Maisie Williams and Thomas Brody-Sangster Interview – Pistols

After the success of the 6-episode mini-series centered around the Sex Pistols on Disney+, we’re back in the punk arc of Mickey Mouse with Maisie Williams and Thomas Brodie-Sangster.


How did you prepare for the roles of both of you?
Thomas Brody-Sangster: I started watching a lot of videos, I watched as many interviews as possible. If this game is really funny, I recommend everyone to see the McLaren interview, it’s really fun to watch! He changes his tone depending on who he’s talking to and what he’s trying to get out of… the way he stands, the answers he gives, his facial expressions… it’s amazing. It was fun to watch and use to prepare myself. So I actually took as many visual references as possible, and tried to think of how to incorporate them into the character written in the text. I wanted to make someone believable, without overdoing it.

Maisie Williams: I’ve read Jordan’s book, which is incredible. This gave me a lot of information about his life, childhood and character. Then, starting from this context, I started preparing and planning the character.

Maisie, I met Jordan, who was still alive when filming began. Thomas, you weren’t able to meet Malcolm. How do you say you found the balance between impersonating a real person and creating a fictional character? It’s a complicated exercise, because you two are known for other roles, and you are automatically recognized.
TBS: That’s right, it was hard not to just impersonate Malcolm McLaren. Especially because he was already a character in his own right, a very cartoonish person. It had to be designed. The show itself is well-founded: it shows people, not just characters. So it was important for us to deal with this character well. Those people who are excessively angry, but who do exist, should be placed in the center, being careful not to fall into the caricature. Otherwise, it is unbelievable to the viewer.

What can you tell us about the test? How do you audition for characters like this?
MW: Me, I just sent a video…just like many of my friends. We helped each other read. We echoed different scenes, things that had nothing to do with the original script. And then we waited, we waited, we waited… and I finally got an offer: to audition for the role of Jordan. Then I zoomed in with Danny (Boyle)… for whom I wore a completely sheer shirt… and pants too. (Laugh)

TBS: seriously ?
MW: yes ! It was really funny. It was a very interesting process. At that moment I began to pay more and more attention to Jordan, to really immerse myself in his life … Danny clearly presented his vision and point of view of the series. From there, we all got out. It was really amazing. (To Thomas) Your test was more direct, though.

TBS: Yes, I think we can say that. Already. I registered myself. But, you know, I scored my test and then waited a whole week before I hit submit…so I wasn’t sure at all. I wasn’t sure if it was really good, I even thought it was a bit overrated. I said to myself, “Well, it’s either going to be a wet firework and it won’t work…or it’s going to create a spark somewhere. And I must say, that’s what happened, I’m grateful. I’m glad I finally hit submit! I think I tried reading scripts different, and finally back to the original I sent. I think because of everything I sent in hindsight, it seems to me that I missed the deadline to send…but it worked! Then I also zoomed in with Danny.

What was the picture of the sex pistols before starting this project? Has your opinion of them changed since filming?
MW: Well, I didn’t know much about them. Punk has always been considered something aggressive and destructive. But learning more about them, listening to punk music, paying attention to Johnny Routine’s lyrics, realizing punk as a true art movement… made me see things differently than my generation would normally know as a punk obnoxious. I knew so little, and the little that I knew wasn’t really true. It was good to be able to learn more. This is something Danny really helped me with. It was… well, it was there, you know. So it showed me what it really was, London in the ’70s.

TBS: For me, it was really very similar, I must say, already because the music didn’t particularly mark me, and I’m not of that generation, so I didn’t feel particularly close to it. I knew it was a big thing, obviously, an important thing for music…but I didn’t really care about it that much. So it was very nice to know more, to have the opportunity to focus on him. I didn’t realize the influence of punk on fashion, and its importance as an art movement. I’m really starting to have a respect for punk music, for bad guys in general.

How was it directed by Danny Boyle?
MW: He told this story with great passion. It was great building this series with him. The boys in the band were playing live with their instruments, and they were the ones who sang to each song. Danny came on set, right before the show, to warm everyone up, so we could get in the mood. So that we release steam, so that the energy circulates … It could have led to exhaustion instead of energy, but it never happened that way. Every day was lively and stimulating, despite the very long days and requests that had to be repeated several times in a row. We received tremendous energy every day, and it all came from him.

Malcolm MacLaren has been the source of many quotes. One of them is “The Children Are All Anarchists”. What do you think? do you agree ?
TBS : yes ! The child’s job is to ask questions and question everything around him. When it arrives, it absorbs everything, like a sponge. He wonders what his goal is and what he’s doing here… Why? who am I ? who are you ? What is it ? Yes, all of that, I suppose you could say is to be an anarchist. Rules and structure, anarchists want to break it and go back to the original source. It’s like going back to a childhood state, at last. So yeah, from that point of view, I’d say… yeah, that’s right.

What do you think of Jordan’s influence and Malcolm’s music?
MW: Well…we had a great team on set, who took care of putting together all these archives. So I was able to watch all these amazing shows that she was a part of. It was…honestly, it was so much fun, just for me, and not just as a role model for the work I was involved in. Her screen presence was mesmerizing. It was really a pleasure to watch it. Her work has had a huge impact on the world of cinema and fashion.

TBS: Malcolm’s music… well, it was very diverse. his music, ducksthis is important. Buffalo sittingIt’s one of the first real break-dance songs. He was there, right from the start, and then praised her, in his own way, and it was always a little weird. It’s not exactly my style of music, but he had the audacity to mix genres and see things no one else had seen. The result is always truly unique. It does not copy anything that already exists. I respect his boldness and originality.

Were you allowed to keep set items after shooting was over?
MW: You have kept the position!

TBS: Unfortunately, we were not allowed to keep anything. Everything was copies of Vivienne Westwood’s creations… This could have been plagiarism. Everything must remain as it is.

MW: Oh, my makeup artist, Laura, very gently gave me the eyeliner and lipstick that she used on me. Since then, they’ve joined my daily makeup bag.

TBS: I think I kept a pair of socks, without doing it on purpose. Well, that’s not really funny, as an answer…

pistol
USA, UK – 2022-60 minutes – Pewby, Musical
Created by Craig Pierce
Starring Toby Wallace, Sidney Chandler, Christian Liss
Available on Disney +

#Maisie #Williams #Thomas #BrodySangster #Interview #Pistols

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