  one  to  season  two,  to  where  the  priest  acknowledges  us.  It  felt  like  us,  as  the  audience,  was  more  a part of the  story  than  being  told  the  story. 

 

00:18:07
Harry Bradbeer: Do  you  mean  the  priests  knows  that  she's  talking  to  us?  That  notion?

 

00:18:11
Jenny Curtis: Yeah.

 

00:18:12
Harry Bradbeer: That  was  Phoebe's  idea.  That  was  the  moment,  I  think  for  her,  when  she  thought  that  she  could  do  a second  series,  because  the  first  series  had  completed  in  a  kind  of  catharsis.  She  was  someone  who  wasn't  owning  up  to  the terrible things she'd done.  She  owns  up  to  it,  it  brings  about  a  catharsis  and  a  crisis  for  her,  but  it  ends  in  friendship  with  the  bank  manager.  So  that felt like a beginning, and a middle, and an end. 
 And  we  went  off  to  LA  for the  TCAs, and  I  remember  sitting  in  this  Brazilian  restaurant,  talking  about  the  possibility of  a  second  series  and  there  was  nothing  that  could  get  either  of  us  excited. And then,  we  went  off  into  Killing  Eve  together  and  in  the  process of that, I think it  was  all  ticking  along  in  her head  and,  eventually,  she  came  up  with this idea of a  priest.  I  think  she  felt there could be a  love  story  and  who  harder  to  pick  as  a  companion  than  a  priest? 

 

 And  the  moment  religion  entered  the  story,  that  higher  powers  entered  the  story,  special  powers,  and  there  was  something  about  a  priest  who  spends  his  life  talking  to  god,  recognizing  someone  who  also  talks  to  someone  secretly,  and  who  is,  in  some  ways,  metaphysical  (inaudible) .  So  when  that  came  to  her,  that  gave  her  the  hope.  And that was the thing that  she  pitched to  me  when  we  met  for  dinner,  way  before  we  started  prep  on  Fleabag.  She  just  pitched  me  this  idea  that  it  was going to happen right at the end of the  first  episode,  that  she  met  this  priest,  who  at  that  point  had  Tourette  Syndrome,  actually,  which  I  think  was one of the things that  I  shot  in the  head. 

 

 She  met  him  in  his  service  and  he  started  to  eff  and  blind,  and  then  she  gets  to  talking  to  him.  It  wasn't  quite  clear  how  she  was  going  to  get  around  to talk to  him,  but  she  knew  that  relationship was  going  to  come  together.  That  existed.  She  knew  that  it  began  with  a  bloody  nose  in  the  restaurant  and  she  knew  about  the  priest  recognizing  her,  and  chatting  away,  and  she  turns  to  us and  the  priest  says, " Where did  you  just  go?"  And  when  she  said  that,  a  tingle  came  down  my  spine.  Because  we  had  agonized  a lot as  to  whether  we  could  ever  do  a  second  series  and  that  seemed  to  be  a  starting  point.

 

 I  was  very  keen  that  we  follow  the  love  story  aspect  of  it.  I  think that  it  was  probably,  this  is  again,  me  being  very  heartful  and  her  being  very  funny,  coming  together,  because  I  pushed  her  towards  the  love  story  with  the  priest,  I  think.  I'm  very  soppy.  I'm a  very  sentimental  man.  And  when  I  said  to  her,  at  one  point, " I  think  this  is  a  love  story and I think  it's  about  her  falling  in  love  with  herself,"  she  could  have  said, " I  almost  vomited,  but  I  think  you  might  be  right." 

 

 In  fact, it  took  her  a  while  to  accept  that.  It's  about  a  sort  of yin  and  yang  between  her  and  I,  in  terms  of  structure  and  sensibility  and  support,  something  I  loved  as  a  director.  I'd  come  in  and  out  of  TV,  and  here  was  the  opportunity  to  really  build  and  shape  something  with  someone, and it  was  an  amazing  experience.  As  I  said  in  the  speech,  it  was  a  perfect  storm  of  love  and  trust. 

 

00:21:00
Jenny Curtis: So  for  those  of  us  who  are  huge  fans  of  the  show,  we're  obviously  really  sad  that  it's  not  coming  back  for  a  season  three,  but  I  understand  that  it  ended  perfectly.

 

00:21:08
Harry Bradbeer: Yeah.

 

00:21:09
Jenny Curtis: Is  it  hard  to  let  it  go,  though?

 

00:21:11
Harry Bradbeer: No.  No,  because  that  ending  is  so  perfect. It's really hard  to  not  finish  something properly.  That's  how.  To  walk  away  from  a  job  thinking, " I  could  have  done  that  better,"  that's  the  hardest  thing.  I  think  because  the  ending,  in  terms  of  her  letting  us  go ...  And  again,  that  changed  in  various  ways.  At  one  point,  we  were  going  to  pass  on  to  another  Fleabag.  We  had  to cast  someone  else  who  could  be  that  Fleabag.  In  other  words,  she  had  left  us  behind  and  we  had to go and find  someone  else  to  follow.  And  that  sort  of  dissolved  in  the  development  process,  in  the  Post- it  process,  that  whole  thing. 

