Danny Boyle talks about love, independent movies, Bollywood and more in Slumdog after winning at the Oscars
Thank you very much.
Earlier, Simon Beaufoy was talking about the role that love plays in Slumdog Millionaire. How was it for you, taking a different direction from 28 DAYS LATER, directing a film about love?
I tried to do a love story once before, and it didnt really work really. I think I have to heavily disguise them really and then got a chance. I mean what I loved about his script, genuinely, is that apparently at the beginning, the spine of the story appears to be the game show. And actually what happens, this is different from the novel, is that of course as you peel back the spine, theres another spine underneath, which is a love story, which is much stronger than a television show. Its much deeper, more profound, more recognizable, more loveable, more timeless than a game show. I love that about it. And its a chance to get yourself, lost in romance. And listen, we all want to get ourselves lost in romance if you get a chance, if we can find a reason to do it and to disguise it at the same time. Its great.
Want to ask, you know, when you were making the movie for Warner Independent, obviously shut down, just wondering if you are worried about this kind of film coming together, you know, in the future as studios focus on their franchises, their comic book characters. Would you worry going forward?
Thats a good question. Its really an important question as well. Because whats the one of the lovely things about this evening that the Academy has given us is that its a triumph for this kind of film really, and it is independent minded and its working against the odds really in a way, and its very important to keep it. Because you know it was wonderful to see, obviously, you see Heath Ledgers work acknowledged in The Dark Knight. And it is extraordinary work. But like virtually, I am sure, everybody, Heath, you know, started small as well. He started small films, you know. Everybody does and weve got to protect them.
One of your stars made some headlines over the weekend by suggesting it might be a bit of, I think his words were slight romance between your leading actor and your leading lady. It would be amazing case of life imitating art. Is there anything in it?
Have no idea. I dont know. They are I tell you they have been. Dev and Freida have been extraordinary because its their first film for both of them and they have shouldered the responsibility of fronting the film, of being the badge of the film really. And it takes the weight off us enormously. And it also makes the film expand to a much bigger audience, because a lot of the mainstream audience relates to actors and their experience through actors and part of that is dreaming about romance and all those kind of things, you know. And so, I have no idea and I wouldnt wish to add to it or take away from it. Whatever is true, I have no idea.
At what point did you decide to bring them over and how daunting was it at this late stage in this awards process finally you get a turn in the limelight again?
When we got the nominations we had been thinking about it, because you want to share it with the people youve made it with and who are responsible with the success of the film, which is primarily the actors really. And what we were very concerned about distorting their lives, all of them really, you know, because they are young. They should stay at school. They are all in school. You know, we put two of them into school.
As you were just saying, you were delighted to have the kids make the trip. Why didnt they come backstage with you and who is in charge of enforcing bedtime tonight?
God help them, whoever it is. I tell you that. I dont know why they didnt come back stage. I guess they had gone to the Governors Ball, I guess, or the party I suppose.
After all these accolades, do you still feel that way about your own film?
Absolutely. I said in my own acceptance speech, I said that Id forgotten to name in the credits the choreographer, and I only found out about it when he said to me. I think he was feeling a bit sheepish. We left this guy Longinus or Longi, but we left him off the credits. And that is imperfection walking and talking, and you have to hold your hand up and acknowledge how shameful that is to leave a guy like that who made such a contribution to the film. You know, he choreographed the dance at the end of the film, and he taught Dev Patel how to dance, which ended up being a much bigger task than choreographing a dance. And he made an amazing contribution to the film, and we forgot to credit him and its my fault. And, you know, you just think so this imperfection is there.
Youve with your other movies like Trainspotting, Shallow Grave, 28 Days Later, youve received a lot of accolades with other associations and societies. How does it feel to be recognized with SLUMDOG by the Academy? What is the feeling you have now?
Just extraordinary sense which has grown and culminated tonight of these extraordinary communities Bollywood, who gave us virtually all our cast and crew, and Hollywood, which has been responsible for the elevation of the film, culminating tonight. And being kind of really trapped in the middle; its a lovely trapped thing, its not a bad trapped thing. You know, watching this extraordinary event that takes place and you can see its going to happen more and more. There are also some people going to work there. These things are going to come together. The world is shrinking a bit, in a wonderful way, and it will benefit from it. Because in culture, fusion is a wonderful thing. And I felt it most in the music working with that guy, A. R. Rahman, and the sense of fusion, and you progress through fusion of things melding together is wonderful, really.
You were squirming in your seat. I dont know if it was apprehension.
Do you know why? The soundtrack was played double; it distorted all the way through, and all I could think, should I stop it, should I stop it and start again? I thought I cant, I cant. And every time I have distorted, because for some reason there was some loop on the sound and it played twice. You know, it played simultaneously twice. That is why I was squirming.