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Sophie Hyde

Time Out meets ‘Animals’ director Sophie Hyde

The Aussie filmmaker on her raw, honest and hilarious ode to female friendship

Phil de Semlyen
Written by
Phil de Semlyen

Adapted from Emma Jane Unsworth’s novel, ‘Animals’ follows two friends (Holliday Grainger and Alia Shawkat) living it up in Dublin. Director Sophie Hyde tells us more.

What was the key to capturing female friendship in a way that feels so authentic?
‘We weren’t trying to make them beautiful or nice or pretty or anything. Sometimes they’re shit to each other and at other times they’re perfect for each other. Female friendships are quite complex and I wanted to show that.’

Caitlin Moran called the book ‘“Withnail & I”’ for girls’. Does that apply to the film, too?
‘I love that movie, and we took influences from it. We used big old Dublin houses that were a bit run-down. That felt very “Withnail” to us.’

Holliday Grainger (left) and Alia Shawk (right) in ‘Animals’

You won an award at Sundance in 2014 for your debut film ‘52 Tuesdays’. What has the festival meant for your career?
‘It really kicked it off. To have that kind of award meant I started to be taken seriously by certain people. It shouldn’t take an award to do that, but there’s so many films out there and you need that sense of curation. That’s what Sundance is: curation.’

How are you going to celebrate your Sundance Film Festival: London gala?
‘The first time we went to Sundance, we created a dorky circle dance-off with all the Australians in the room, so maybe we’ll get that going in London. Who won the dance-off? There were no winners at all, but in the greatest way.’

For tickets to the Time Out gala screening of ‘Animals’ visit

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