Adulthood: Noel Clarke Interview
We had a sit down with Noel Clarke, the young British writer-director-actor behind Adulthood, and he told us about growing up in west London, his upcoming films and his newfound status as an object of lust.
LOVEFiLM: Adulthood was one of the most searched for titles on LOVEFiLM during its cinema release. Were you expecting that level of success?
Noel Clarke: That’s a difficult one. I thought we’d do well because the first film did. It’s got a big following on DVD. But I didn’t expect it to get to No 1 at the box office on opening night. I mean, it didn’t last all weekend, but who cares?
LF: How does that make you feel?
NC: Yeah, it was good! We beat Sex and the City, Incredible Hulk and Indiana Jones for our opening night. They were on 450 screens and we were on 151. I was getting reports of people sitting in the aisles. It was good for it to make its budget back on opening weekend and to make three times its budget was really nice.
LF: You’ve done a commentary as a DVD extra, did you find it a bit strange to talk your way through the entire movie?
NC: No, it’s just remembering different things and why we made certain choices, so if there’s someone like me who loves film, maybe they will hear something I say that will make them think, “Wow, I can do that shot” or “I was wondering how they did that”. We also did a visual commentary, which is something I don’t think I’ve ever seen on a British DVD, so you see the film playing in a little box and then you see us sitting on a couch chatting away.
LF: A film like Adulthood gets people talking. What were you hoping people would take away from watching the film? It’s not just about crime is it?
NC: No, for me is not about that. It’s about the characters and it’s about the lives that certain people live. You know that estate [in Kidulthood] is ten minutes from my house, so some of the stuff in the first film is stuff that I saw. So for me it was just kind of getting across that the gun and knife thing is just reflective of what happens in society. It was never meant to capitalise or glorify or anything like that.
LF: Will we see a third?
NC: No! I can’t see any legs in it. It would be more beneficial for all the young people who went out and saw this film to see something new because if I as a film maker kept doing this stuff and people are inspired by me, film companies would think that’s all they want to see and that’s all people with my background can write
LF: So far you’ve worked solely with British productions, have you got any plans to go to America?
NC: If I get a part in something and it’s a good film, I’ll take it. I’m not trying to stay in England. There are some things that I’m writing. Something was announced the other day by a studio, but because its not 100%, I haven’t been talking about it. But they announced it and I was like, “Why are you announcing it?!”
LF: Up next you’re in two films, Heartless and Doghouse. Doghouse is a pretty interesting concept – man-eating women, literally! What was the attraction with that?
NC: It’s funny as hell. It’s Danny Dyer and myself. It’s a bit laddy and we kind of go down to this place and all the women are zombies. What attracted me to that was probably the same thing that attracted Danny. When you read the script, it was really funny and when we went and did it, it was funnier. Heartless was another one. Philip Ridley is a genius! I can’t say I’ve ever seen reflective skin before.
LF: You’ve been in the spotlight a lot, top 20 this top 20 that…
NC: I was in The Observer top ten lust list. I was number 6 or 8. It wasn’t just people, it was things you want. They had a paragraph for all these things and then you get to me on the list and its just says ‘Noel Clarke: Cor!’ Where’s my paragraph! What does that mean, ‘Cor!’?!
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