Sam Taylor Wood, best know for her renowned work as a photographer and conceptual artist, makes her feature film directorial debut tomorrow with Nowhere Boy.
For many directors a debut is a simple affair, but Wood took on the early life of John Lennon. Given the legions of Beatles obsessives worldwide, it’s a project that will hit screens with lofty expectations, something the director didn’t consider initially.
“I went after the script so passionately that when they finally gave it to me I was thrilled,” Wood told Metro. “Then two weeks later I went to Liverpool and realized, ‘Oh crap. This is big.’ You’re dealing with their God and local hero.”
The reason Wood never considered the pressure associated with the project is that she wasn’t interested in the material as a Beatles aficionado, instead she was touched by Lennon’s troubled youth and difficult relationship with his estranged mother.
“It was the coming of age story from boy to man and the pain that he went through to make that transition that interested me,” explained Wood.
Wood’s approach is ideal, transforming the film into a personal story that just happens to be about one of the most famous figures of the 20th century rather than just another biopic.
The young ones
Sam Taylor Wood on Paul McCartney’s involvement with Nowhere Boy and on the importance of casting actors that bore a resemblance to the two legends.
- “He was involved in the beginning, just giving me details on equipment that they used to record and [on] little John mannerisms. He was really helpful.”
- “It started out as really important and I kept seeing so many lookalikes of Lennon and McCartney. But then I?had to decide that I wanted someone who could really act and not give an impersonation.”