When I asked Steven Knight, the writer and director of gripping British drama Locke, whether or not he would consider directing from a script that wasn’t his own, his response was immediate; “No, I couldn’t conceive of doing that, I’d feel for the writer!” With a screenwriting résumé that includes Dirty Pretty Things, Eastern Promises, and Peaky Blinders, it’s a position that Knight has often been in. Last year saw his first foray into life behind the camera with the underwhelming Jason Statham vehicle Hummingbird, but his sophomore effort is anything but. Bolstered by a knockout performance from Tom Hardy, Locke is a fascinating and clever opus that gets the most out of its simple premise.
I got a chance to speak with Knight ahead of the film’s UK release this week, and he talks to us about cutting down 30 hours of footage, his directorial experience on the film, and Hardy’s Welsh accent. Have a read below.
After garnering praise for his screenwriting efforts on both Dirty Pretty Things (2002) and Eastern Promises (2007), Steven Knight makes his directorial debut with Hummingbird (2013). Previously titled Redemption, this London-set thriller is not your typical Jason Statham vehicle. Yet, whilst Statham proves he’s up to the task, the uneven screenplay is where most of the film’s problems stem from. Statham stars as Joey Jones, a homeless ex-Special Forces soldier living on the streets with his companion Isabel (Victoria Bewick). When they are attacked by local hoodlums, Joey escapes by breaking into an apartment.