One of the advantages of having a sister who works in the world of film and televsion is I sometimes get to go to screenings. Last night she invited me to BAFTA to watch a preview of BBC’s new two-parter of William Boyd’s Restless – which will be on air over Christmas. The screening was followed by a Q&A with Boyd, Rufus Sewell and Hayley Atwell, the stars, and Edward Hall the director
First off, I really enjoyed it. I’m a big Boyd fan – but strangely had not enjoyed reading Restless – not even sure I made it to the finishing post – but it has translated to the screen very well (especially on the big screen – we’ll have to see how it fares on the small one). The cast is excellent – Charlotte Rampling and Michael Gambon are up there as well playing the Atwell and Sewell parts in later life.
What was fascinating was hearing Boyd talk about the difference between writing for the screen and the printed word. He has obviously a lot of experience with adapting his own works – but was quite categoric that when writing a novel he never thinks about the film – or how it would translate into a film. He sees them as entirely separate crafts. He often creates completely new scenes for the filmed version only . He came across as not at all precious about his work – happy to collaborate and not interfering in casting, despite obviously having a prior picture of his characters. Funnily enough while I found the Atwell Rampling pairing spot on, Rufus Sewell was not at all how I had pictured Lucas Romer – yet he completely became him. And he has some wonderful hats!