September 15th, 2011
Last weekend saw the official end to this year’s summer of music festivals with Bestival on the Isle Of White. But anyone feeling nostalgic for the last few months of live outdoor music can keep that feeling burning a little bit longer with the release of David Mackenzie’s “You Instead”. Filmed at Scotland’s T In The Park festival last year, the film tells the story of two musicians who are handcuffed together during an argument by an eccentric pastor who wants them to appreciate the unifying aspect of live music. Inevitable high jinks and stirred emotions abound as the pair spend the next few days chained together and are forced to work together to make their stage times. Wonderland favourite Luke Treadway takes the lead role in the festival drama as Adam, the front man of a successful electro two piece headlining the festival, bound to head strong Morello (played by a fiery Natalia Tena), and talks us through the pressure of completing a live action film at one of the UK’s biggest music festivals and brings us up to speed on his projects since he appeared in our pages back in 2009.
Do you go to lots of music festivals?
As much as I can. I went to Latitude a few weeks ago and you get things there that you don’t get at other festivals, like raving in the woods until 7 in the morning with amazing lighting and weird dub step sounds. I had a great time.
Did you enjoy filming You Instead at T In The Park?
Yeah, amazing! There was an amazing party atmosphere, although we were in a different mindset to the other people that were there as we were running around trying to make a 90 minute film. We had 20 minutes to shoot a scene and then you had to move on so we rehearsed every day for three weeks before shooting and then in the evenings went to a studio with Eugene Kelly from The Vascelines who wrote some of the music for [on-screen band Treadway’s character fronted] The Make. Except for the song, “You Instead” which I wrote.
Wow! Had they named the film before you wrote that?
No, it was meant to be called “In The Park” and then they changed the title to that song, which is mental.
In your role, your band plays to a large crowd towards the end of the film – how was that orchestrated? Did you have to stop the festival and make everyone aware and do a quick set?
No, it’s all clever editing. You would need about five hours to set all that up, logistically it would be impossible to do in a half hour set. But also the audience have paid to come and watch bands they want to see and I think morally it would have been slightly questionable had we gone ‘yeah, we’re going to play now and we’re a fake band in a film.’ So we played Thursday night before the festival began and there was the field and a few people down at the front to create the audience so I could walk down to them. But, in my mind there was a fuck load of people.
How was it to work with director David Mackenzie?
I think he is an incredibly brave film maker and has such a creative mind – especially if you look at his other films. He’s not afraid to take risks. And this was definitely a risk. He said to me the first time I met him, “look, I don’t know if this is possible. If you want to come on this journey, well find out.” The fact a film that is watchable has come out of it is quite an achievement. I’d love to work with him again.
You are cuffed to Natalia Tena for most of the film – how was she to work with?
I’d never met her before and she is a force of nature. We bonded on the fact we were about to take on a huge monumental task and I remember we all went out in Glasgow for dinner before we went out to film and realised this isn’t a film you can over-run, you can’t drop a few scenes, you’ve got 18 scenes to do each day. So we got berocca inside us and went out. She’s in a band herself, so she’s a musician and we played around with that and we played music and stuff together and we got on really well.
You’ve done the big Hollywood thing, having been in Clash Of The Titans last year [for which he played the part of mad cult leader Prokopion], which must have had a massive budget and then You Instead must be really small. What’s the main difference?
Catering. Literally a days catering on Clash Of The Titans could have paid for this film. It was crazy. But, bizarrely, I thought I would struggle with Clash Of The Titans because everything else I’ve done has been more independent and lower budget so I thought staring at a tennis ball at the end of a stick in front of green screen would not be for me but I really got into that. And I loved working with the director, Louis Leterrier, and he would let me come in and say “Louis, I’ve re-written this part of this speech in the script” and he’d be like “yeah, cool.” I thought he would have to go and check with 12 producers over the change of a comma, but he would let me gabble on and so I really enjoyed that.
What attracts you to every project?
Every job I want a different colour for my pallet. If it’s something close to me I find it harder. That’s why my first job with my brother [twin, Harry in 2005’s Brothers Of The Head] was amazing as a conjoined twin because it’s a physical thing. Learning to play music for this was great and that’s what I really enjoy – becoming someone else. Doing “Attack The Block” recently where I play a posh stoner, my mum was like “you’re playing yourself!” And I was like, “We’re not posh. We are not a rich family.”
Having now played a rock star and revealing to us that you have a talent with music, do you feel you are at a crossroads where you could go down either route?
I think I want to do it all really! Even in the next six months I plan to record an EP and play some gigs but I’m not trying to take over the music industry. If someone who is really famous as an actor tries to put a single out it can be weird. But I’m not that and I think it can be very separate so if I make songs up and play them in a pub in Camden, people won’t really know. I’ve been lucky I can do it in a film.
You Instead is in cinemas tomorrow.
Main photograph: Andrea Vecchiato
Interview: Seamus Duff