Rufus Norris interview

Dave Calhoun talks to the theatre director about his first feature film 'Broken'

Rufus Norris Rufus Norris

Former actor Rufus Norris, 47, is a noted British director of theatre productions such as ‘Festen’ and ‘Dr Dee’ and now he’s travelling to Critics’ Week at Cannes with his first feature film, ‘Broken’. It’s a contemporary, London-set drama, adapted from a novel by Daniel Clay and starring Tim Roth, Cillian Murphy and newcomer Eloise Laurence.

The novel of ‘Broken’ tells of a young girl in a brutal, chaotic world. What should we expect from the film?

‘It’s a coming-of-age story in a full-on way. It’s about this 11-year-old girl called Skunk and a few months of her life in her community. There are some dark scenes, but it’s also very joyful and there’s a line of humour running through it. There are themes of parenting, too. I’m a parent, and if I had a daughter, which I don’t, I’d want her to be like Skunk. It’s a very emotional film and full of love.’

You must be happy to be taking your first film to Cannes?

‘Yeah, absolutely delighted. Firstly, because it’s a fantastic festival and a great launchpad. But also because it’s all been so quick. We shot in October and November, and I only saw the finished print of the film this afternoon!’

You’ll have to get used to being called a ‘stage-director-turned-film director’.

‘Yeah, we’ll see! Hopefully it’s not the last time. I’ve loved the process, especially being surrounded by excellent people who allowed me to get on with what I do, which is telling stories and getting at the truth.’

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