By David Hennessy
The directorial debut of Alan Brennan, Earthbound has already hit Irish cinemas and warmly received. Starring Rafe Spall (I Give It A Year, Prometheus), the film follows Joe Norman who believes aliens from the planet Zalaxon are hunting him down as he hides out on Earth. Told by his dying father at a young age that he was an alien, the audience have to ask themselves if the character is in fact out of this world or merely deluded and confused. The Irish World spoke to writer/director, Alan Brennan about his new film.
“It’s gone down very well,” Alan begins. “It’s very gratifying. That’s the point of making it: You hope that first of all that people will see it and they’ll like it. It’s been very validating really after all that’s gone into it.”
Alan sees just how fortuitous it was to have Rafe in his film just prior to the actor’s profile shooting up after being cast in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus: “We were very lucky. To be honest, I would say we’re probably the last low budget film he will do, we sort of got him on the cusp of him taking off. He actually got the call from Ridley Scott for Prometheus while he was on set. We were very lucky in that regard. I don’t think we would be able to get him now.
“One of the things that was very important to me in the script was, the character’s quite a fringe character, that he not come off as unappealing or unengaging: That he be somebody who could be funny to the audience but not in an alienating way. Rafe is a world class comedy actor and I knew he would be able to find those moments of comedy that I was looking for and actually accentuate them.
“It’s also the sort of movie that rests on the shoulders of its leading man. He really does carry it and for that you need somebody charismatic and he has charisma in spades. He was perfect in that regard.
“Initially, I wanted someone Irish but we couldn’t really find anyone who fit the role. Then we sent the script to Rafe and he really loved it. It just made sense to go that way and I said: ‘I’ll address this as a joke in the film, that he has an English accent despite living in Ireland all his life’. It helps that he is (so big), possibly even to Irish audiences who might find it more acceptable and be able to shed some of their preconceptions about the quality of the movie when seeing an international star of that calibre headlining it.”
For the full interview, see the April 13 edition of The Irish World.