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How we made Naked

19 November 2013 1:51 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

'We spent weeks in that big house entirely in character – just being really horrible to each other'

Mike Leigh, director

Naked was my big international breakthrough. I'd never had a film in Cannes before – and in 1993, I won best director and David Thewlis took best actor for his extraordinary performance as Johnny. At first, though, the film was called Untitled '92. I was starting to anticipate the millennium: it was obvious it was going to be a big deal, but I didn't know how to treat the subject. I could have made a science-fiction film. But I realised the character of Johnny – a frustrated, idealist drifter who's hacked off with the world – would be a very interesting vehicle for millennial preoccupations.

We prepared for the film in an old office block in Marylebone, London. David was living in Soho, endlessly reading Nostradamus and all the other things Johnny was into. »

- Phil Hoad

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2013 | 2011

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