Killing Bono Interview
Killing Bono Interview
How straightforward was it to get permission to represent the band or any sort of music?

Nick Hamm

It was completely un-straightforward from the very beginning because once you take on a project that involves any band, you’re making two films. You’re making the film that you’re making, the drama that you’re doing, but you’re also, to a certain extent, representing and using and working with the name of the people that the movie is about. So it’s not a movie about U2, it’s about somebody’s relationship to them. As Neil said, they’ve always been incredibly supportive of the project. It wasn’t a U2 project and it shouldn’t be a U2 project. It’s an independent film that stands alongside them, so I can only really thank them for all their help.

When they saw the movie, in a cinema in Melbourne, the whole band went to see it one lunchtime with all the people that worked for them – all their colleagues and friends that were on tour with them, there were about 40 people in the cinema – they loved it and they rolled around the floor laughing. In a sense, those early scenes that we tried to get right, come from a place of real admiration for the band. They come from a sense that this is a bloody good rock and roll band. I don’t really need to say that, it’s self evident, but we wanted to get those scenes right.

Neil McCormick

Edge had his own ideas about casting though, didn’t he?

Nick Hamm

Well, Edge had his own ideas about many things. But one of them was that he wanted to cast Danny DeVito as Bono.
One of the things the film will be remembered for is the final role of Pete Postlethwaite. Is it true that the role had to be cut down because of his illness?

Nick Hamm

The role was created for Pete. It was specifically designed because Pete had been involved in the project over a few months, when we were putting it together and then got ill as we were just literally about two months away from shooting. He was determined to do it because he believed in the story of the movie. He believed in the notion of what the movie was trying to say about the notion of celebrity. And he wanted something to aim for as he was going through his illness. So, we gave him that opportunity and to be honest with you, all of us associated with it were completely honoured that he could do that. And he was a delight to have on set. We think he’s given a great comic turn. Pete has given a little juice to the movie, that’s all. He’s not central to the picture, as you can see he doesn’t go through the movie all the time, but what he says and what he represents ... he gives a sense of enjoyment and we were honoured to have him there.
It was quite surreal for me watching back the scenes where we first meet and he gently pats me on the bum...
What was it like working with Pete Postlethwaite in what proved to be his final performance?

Robert Sheehan

It was quite surreal for me watching back the scenes where we first meet his character, Karl, and he gently pats me on the bum. It was quite bizarre...the weird thing about filming is that when you watch back the film you go: “I can’t really remember doing that. I remember it was in the script and I remember going through it, but I can’t remember it actually happening.” But then watching it back, I went: “Yeah, I remember now!” It was lovely to see myself in a scene with him, you know, because he’s one of these faces that I grew up watching through lots of different films. Obviously, because of his passing, it has a lot more poignancy, especially watching it in Dublin that time with 400 odd people. It was quite strange. He died about seven or eight months after we finished.

Nick Hamm

He saw the movie when it was finished and he came down and did ADR [Automated Dialogue Replacement] with us that time in London. You know, he will be remembered for many roles in his life, but we’re just pleased that he could have a little final comedy scene.

Ben Barnes

I think it’s fantastic that at the age of 64, knowing he was ill, and having lots of options for what he could have done with those months of his life, that he decided to keep working and keep challenging himself by playing something he had never played [before]. You associate him with these quite strong, gritty, hard men, certainly very real men and there he is playing this very campy landlord and a slightly pervy character, and really revelling in it, even though we had to stop for breaks because he was frail. He was a very profound, honest actor. He looked you in the eye and said those lines about ‘Remember only this, the mark of a man is what’s left when fame falls away’ and you feel that’s Pete Postlethwaite at the end of his life giving us, as upcoming actors, the best of his advice, rather than this character in this film. It feels very poignant to watch it, but it also felt poignant [to perform]. I very vividly remember doing that particular bit because it felt so raw.
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