Interview - Lenny Abrahamson

lenny A.

lenny A.

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Interview with Lenny Abrahamson (Director)

What message did you want to put across with the series?
In all my work, particularly the work I've done with Mark, the primary impulse is to understand the characters, to present them as truthfully as possible with as much complexity as my skill allows. In Prosperity there was an added drive to counter the dominant view of Ireland presented in the media at that time, a time in the middle of the house price bubble when the economy was booming. According to that view we were a society in a period of unprecedented prosperity. But to us it was clear that most people's lives were untouched by this so called economic miracle and we wanted to show that.

After receiving the script, did you keep in contact with the scriptwriter to develop the stories or you just took over all?
We developed the series together from very early on and that collaboration continued right through the process.

How was the selection of the casting? Is there any amateur actor on the series?
The only amateurs are the kids. With the two boys in 'Gavin's Story' I was particularly lucky.

How would you explain Prosperity to audiences in countries in Latin America or Africa, who might not know much from Ireland?
In all countries there are people on the margins, people who have to struggle to survive, people who aren't respected, whose lives are not valued. Prosperity is about those people and I hope our characters will be recognized in any country where the series plays.

Prosperity deals with rather common situations in any capital city across the world, but what would you say viewers will find characteristic from Ireland?
That's hard for me as an Irish person to say. Perhaps there is a certain sense of humor peculiar to Dubliners that may come through.

You told me you're working in a project at the moment; can you tell us something about it?
I've just released a film called What Richard Did which will travel internationally shortly. Now I am working on a UK film called Frank which is set in Britain, Ireland and the USA. It's a comedy about a young musician who joins an eccentric band led by an enigmatic singer called Frank. It's a kind of road movie, strange, funny and quite original, I hope. It stars Michael Fassbender and Domhnall Gleeson.

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