“The Favourite” won a record-breaking 10 trophies at Sunday’s British Independent Film Awards, including Best Picture and Best Screenplay. One of the two scripters, Tony McNamara, was on hand to pick up the prize on behalf of himself and Deborah Davis.
Catching up with him backstage, I asked if he had a personal favorite line from the film, to which he gamely responded “Yes, I really like it when Nick Hoult says ‘a man must look pretty.’ Anything Nick says is fun.”
McNamara declared he “absolutely would not” choose his own favorite from the film’s three female stars — Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone. “They are all so brilliant. Their timing is so impeccable.” He revealed, “they are the most laid back three you’d ever imagine. Emma had just won her Oscar [Best Actress for “La La Land”] and she came and did drama games with everybody 24 hours later. The usual theatre warm-ups, chucking balls and things.”
The only trouble on the set came because it was a period piece. “It’s complicated. There are sets and dresses and props and costumes. We had a lot of animals and a lot of people. But I’m the writer – I was just sitting out the back drinking coffee. It was difficult for Yorgos, not me.”
That would be director Yorgos Lanthimos, who also won at the BIFAS. As McNamara explains, “On set, he is like his films – he’s very particular. He’s not demanding, he just knows what he wants. It’s hard as a director to get what you want, but Yorgos always manages.”
McNamara won Australian Writers Guild Awards for the film “The Rage in Placid Lake” (2003) and the TV series “Love My Way.” And he is likely to add a lot more hardware to his mantle this awards season for “The Favourite.” Do you think he will win an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay?
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