 

 The  idea  of  her  saying  goodbye  to the  priest,  it  being  the  worst  possible  thing,  but  the  best  possible  thing  was  that  she  had  some  understanding  of  herself.  She  loved  herself.  That's  the  ending  of  Midnight  Cowboy, by the  way.  This  guy  loses  the  person  he  loves,  dies  in  his  arms,  on  a  bus  instead  of  a  bus  stop,  and  then  he  walks  off  into  the  distance  a  stronger  person.  That's  the  thing.  She's  strong  enough  to  stand  on her  own  two  feet.  And  that's  how  Enola  Holmes  ends,  by  the  way.  It's  all  the  same,  you  end  up  telling  the  same  stories  over  and  over  again. 

 

 There's  nothing  more  beautiful  than  helping  a  character  to  love  and  understand  themselves,  to  accept  themselves.  Those  are  the  best  stories.  They're  called  education  plots  in  the  McKee  storybook.  They  might  be  redemption  plots  or  rites  of  passage  stories.  I  love  those.  But  that  was  a  rite  of  passage  story  of  epic  proportions,  Greek  proportions  for her. And  she  ends  up  with  her  mother. 

 

 The  statue  was a  lovely  idea. I  love  that  statue.  Talk  about  collaboration,  that  statue  was  I  think,  initially,  at  the  end  of  series  one,  she  was  going  to  throw  it  in  the  Thames  and  managed  to  bring  it  back.  We  found  a  way  to  bring  it  back. This  is  where  we're  structuring,  we  were  as inventive  as  possible, " How  do  we  get  that  statue  back?" It turned out  to  be  through  Claire.  And  then,  at  the  end  of  it,  she  gives  the  statue  to  the ...  as  the  wedding  was  always  going  to  be  the  last  episode,  and  that  statue  then became  the  wedding  present.  And  then  we  were  wondering  how  we  deal  with  that.  Because  now  this  statue,  this  precious  statue,  is  now  back  in  the  hands  of the godmother,  which  felt  so  right.  Fair  enough. 

 

 But  then  Jenny  had  this  idea,  Jenny  Robins, " What  if  the  statue  was  actually  modeled  on  the  mother?"  We'd  never  thought  of  this.  This  was  like  a  week  before  we  shot  it,  which  is  on  the  last  week  of  filming, " Ah!"  So  then  that  became  the  scene  when  the  godmother  sticks  one  last  saber  right  inside  her  and  says,  as  she  takes  the  statue, " Of  course,  I  modeled it  on  your  mother."  I  now  hold  this  person  that  you  treasure  above  all  things,  and  I'm  going  to  take  it  away  as  I've  taken  your  father. 

 

 So  then,  the  ending.  Again,  that  was  a  relatively  late  idea, that  the  statue  comes  out of  the  bag.  So  she  walks  off  with her  mother  at  the  end.  And  it's  a  organic  way  in  which  these  things  come  together.  But  you  can't  make  a  better  ending  than  that. So,  it  may  reappear.  I  think  Phoebe  said,  at  one  point,  in  the  press,  so  I  can  repeat  it,  that she thinks  she  might  come  back  when  she's 50. 

 

00:24:07
Jenny Curtis: Yes.

 

00:24:07
Harry Bradbeer: Because  the  menopause  is so very  interesting  to  us. 

 

00:24:11
Jenny Curtis: Between  Fleabag  season  one and  season  two,  that's  when  you  and  Phoebe  went  and  shot  the first and  second  episode  of  Killing  Eve.  Is  that  correct? 

 

00:24:18
Harry Bradbeer: Yeah.  At  the  end  of  the  first  series ...  I  need  to  say  series.  We  say  series over here,  not  season.  Dogs  get  in  season.  I'm  going  to  make  you  say  series  from  now  on,  sorry.  No  season.

 

00:24:28
Jenny Curtis: I'll  say  series  from  now  on.

 

00:24:30
Harry Bradbeer: So  we  were  finishing  up and, again, it was around that time, the TCA's, and then I went off, I think, to ... Oh god, I can't remember  what  I  was  doing.  I think I  was  recovering,  probably.  And  we  were  chatting  around  Christmas  time,  and I had heard  that  she  was  doing  the  script  for  Killing  Eve  and that it  was  green- lit,  and it was an award ceremony. And  she  sat  and  said, "Would  you  like  to  come  to  see  us?"  And  I  said, " What?  Come  to  your  writers  room,"  and  I  guess  hang  out.  And  she was like, " No,  like  direct  it,"  and  I  said, " I  think  maybe  I  would."  She  said, " You  won't  like it, though." And  she  was  very  nervous  of  talking  about  it, because  she  said, " You  won't  like  it.  It's  a  thriller."

 

 And  it  was  like  when  my  agent  said, "You are not going to want to  do  this. It's  a  comedy."  And  when  I  said, " Well,  no.  I  really  do  like thrillers  and  I  am  obsessed  with  Hitchcock.  So  just  send  me  the  script."  And  it  was  very  different,  the  script,  from  what  you  actually  see  on  the  show  and  that  quite  a  few  things  changed.  But  that  first  scene  in  the  ice  cream  shop  is, word for word,  the  same.  And  I'd  got to  the  end  of  that  scene, and  I  knew  I  wanted  to do it. 

 

 And  I  knew  what  it  was,  I  knew  exactly  what  it  was.  It  was  about  a  woman  studying  the  world  while  we  studied  her,  and  seeing  the  world  through  a  very  particular  point  of  view,  and  that  was  be  focused  and  clear.  And  the  encroaching  camera,  the  probing  camera.  The  idea  that  we  could  make  what  people  talked  about,  but  very  rarely  did,  which  is  a  psychological  thriller.  Overused  word.  Not  often  that  greatly  executed.  But  this  was  about  a  psychopath. 

