Paul Andrew Williams

"It’s like an ironic Scooby Doo film!"

When London To Brighton gave Paul Andrew Williams a well deserved breakthrough, it became one of the most critically acclaimed British films of recent years and made Williams a talent to watch. Now he returns with a surreal horror-comedy The Cottage and shares a few words of wisdom with Clash…

On people’s expectations after London to Brighton:

“People will expect either that this will be as good and that I’m some fucking genius which I’d never say that I am, or they’ll see something they’re not expecting. Everyone goes into a screening with a preconception of what you think this is going to be. I hope people will see that this film is a pastiche and isn’t meant to be taken totally seriously. It’s not a total Scary Movie type spoof, but the undercurrent’s there that we’re doing something ironic and a bit silly.”

On creating a pastiche of the horror genre:

“It’s totally unoriginal in the way that we’ve got the mad man in the woods who kills people and takes off their skin – that’s fucking been done a million times! And that’s the whole point of me doing this. It’s like an ironic Scooby Doo film.”

On Reece Shearsmith’s performance as Peter:

“I wrote the film with Reece in mind. He’s an extremely technically gifted actor as well as a great comedian. I’m a massive fan of The League of Gentlemen and it’s one of the truly original comedies that every now and again comes out of Britain. I probably wouldn’t have written The Cottage without seeing various elements of The League of Gentlemen.”

On Jennifer Ellison’s as hostage Tracey:

“She was just fucking brilliant. Tracey’s almost like a caricature of that chavvy, pink tracksuit-bottomed, Ugg boot-wearing woman. And Jennifer’s so unlike that in real life; she’s extremely sweet and doesn’t swear at all. I’d like to work with her again on something more serious.”

On his ambition to direct a future Harry Potter film:

“I really want to! It’s the escapism factor. I don’t read many books, but I’ve read all of those many, many times. It’s like the way I was with the Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe. The idea of something that’s part of the real world we live in but also takes you away from there. As a kid, I had a big imagination and that’s the reason I wanted to make films.”

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