Hannah Murray led the cast at the UK premiere of Bridgend last night at the Glasgow Film Festival. She was joined on the red carpet by co-stars Josh O’Connor (Ripper Street, Peaky Blinders) and Stephen Waddington (Last of the Mohicans, Titanic) alongside the film’s Danish director Jeppe Ronde.
Before the event at the GFT, we caught up with the group in Glasgow’s coolest hotel for a photo call.
It’s a curious part of an actor’s life that puts them at the centre of the promotional machine driving the launch of a film title. Once filming is wrapped, months can be spent answering the same questions, endorsing commercial interests and regurgitating the party line.
I’ve seen the whirlwind that surrounds major studio releases: Tom Cruise working the press line to wring every last second of coverage from a premiere screening, Will Ferrell bouncing from studio to studio to deliver quips for soundbites.
A festival premiere is often something very different.
Hannah Murray is a star in the biggest TV show in the world. Her fellow actors have commitments across television and film.
They weren’t here to sell a film. They were in Glasgow to support something they made with director Jeppe Ronde.
Ronde is tall, angular and serious looking. He spent six years travelling to and from Bridgend in Wales for research before filming began on his first feature film. Many parts in the film were played by locals who were not trained actors and were close to the story of the film.
Bridgend is a thoughtful look at a dark period experienced by a small Welsh town in the mid 2000s.
Hannah Murray stars as Sara, a new arrival to a community which is haunted by suicides among its young inhabitants.
Sara falls dangerously in love with one of the teenagers, Jamie, while her dad, as the town’s new police officer, tries to stop the mysterious chain of suicides.
Variety’s Guy Lodge was impressed:
“Murray may be best known to international audiences for her regular role in “Game of Thrones,” but her nervy, gradually untethered Sara is a closer cousin to her breakthrough turn as the fragile Cassie in teen TV drama “Skins”; the actress’ tissue-delicate emotional vulnerability rings true even when certain decisions seem more script-dictated than character-led. She’s ably supported by a uniformly thoughtful ensemble of young actors; if the film’s adult characterizations are thinner by comparison, that may well speak to the film’s youthful perspective and articulated generation gap.”
The stars assembled last night as colleagues, to introduce a story that had taken the best part of a decade to tell.
Glasgow audiences saw the film first and there was a discussion with the director after the screening. This exposure for new films likely to be overlooked by cinema multiplexes makes Glasgow Film Festival an important forum.
Tonight, Natalie Dormer, best known as Margaery Tyrell in Games of Thrones and Cressida in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, will walk the red carpet for the UK premiere of Japan-set horror The Forest, as a FrightFest preview on at the GFT.
On Sunday, Richard Gere will attend a gala screening of his movie Out of Time.
This year’s festival includes 308 events with 174 films screenings before the closing event on 28 February, the UK premiere of Anomalisa directed by Duke Johnson and Charlie Kaufman.
Bridgend will be released by Axiom later in the year.
Pictures by Paul Gallagher for Glasgowist