 

 And then you had  this  DNA  of  these  two  women, of  very  different  ages  and  experience  and  attitude.  And that, again, I thought, "Well, I can see the love story in this,"  which,  again,  I  tended  to  push  and  so,  we  embarked  on  it.  And so, I met  the  producers  and  I  told  them  what  I  thought,  and  we  made  the  usual  thing  you do  in  a  directors  meeting.  You have  to  come  very  clearly  with  your  ideas  and  maybe  a  few  images,  and  explain  why  you  think  this  would  work,  and  what  to  watch  out  for. 

 

 I  always  think  when  you  go  into  a  meeting,  as  a  director,  say  to  people  what  you  love  and  then  say to  people what  it  needs.  And  tell  people,  because  you  have  to  work  it  up  yourself,  what you got  to  watch  out  for. It's  like  three  things.  And  I tried  to  do  so  with  that,  and  we  went  ahead  and  we  started  casting.  And  there  was  a  moment,  a  terrible  moment  when  there  was  a  possibility  that  we  might  have  the  Sandra  Oh  part,  Eve  might  be  younger  for  her  age  because it  could  have  been  maybe  sexier.  But  I  was  appalled  by  that. 
 I  remember  that  was  the  one  moment where  I  lost  my  shit  and  I  said, " The  DNA  of  this  film  is  of  this  woman,  who  is  going  through  the  menopause,  who  forms  this  extraordinary  relationship  with  this  woman  who's  kind  of  at  the  other  stage  of  her  life."  It's  deeply  sexual,  deeply  confused,  and  it's  deeply  empathetic.  And  Sandra  was ...  I  wouldn't  necessarily  immediately  have  thought  of  her,  but  she  was  perfect.  That  was  Phoebe's  idea,  it  was  a  brilliant  idea.  I  can't  remember  who  told  thought  of  Jodie.  But  it  was  our  first  encounter  with  Fiona  Shaw,  who  I  now  try  to  work  with all the time,  as  does  Phoebe.

 

00:27:26
Jenny Curtis: She's  in  Enola  Holmes,  isn't  she?

 

00:27:27
Harry Bradbeer: She is, yeah.  She  plays  a  character,  which  I  actually  invented  for  her  to  be  in  it.

 

00:27:32
Jenny Curtis: So,  I'm  curious  to  talk  about  directing  a  pilot  versus  directing  later  on  in  a  series. 

 

00:27:37
Harry Bradbeer: Yes.

 

00:27:38
Jenny Curtis: You're  basically  setting  the  tone  for  what  subsequent  directors  will  follow,  is  that  correct?

 

00:27:42
Harry Bradbeer: That's  correct.  Yeah,  it's  a  big  responsibility.  I  did  one  in  America,  in  New  York,  Ramy. I just did the pilot. Just setting it up,  is  what  we  say.  That  doesn't  mean  that  people  can't  take  your ideas and make them better.  They  should,  they  should  take  what  you've  laid  down  and  be  smarter  with  it,  really,  ideally.  But  the  basic  casting,  the tone,  the  design,  all  those  choices ...  There  was  one  professor  who  said  to  me  once, " Every  single  thing  is  a  choice.  Every  color,  every  tiny  detail,"  which  I  think  is  why  I've  become  so  obsessed  with  detail. 
 All  of  the details of  that  initial  episodes,  they  establish the tone and feel. Particularly  the  tone,  of  course.  That  balance  of  comedy  and  tragedy,  comedy  and  drama.

 

00:28:24
Jenny Curtis: Jumping  into  Ramy,  which,  again,  great  show,  but  it's  definitely  a  world  far  outside  of  yours.  So  how  do  you  get  into  the  head  of  the  character  and  the  head  of  the  writer  when  you're  directing  a  show  that  is  so  different  from  what  you  know?

 

00:28:39
Harry Bradbeer: Well,  I  was  just  wrapping  up  on  cutting  Killing  Eve  when  the  Ramy  script  arrived,  and  the  reason  I  loved  it  so  much  was  it  was  a  very  different  world.  Brilliantly  written.  But,  when  I  got  on  the phone to him,  it's  this  thing,  I have  this  obsession  with  pulling  all  the  information  out  of  the actor. Just sitting  and  listening,  just  listening.  I  said, " If  you  want  me  to  do  this,  then  the  first  thing I'd like to do  is  to  come  out  and  hang  out  with  you for two weeks  and  go  to  the  mosque  with  you.  And  meet  your  family,"  because  these  characters  were  clearly  influenced  and  colored  by  his  family and  his  friends.  So,  that's  what  we  did. 
 I  think  that's  a  pretty  important  reason  why  we  worked  together,  because  I  clearly  needed  to  do  that  research.  So  I go and  (inaudible)  in  New  York,  we  arrived,  he picked  me  up  from  the  plane,  and  we  went  to  the  mosque  straightaway.  It  was  a  Friday  morning,  and  we  actually  went  to  two  prayer  meetings.  So,  that  was  quite  extraordinary.  And  then  I  met  his  family.  And  just  as  I  predicted,  it  was  a  very  informative  few  days.  You have  to  understand  the  world  you're  working in  and  there's  only  one  way  of  doing  it,  by  diving  in. 

