Andy Rush will make his big screen debut this week as he leads the cast in Here & Now.
The movie sees him team up with Lauren Johns and director Lisle Turner: who are both also set to make a name for themselves with this film.
We caught up with Rush to chat about the film and making the move away from television.
- You are on the big screen this week with Here and Now, so can you tell me a bit about the movie?
Here and Now is a love story at heart. The film is about Grace, a city girl from East Town, and is dragged is awful holiday in the countryside by her parents. Here she meets quiet country boy Say: who I play.
They are very teenage about it when they meet each other, as they don't like each other very much. However, they get to know one another as they explore the beautiful countryside of Herefordshire, and slowly fall in love.
- You take on the role of Say in the film, so what was it about this character and the script that drew you to the project?
I really identified with Say, as this strong yet silent type: I can be quite quiet and philosophical in my outlook. I really could identify with that.
My heroes are Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, so I am use to quiet role models. Obviously, this is not a slapstick comedy but a coming of age love story.
As a first film, it was great to be able to explore that and maintain the character and the story with very little to say.
Working with Lauren Johns was great because I could play off her: she has a very frenetic and chatty nature. It was a great relationship.
- Can you talk a little bit further about your character and how we are going to him and his relationship with Grace develop?
He is an adolescent, so there is already a leaning towards a quiet solemnness: it is more than that, as it is more from a philosophical, spiritual reservedness rather than a moody or adolescent standoffishness.
He is dealing with grief, growing up, the changing world around him, and bullying. He goes along, and has he gets to know Grace he evolves and compromises with Grace: she learns to listen a bit more and speak less and not voice ever thought. They both learn from each other, learn and develop.
What the film does really well is explore very human relationships: the relationship between Say and Grace, the relationship between the parents, and the relationship between the parents and their children.
I think everyone develops and evolves as the film goes on, that is what is very human about it.
- Lisle Turner is in the director's chair making his feature film directorial debut, so how did you find working with him?
It was great. Lisle was a fantastic director as he was very supportive. Even though it is his first feature film, he has done a lot of shorts and documentaries. As well as being his first feature, it was also the first time that he had much more control as writer and director: it really was a passion project. He was brilliant.
A lot of people say the worst thing about filming is the waiting, but because we had so little time - we shot in a month - there was none of that. We all just jumped in and enjoyed it.
All of the scenes in the river, cave and castle we were actually there exploring them. It was a very hands on experience and a very quick learning curve, but I think that did help us all as there wasn't time to worry about the fact it was our first film.
There really was no apprehension, as there just wasn't time (laughs). We all jumped in feet first and enjoyed it. There was a great camaraderie and hands on approach from all of the cast and crew; it was a joy to work on.
- You have clearly enjoyed working with the director, but how collaborative a process was it between the pair of you as you were developing the character of Say?
Lisle wrote the script and directed it, but we did a week of rehearsal before we started shooting where were able to talk about the character. We were encouraged to bring certain objects and talk about them to develop the backstory as much and make it as personal as we could.
There was never a dogmatic approach from Lisle and he didn't have solid ideas of the characters in the sense that it was still very collaborative. I think he enjoyed us bringing whatever we want to it.
- You say you shot this film in just four weeks - which is quite a short space of time for a film. How did you find working under such tight time constraints?
Because it was my first film, I didn't really know any better. I enjoyed it a lot more I think because of that. It was a very committed crew and great cast and we all cared about the story and wanted to tell the story.
Even though there were time constraints, I think that made us all a bit more on it, in terms of energy and efficiency in the story we wanted to tell, how we told it, and character choices.
There wasn't a lot of time sitting around where we could overthink things. It was quite instinctual at times, and it a joy for an actor to be able to do that.
- Here and Now marks your first big screen outing, so how have you found tackling a feature film for the first time? And how have you found the transition away from television?
What was different and what was great, was it was an intense month in Hereford - Hereford is a beautiful part of the world.
Many TV projects that I have done I have had a guest role, and while I went in and met some great people, this really felt like we were making it together and so it became more of a family unit.
We all got to know each other really well and a lot of friendships were made in that sense: you can't always do that with some TV jobs. It was lovely to be able to work in that way.
- Now that you have made your feature film debut, what do you feel that you can take away from this experience on to future projects?
It has been great to have played a lead in a feature, so I feel like I could to do that again. Also, I just have more experience in terms of cinematography and working more with screen: that has certainly helped me for other TV projects that I have done.
I am in love with cinema and the more experience I get the more I enjoy it and want to do it: even thought I love working on stage and doing plays as well. It is a wonderful challenge that I really relish. Hopefully, there will be more roles in the future.
- You star alongside Lauren Johns - who plays Grace - and she also has a limited film experience, so how did you find working with her? This central relationship is key to this film.
I agree. Because it was both of our debuts, we both found certain things together. I think that really helped because neither of us... it was equal footing for both of us and we could both explore it together and not have to worry about the other having more experience.
We could both just tackle the challenges with more openness. It was nice to be able to have that working relationship.
- Finally, what's next for you going through the second half of this year?
I have just done an episode of Doctors, and I am in the middle of shooting a couple of episodes of Waterloo Road: I am still doing a lot of screen stuff.
I think I am allowed to talk about the fact I am in Waterloo Road: fingers crossed I won't make anyone angry by telling you (laughs). That has been great fun to continue some more screen work and work with more people.
Here and Now is released 4th July.
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