Last night in the Lighthouse Cinema, there was a preview of ‘How I live now’, the new movie which stars Saoirse Ronan and tells the tale of a young woman who falls in love and then finds herself trapped in the United Kingdom during the third world war. After the event Donald Clarke (Irish Times Film Correspondent) interviewed Saoirse Ronan and Meg Rosoff (Author of the book the movie was based on). The film was directed by Kevin McDonald, who previously worked on movies such as ‘The Last King of Scotland’.
Meg Rosoff wrote ‘How I live now’ at the age of 46, and it will give us all hope to hear that it was her first novel! She came to writing after years of working in advertising, which she hated. She is a bright and wry witted woman, who decided to write her novel after her younger sister died of cancer, at the tender at of 39. She seems very happy with the movie, despite the obvious difference with the novel, as most of the book takes place in the mind of the main character Daisy.
Meg Rosoff answered the question she has been asked most about the novel, why did she have the young cousins fall in love. She said she didn’t have a clear plan for the book when she started writing it. She decided to have them fall in love half way through writing it, as it seemed normal for the story. She didn’t think it would be controversial, and would have changed it if she’d realised!
The movie could have been quite different, as the original director lined up to make it was Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt), who had decided to cast the then unknown actress Kirsten Stweart, who later went on to make the Twilight series.
It sounds a fun film to have worked on, with the variety of young cast members spending their time off on the beach in Wales. There is a great dynamic between the young characters on the screen, which Ronan revealed was how they interacted off screen also.
Saoirse revealed she is playing an Irish baker in the new Wes Anderson movie ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ although she would say little else about the new project.
Our review of ‘How I live now’ will appear later in the week.