 

00:29:49
Robert Ross: Hi,  I'm  Robert  Ross  host  of  Cars  That  Matter.  You  might  be  wondering  what  makes  a  car  matter  and  I  have  a  feeling  you  already  know  the  answer.  Some  cars  have  changed  history.  Some  you  can  hear  a  mile  away.  Some  have  lines  that  make  your  heart  skip  a  beat.  If  a  car  has  ever  made  you  look  twice,  then  I  think  you  know  the  ones  that  matter.  Join  me  as  I  speak  with  designers,  collectors,  and  market  experts  about  the  passions  that  drive  us and  the  passions  we  drive.  Cars  That  Matter,  wherever  you  get  your  podcasts.

 

00:30:24
Jenny Curtis: Enola  Holmes  is  coming  to  Netflix,  September  23rd,  this  week,  and  it  is  a  delightful  mystery  about  the  younger  sister  of  Sherlock  Holmes,  played  by  Millie  Bobby  Brown,  who  is  just  awesome.  But  this  is  a  film,  where  it  appears  most  of  your  work  is  in  series.  So,  what  was  the  reason  you  were  drawn  to  do  this  project?

 

00:30:44
Harry Bradbeer: I  go  for  the  script, I go for the character, and I was ready to dive into film. That's fair to say. But I  dived  into  this  because I loved the script  I  was  sent. I was looking at  TV  scripts  at  the  time, and this  script  came  along  and  it  was  remarkable.  Jack  Thorne  writes  with a kind of elan, a kind of chutzpah  that  had  so  much  energy  and  confidence  and  eccentricity.  And this little character, Enola,  she  grabbed  you  by  the  scruff  of  the  neck  and she  just  dragged  you  through  this  period. 

 

 It  was  about  Sherlock  Holmes,  but  it  was  about  the  Holmes  family.  It  was  a  prism  into  him,  from  the  sister.  And  it  was  clearly  her  film.  I love  the  scale  of  it.  I  mean,  you  asked  about  movies,  I've  enjoyed  the  scale  of  this  movie  so  much.  I've  loved  building  the  world,  of  which  there  are  many  in  this  movie.  It's  challenging  in  a  number  of  ways.  I  loved  the  challenges  of  the  train  sequence,  the  fight  sequences.
 The  fight  was  particularly  interesting  to  me,  because  I  get  very  impatient  with  fight  sequences  in  movies,  because  they  don't  have  enough  story  in  them. A bit  like  sex  scenes,  actually.  They  don't  have  enough  story  in  them.  It's  just  stuff  going  on.  People  moving  and  grinding  around.  And  fight  sequences  can  be  the  same,  it's  just  the  escalation  happens  in  terms  of  whether  we can  have  a  bigger  explosion  or  whether you  can  fall  out  of  a  higher  building.  The  jeopardy  is  very  much  kept  within  life,  death  until  you  reach  the  end  and  someone  who  gets  away  with  it.

 

 The  fight  sequence  here  gave  me  an  opportunity  to  tell  an  origin  story  in  the  middle of a  fight.  You've  got  her  facing  this  apparently  unstoppable  foe  in  the  form  of  Linthorn, the  man  in  the bowler hat.  And  he's  just  coming  to  her,  to  tear  her  throat  out,  and  she turns  the  camera  and  says, "Did I tell  you  about  how  a  day's  education  worked  with  my  mother?"  And  she  starts  to  get  ready  to  fight  him,  she  talks  about  physics,  and she talks  about  science,  she  talks  about  history,  and  then  we  had  fight  combat.  And  then  you  cut  to  the  mother  challenging and beating  the  hell  out  of  this  little  six  year  old  girl,  and  we  intercut  that  fight  with  the  childhood  fight.  So  you're  seeing  what  she  learned  as  she's  practicing  it  with  Linthorn. 

 

 And  that  struck  me  as  being  a  really  fun  way  of  telling a  story  and  keeping  the  stakes  high.  But,  also,  it  being  more  nutritious  in  terms  of  narrative  and  story  and  comedy,  because  you've  fed  them  plenty  of  opportunities  for  humor.  And  the  moment  it  gets  serious,  I'm  always  trying  to  make  it  funny.  And  the  moment everything  gets  funny,  I'm  always  trying  to  make  it  serious.

 

00:33:10
Jenny Curtis: You  brought  up  breaking  the  fourth  wall  again,  which,  of  course,  is  a  huge  part  of  Enola  Holmes.  Did  you  bring  that  to  the  project  or  was  that  written  into  the  script? 

 

00:33:19
Harry Bradbeer: No,  it  was  there  in  Jack  Thorne's  script.  It  was  his  idea,  again,  because  back  to  Fleabag,  he  had  been  given  the  books  to  adapt  by  Millie's  sister,  who  with  Millie  had  found  the  books  originally.  Jack  Thorne,  who  you  will  know  from  his  various  films  that  he's  been  writing,  but  also,  very  famously,  the  Harry  Potter  play  on  Broadway,  that  has  kind  of broken  all  these  records.  Jack  is  so  particular,  he  was  wondering  how  he was going  to  tell  this  story,  because  this  character  had  such  a  lonely  adventure.  And  he  was  watching  Fleabag  and  he  thought, " Well,  why doesn't  she  address  the  camera?"

