Irish filmmaker Neil Jordan looked back upon the making of his Oscar-winning feature ‘The Crying Game’ at a special 20th anniversary screening in Dublin last night hosted by the Irish Film & Television Academy.
Referring to the 1992 feature as “one of those films nobody wanted to make”, the 62-year-old writer and director spoke at length with Emmy Award-winning director Dearbhla Walsh as part of a public interview attended by IFTA Members.
Jordan discussed the making of the movie; his concerns during filming; the critical casting of newcomer Jaye Davidson; and the film’s successful marketing campaign with the Weinstein brothers during a 30-minute post-show discussion.
View a gallery of images from 'The Crying Game' IFTA event here
Speaking to IFTN, Jordan said that his abiding memory of the period was one of “extreme poverty”. He added: “There was so little money to make that film that it was very, very difficult. I suppose it’s very hard to remember.
“There was a sense that we were doing something quite special in a way because of all the themes – the combination of politics and sexuality and gender issues, but it was really stripped down to a bone almost. What I do remember is how difficult it was to get it up off the ground.
Jordan had special praise for his cast and crew and noted that “if it wasn’t for the persistence of Stephen Woolley, the producer,” the acclaimed feature “probably wouldn’t have been made.”
Among those from the industry who posed questions to Jordan included Irish producer Redmond Morris, who served as Jordan’s first assistant director on ‘The Crying Game’, and ‘The Runway’ director Ian Power.
Other attendees included actors Aidan Gillen, Mary McEvoy, Frank Kelly and Eamonn Owens, who played the lead in Jordan’s 1997 hit ‘The Butcher Boy’.
Speaking after the event Owens said: “I loved the event, I hadn’t seen the movie since I was 11-years-old actually. My brothers were big into cinema and we used to watch them all the time and I just loved seeing it on the big screen tonight. It was brilliant.
“I just think [Neil Jordan] is an icon, he’s just amazing at what he does. He’s a beautiful man and great to work with. I found him such a gentleman when I was working with him. He has such vision, he knows what he wants.
Discussion facilitator and fellow director Dearbhla Walsh, who won an Emmy in 2009 for ‘Little Dorrit’, added: “I thought it was a wonderful event because it’s wonderful to have the opportunity to focus in on one piece of work. So instead of it being a whole exploration about the man Neil Jordan, using ‘The Crying Game’ to focus on his work and approach. I thought it was wonderful and incredible to see so many people here and it’s a wonderful excuse and opportunity to revisit a film.”
’The Crying Game’ was released in 1992 and starred Irish actor Stephen Rea as Fergus, an IRA volunteer who strikes up an unlikely friendship with kidnapped British army soldier Jody (Forest Whitaker). When the hostage situation goes wrong, Fergus flees to London seeking out Jody’s lover, Dil (Jaye Davidson). The film won 26 international awards including the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.
Read an interview with Neil Jordan here