Blackbird flies with Rooney Mara
by Naman Ramachandran
- Cannes Best Actress winner stars in relationship drama
Director Benedict Andrews has commenced a five-week shoot across the south of England on Blackbird [+see also:
film profile], based on David Harrower’s adaptation of his Olivier Award winning play of the same name. Rooney Mara, fresh off winning the Cannes Best Actress award for Carol [+see also:
film profile], stars alongside Ben Mendelsohn (Starred Up [+see also:
interview: David Mackenzie
film profile]). The film follows Ray (Mendelsohn), who is confronted with his past when the young and beautiful Una (Mara) arrives unannounced at his office. Fifteen years earlier, the two had an illicit affair, for which Ray was arrested and imprisoned. He has since built a new life for himself and she is looking for answers.
Blackbird marks the feature debut of stage director Andrews, whose recent London theatrical production of A Streetcar Named Desire, starring Gillian Anderson and Ben Foster and The Maids at the Lincoln Center Festival, New York, starring Cate Blanchett and Isabelle Huppert, were great successes.
Andrews said, “I am relishing the opportunity to bring this vital, highly-charged story to the screen. David has written a beautiful, brutal script and I have two outstanding actors in the roles of Ray and Una. The fragility and extremities of human experience are central to my work – and Blackbird is no exception.”
Produced by Jean Doumanian and Patrick Daly for US outfit Jean Doumanian Productions, and Maya Amsellem for the UK’s WestEnd Films, the film’s executive producers include Kevin Loader, Sharon Harel and Eve Schoukroun of WestEnd Films, who will also handle international sales, and David Kosse and Sam Lavender for Film4. Celia Duval is Co-Producer. Film4 and Creative Scotland have provided financial backing.