 

 So  he  put  it  in.  And then, when  I  read  it,  my  first  thought  was, " Oh  my  god, if  I  do  this  movie,  Phoebe  is  going  to  kill  me.  She's  going  to  think that  I've  stolen  her  idea."  In  fact,  I  met  her  very  shortly  after  and  I  said  to her, " So  it's  about  Enola  Holmes,  Sherlock's  kid  sister."  She  said, " Yeah." 
"And it's going to  be  great  fun.  And  she  talks  to  the  camera."  She  said " Oh  what,  like  Shakespeare?"  And  I  kind  of  relaxed  and  I  thought, " Yeah,  I  mean,  this has been  going  on  for  years."  And  the  more  I  looked at  it,  the  more  I  realized  their  own  reasons  to  address  the  camera.  But  we're  actually  more  in  tune  with  Amélie.  Her  character  is  a  lot  more  sort  of  disarming  and  slightly  innocent  and  confused than  Fleabag,  and  I  felt  that  was  a  better  reference  for  us. 

 

 There  was  something  about  this  poor  girl  having  no  friends  but  us.  And  I love  the  idea  that  younger  audiences,  in  particular,  would  feel  like  they  were  being  invited  to  participate  in  this  adventure  and  be  complicit  in  it,  and  maybe  in  some of the  decisions.  So  I  felt  for  a  family  film, it  had  something  very  special.  And  I  also  love  the  fact  that  it's  a  brave  woman,  because  she  is  like  a  woman,  pretending  to  be  fine,  when  in  fact  she's  drowning.  So her  kind  of  bravura  works  against  the  awful  things  she's  going  through,  and  that's  a  contradiction  I  love.

 

00:35:05
Jenny Curtis: It is a family  film,  but  it's  so  enjoyable  because  it's  not  one  that  talks  down  to  your  audience  and  like  you  said,  she's  a  role  model  for  kids  to  look  up  to.  But  also,  she's  a  role  model  for  all  of  us  to  look  up  to. 

 

00:35:17
Harry Bradbeer: Yeah.

 

00:35:18
Jenny Curtis: I  love,  about  20  minutes  in,  and  you're  about  to  move  into  your  second  act,  and  she  looks  at  the  camera  and  says, " Our  future  is  up  to  us,"  and  then  off  she  goes  on  this  grand  adventure.

 

00:35:27
Harry Bradbeer: I  came  up  with  that  line,  I'm  proud  to  say.  Because  the  mother  didn't  have  much  of a message for  her  before,  apart  from  the  money.  And  I  thought, " There  has  to be something  that  sums  up  what  the  mother  wants  her  to  get  out  of  this  journey."  But  nothing  too  sappy.  I  like  the  idea  that  she  was  giving  her  a  challenge.  Everything  the  mother  does  is  about  making  her  stand  on  her  own  two  feet. 
 So,  it's  up  to  you. It's up  to  you  to  make  this  work.  And  I  think,  if  this  is  what  you're  driving  at,  all of  us,  particularly  those who are voting  this  year,  have  the  future  in  our  hands  in  the  form  of  the  vote.  And  that's  why  every  vote  counts  is  in  there,  somewhere, I think. 

 

00:36:01
Jenny Curtis: Yeah.  I  mean,  they're  really  powerful  messages  for  the  modern  day,  but  told  in  a  period  piece. 

 

00:36:06
Harry Bradbeer: Great.  Thank  you. 

 

00:36:07
Jenny Curtis: You  mentioned  your  first  short  was  a  period  piece.  Have  you  done  period  pieces  since  then? 

 

00:36:12
Harry Bradbeer: Yeah,  I've  done  quite  a  bit  of  TV  that  was period.  I  did  The  Hour,  which  was about the early days of the  BBC,  that  was  set in the  1950s.  The  near  past,  I  think  is  great.  I love  the  near  past  because  we  see  some  elements,  like  early  television  in  that  case,  we  get  to  understand  our  own  culture  through  an  origin  story,  origin  of  TV,  which  is  this  thing  that  fascinates  and  controls  us.  But  I've  also  done  stuff  in  the  19th  century.  I  did  Grantchester,  that  was  set  in the  50s.  I've  done  a  few  others. 

 

 I  read  History  at  university,  so  I  sort  of  know  a  bit  about the  19th  century.  And  the  detail  of  that  period  is  interesting,  it was  the  first  ever  consumer  culture.  So  there's  so  much  stuff  and  detail,  it  makes  design  a  joy.  But  it  also  makes  storytelling  a  joy  because,  of  all  the  things,  like  the  cryptic  instruments  that  she  has,  that  we  researched,  and that  car,  that  three- wheeled  car,  that  was  a  detail  of  the  period  that  spoke  of  progress.  And  in  a  world  where  the  country  is  mainly  a  place  of  refuge,  there's  quite  a  bit  in  that  film  in  which  progress  and  mechanics  are  a  threat. 

 

 So,  seeing  Miss  Harrison,  Fiona  Shaw,  coming  on  that  car  felt  like  the  future  was  coming.  And  that  future  is  not  the  future  that  Eudoria, Enola's  mother, wants.  It's  a  future  that's  sharp  and  controlling  and  demanding  and  defining  and  confining,  particularly  for  women. 

 

00:37:38
Jenny Curtis: I  want  to  talk a little bit  about  Millie  Bobby  Brown,  because  she  does  such  a  phenomenal  job  as  Enola.  What  was  it  like  working  with  her?  And  is  there  a  difference  working  with  a  younger  actor?

 

00:37:48
Harry Bradbeer: What  I  want  in an actor  is  someone  who  can  be  alive  and  real  in  the  moment, who  doesn't  get  caught  up  in  technique.  I've  always  loved  working  for  younger  actors  for  that  reason,  because  there  aren't  some of  the  habits  that  some  people  can  have.  Some  people  can  do  it  all.  You  watch  Helena  Bonham  Carter,  she  is  technically  astonishing  and  also,  on  the turn of  a  sixpence,  completely  in  the  moment  and  will  fire  out  her  feelings  through  her  eyes  and  expression  and  come  to  tears,  as  she  does  in the  film. 
 Millie  just  came  as  something  that  was  still  quite  raw,  but  with  a  good  deal  of  technical  understanding.  And  she's  like  a  force  of  nature.  She  is  spontaneous.  Strong  opinions,  which  I  like.  I  love  strong  opinions  from  all  my  actors.  I  want  to hear what  they  have  to  say  and  I  want  to  hear  what  their  ideas  are,  because  I  take  a  good  idea  from  anybody.

 

 Her  particular  skill,  I  think,  is  her  bravery  and  her  aliveness.  She's  tremendously  courageous.  Even  if  you're  throwing  her into  a  bucket  or,  in  particular,  the  way  she  shared  her  emotions  in  the  film. Again,  I  think  rather  like  I work  with  Phoebe,  I  did  encourage  her  to  leak  out  her  more  sensitive  fears  than  she  might  not ordinarily  have  done. 

 

 Partly  because  Jack's  script,  initially,  she  was  almost  like  Superwoman.  She  was  pretty  Teflon.  She  was  almost  indestructible  and  performing  quite  extraordinary  physical  feats.  I  reduced  that  to  somebody  who  nothing  she  did  could  not  plausibly  be  done  by  someone.  This  isn't  a  film  about  magic  and wands,  it  doesn't  have  that  kind  of  glory  like  Harry  Potter.  This  is  about  real  people  with  their  feet  on  the  ground. 
 So  it's  a  long- winded  way  of  saying  that  I  think  she  had  a lot of the things that  I  want  in  every  actor,  but  I  also  discovered  she  can  improvise.  There's  a  few  lines  in  there,  like  when  she  suddenly  would  turn  to  the  camera  and  say, " Do  you  have  any  ideas?"  She's  bringing  us  in,  like  she  does  in  the  boarding  house.  She's  remarkable.  And  of  course,  it  allowed  me  to  have  someone  on the  set  who's  also  16,  the  same  as  the  character,  because  it  had  to  come  through  that  prism,  that  understanding.  I  was  very  interested,  in  terms  of  how  we  were  going  to  explain  this  character  to all of our  younger  audience.  She  was  my  channel  into  that  and  I  often  checked  things  with her. 

 

00:40:04
Jenny Curtis: And  this  was  her  first  real  leading  role.  In  Stranger  Things,  she's  the  beloved  Eleven,  of  course,  but  she's  part  of  a  strong  ensemble.  And  it  appears  in  Godzilla,  she  was  similarly  a  strong  part  of  an  ensemble.  So,  this  was  her  first  time  really  stepping  forward  and  leading  a  cast.

 

00:40:20
Harry Bradbeer: Mm- hmm ( affirmative).

 

00:40:21
Jenny Curtis: What  was  the experience  like  for  her? 

 

00:40:23
Harry Bradbeer: I  think  there  were  times  when  she  was  quite  tired.  I  don't  think  that  she'd  expected  quite  that  level  of  work,  at  times,  though  her  days  were  restricted  by  the  fact  that  she  was  still  under  16. She was still  15. Only  just  15,  which  is  remarkable.  So  her  days  where  she only  had  seven  hours  on  camera  but,  of  course,  there's  everything  on  either  side  of  that.  And  she's  still  a  young  person  who's  not  used  to  that  kind  of  workload,  which  is  much  greater  than  Eleven. 

 

 I think  that  from  the  moment  we  did  the  read- through,  she  controlled  that  run  in  that  read- through.  She  was  on  it,  she  just  dived  in.  And  she  had  a  view  on  Louis,  and she was  very  clear,  the  moment  she met Louis, that  he  felt  right  to  her.  These  things  are  really  important  for  us,  because  we  need  to  know  how  that  chemistry  is  feeling.  So  I'm  glad  that  she  wasn't  a  retiring  violet. 

 

00:41:10
Jenny Curtis: I  want  to  jump  over  to  the  animated  paper  pop- ups.

 

00:41:14
Harry Bradbeer: I  love  those.

 

00:41:15
Jenny Curtis: They're  really  fun  and  bright,  and  they  give  the  film  this  different  type  of  energy  from  your  other  projects.  Where  did  they  come  from? 

 

00:41:21
Harry Bradbeer: They  came  in  the  cutting  room.  I  had  this  amazing  editor,  Adam  Bosman,  who  is  just one of  the  hardest  working  and  most  lovely  people  in  the  business.  I  can't  remember  whether it  was  his  idea.  It  sort  of  grew  from  graphics  onwards.  The  pop- up  characters  you  see  at  the  opening  of  Basilwether,  that  came  out  of ... I started  to  play  with  graphics,  because  we  needed  ways  of  telling  story  that  weren't  really  there.  Like  for  instance,  the  initial  first  six  minutes,  you  didn't  see  very  much  of  Eudoria at  all.  She  was  a  completely  mysterious  figure. 
 And  so,  you  see  a  girl  saying, " My  mother's  gone. Here are  my  brothers,"  and off they  go.  And  then  the  brothers  looked  like  they  were  having  a  real  go at her and  we  couldn't  quite  work  out  why.  It  was  like  before  you  understood  the  extraordinary  nature  of  her  upbringing,  you  couldn't  understand  what  her  problem  was,  what  their problem was, and  what  was  kicking  this  story  off.  Why  this  girl  was  facing  such  issues  with  her  brother  about  conformity  and  behavior. 

 

 So,  we  tried  to  do  some  voiceover  by  taking  pictures  of  Helena  and  the  boys,  and  we  stuck  them  on  some  old  black  and  white  photos,  and  we  stuck  them  in  front  of  a  picture  of  the  house.  We  did  this  sort  of  in  the  most  basic  way,  Adam  did  it,  and he made a  very  basic  markup  of  this, and it had  her  voiceover  underneath.  And I thought, " We  still  need  to  see  the  father."  So,  we  got  some  basic  stock footage, but you  got  the  father. 
 And  it  hit  me,  it  reminded  me  of  a  Terry  Gilliam,  from  Monty  Python's  Flying  Circus,  the  idea  of  a  little  cowboy  character  falling  on  his  side  and  dying. " My  father  died  when  I  was  three,"  bang.  Then  we  put  a  bell  over  it.  You  can  see  how  it  developed.  So,  it  started  off  with  just  a  very  formal  image  and  idea  with  her  voiceover,  and  then  we  started  to  move  the  characters  around  and  it  developed  organically  like  that. 
 And  so  then,  when  it  came  to  introducing  Basilwether,  we  came  up  with this idea of  the  family  and  then  all  their  servants.  So  we  gave  that  to  our  graphics  guy,  and  he  went from there. 

 

00:43:15
Jenny Curtis: This  film  was  so  much  fun.  You've  got  stowaways  in  luggage  and  fighting  in  the  streets  and  pyrotechnics.  Was  there  a  particular  scene  that  was  a  real  blast  to  shoot?

 

00:43:26
Harry Bradbeer: I  think  I  love  when  that  fight  goes  into  the  bomb  factory and  she  almost  gets  stabbed  by  Linthorn,  and  the  corset  saves  her,  because  that  was  a  kind  of  lovely  microcosm  of  the  movie.  We  had  action,  we  had  a moment where  we  really  thought  she  was  going  to  die,  and  this  glorious  reversal  that  involves,  ironically,  a  piece  of  restrictive  female  clothing.  And  her  address  to  camera,  which  I  think  she says, " I  knew  this  would  have  a  better  use."  I  think that was the one  of  the  funnest  things  to  shoot. 
 I  love  the  building  of  the  worlds  and  I  was  surprised  at  how  much I  enjoyed  the  London  street  sequences,  for  instance.  I  mean,  they  all  started  with  this  idea.  My  designer  found  a  picture  of  London  in  the  1880s  and  it  was  astonishing  how  crammed  everything  was  together.  We  imagine  it  being  so  polite,  but  there  were  all  these  omnibuses,  these  like  double- decker  buses,  where  people  sat  on  them  precariously,  they  could  have  fallen  off.  I  thought, " I  want  that."

 

 And  we  went  everywhere.  We  got  every  possible  horse- drawn,  large  vehicle  that  we  could  find  all  over  the  country.  We  found  these  curious  automobiles  and  other  contraptions.  It  was  an  enormous  day,  building  that  world  of  London,  because,  ultimately,  it  has a little bit  of  CGI  to  add  to  it.  But  it  brought  to  life  the  idea  of  when  I  first  went  to  London,  when  you're  this  little  person  and  you're  looking  up,  and  people  are  staring  down  at  you.  This  was  the  idea  that  I  had  fixed  in  my  head  from  very  early  on,  that  this  smaller  person  felt  oppressed  by  it.  I  wanted  it  to  be  scary  and  I  loved  building  that.  It  was  hell  to  do,  but  I  think  we  pulled  it  off. 

 

 So,  it's  those  little  challenges  I  love.  I  love  the  train  sequence,  even  though  it  was  on  green  screen.  Because  people  ask  me  this,  they  say, "In  television,  you  work in  this  small- scale  Canvas,  and  then  you  work  on  this  larger  canvas,"  and  that's  absolutely  true.  I  didn't  find  embracing  that  difficult,  I  loved  it.  But  if  anything,  if  I  had  to  watch  out  for anything, it  was  becoming  too  in  love  with  unnecessary  pyrotechnics. 
 That  crane  shot  that  you  spent  half  the  morning  putting  together, that  you  don't  use?  That's  the  danger.  That's where  you  waste  your  time,  because  you've  got  to  get  to  the  heart  of  every  scene.  And  if  there  isn't  a  heart  to  the  scene,  then  you  probably  shouldn't  shoot  it. It's  just  a  piece  of  theater.  It  comes  back  to  when  I  was  in  the  theater,  thinking, " I  just  want  to  be  with  these  people." 

 

 So,  that's  why  in  the  London  sequence,  really,  while  there's  a  lot  of  exciting  atmosphere  and  scale,  really,  if  you  look  at  it,  most  of  the  time,  you're  either  preceding  and  following  her  in  a  wide  lens,  either  a  25 or  35,  mostly  a  25,  so  that  you  wrap  her  up  in  that  environment.  I  mean,  there  I  took  a  lot  of  cues,  in  some  ways,  from  Kubrick,  who  liked  to  keep  his  background  and  his  subject  in  the  same  focal  length  so that  we  felt  that  we  were  experiencing  the  entire  world.  It  allows  the  world  to  wrap  around  the  character and  the  face. 
 I'm  always  finding  myself  doing that, " I  have  to  make  a  choice,  what  am  I  going  to  do?"  I  just  want  to make that character  take  me  through  that  world.  I  want  to  sit  in  the  driving  seat  of  their  mind. 

 

00:46:28
Jenny Curtis: Is  there  something  that  landed  on  the  cutting  room  floor  that  you  really  wished  didn't  have  to?

 

00:46:33
Harry Bradbeer: There  was  a  relationship  which  was  deeper,  which,  if  there's  another  movie,  we'll  look  into,  between  her  and  the  housekeeper,  which was  a  shame,  it was  a  sweet  scene  between  them,  which  had  to  go.  It  was  a  beautiful  scene,  it was  well  put  together,  but  the  story  didn't  need  it.  You've  got  to  get  on  with  your  story,  you've  got  to  be  quite  ruthless.  The fireside  scene  where  she  talks with  Tewsbury,  while  he's  cooked  the  mushrooms,  that  was  about  three  times  the  length.  And  we  cut  that  down.
 When  I  first  showed  the  movie  to  Mary  Parent,  who  is  our  studio  boss  at  Legendary,  wonderful,  extraordinary  woman,  no  nonsense,  we showed  her  the  movie  and  I  remember,  at  that  point,  she  was  scribbling  like  mad  on  her  pad.  I  could  tell  I  was  going to get  into  trouble  for  this.  Because  there  were  moments  that  dragged,  we  needed  a  bit  of  cuts  there.  It  was  beautiful  stuff  between  them,  but  it  had  to go. 

 

00:47:23
Jenny Curtis: I  do  want  to  wrap  up  on  my  favorite  question  to  end  these  with,  what  does  it  mean  to  you  to  have  a  life  in  storytelling?

 

00:47:31
Harry Bradbeer: Immensely  lucky  and  privileged. I think not only is it a great responsibility, but what  I  really  love about it is  it  never  gets  any  easier.  Telling  a  great  story  in  screen  is one of  the  hardest  things.  I'm  wrapping  my  head around  something  that  we're  working  on  together,  Legendary  and  I  have  another  movie,  Séance on  a  Wet  Afternoon,  that  we're  working  on  together.  And  I'm  just  straining  my  brain  to  work out  how  certain  elements  of  it  work.  And  it  never  gets  any  easier,  which  I  hate.  I  really  want  it  to  be  easier.  But  I love  the  fact  that  it's  difficult.

 

 A  story  is  a  very  sophisticated  and  demanding  element,  which  is,  in  some  ways,  very  full  of  things that have  to  be  unique.  But  if  it's  going  to  work,  it  has  to  be  universal.  And  so,  the  best  stories  are  so  simple.  They're  more  complex  than  complicated.  They  are  simple  stories  that  are  complexly  told.  And  this  challenge  of  delivering  the  audience  something  that  they  wanted  all  along  but,  in  a  way  they  never  expected,  is  the  hardest damn  thing.
 And I love  the  fact  that  in  movies,  as  a  director,  I  get  to  be  at  the  heart  of  that  storytelling  process  and  the  heart  of  that development. 

 

00:48:41
Jenny Curtis: Harry,  thank  you  so  much  for  joining  me  today.  I  have  loved  talking  to  you. 

 

00:48:46
Harry Bradbeer: Thank  you  very much. It was great  fun.

 

00:48:48
Jenny Curtis: Everyone  should  definitely  go  watch  Enola  Holmes.  I  smiled  the  entire  way  through  the  movie. 

 

00:48:53
Harry Bradbeer: Oh,  great. 

 

00:48:54
Jenny Curtis: Thank  you,  Harry,  and  thank  you  for  giving  us  so  much  insight  into  what  you  do.

 

00:48:58
Harry Bradbeer: Thank  you for looking after me. 

 

00:49:02
Jenny Curtis: Hollywood  Unscripted  was  created  by  CurtCo  Media.  This  special  episode  of  the  Stuck  at  Home  series  was  hosted  and  produced  by  me,  Jenny  Curtis.  With  guest  Harry  Bradbeer.  Co- produced  and  edited  by  Jay  Whiting.  The  executive  producer  of  Hollywood  Unscripted  is  Stuart  Halperin.  The  Hollywood  Unscripted  theme  song  is  by Celleste  and  Eric  Dick.  Make  sure  to  subscribe  so  you  don't  miss  any  special  episodes  of  Hollywood  Unscripted:  Stuck  at  Home. 

 

 And  we  want  to  hear  from  you.  Leave  us  a  rating  and  a  review.  Tell  us  what  you  like,  tell  us  what  you  didn't.  Maybe  we  can  be  better.  Stay  safe  and  healthy.  And  thanks  for  listening. 
 CurtCo  Media,  media  for  your  mind. 

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