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Jeremy Brock’s Driving Lessons

For someone who has induced more cardiac arrests than almost anyone else in TV history, Jeremy Brock seems remarkably nice. The creator of BBC’s long-running hospital drama Casualty is also no stranger to movie sets, having written the scripts for John Madden’s Mrs Brown (1997) and Gillian Armstrong’s Charlotte Gray (2001). But it was a new experience to get behind the camera as he made his directorial debut on Driving Lessons.

A rites-of-passage drama ripped from the memory bank of Brock’s own life, Driving Lessons stars Julie Walters, Rupert Grint and Laura Linney, and is set smack in the heart of suburbia. The film’s a gentle but warming drama that gives Walters the chance to play a full-on diva – a chance she grasps with both hands. Brock says “there was never any argument” that he’d make his directorial debut on the low-budget pic, which shot entirely on location for six weeks in London, Edinburgh and Scotland.

Julie Walters and Rupert Grint carry on camping in Driving Lessons

Although Brock returned to his writing ‘day job’ after helming duties finished – adapting, among other things, Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited and Giles Foden’s The Last King Of Scotland – he admits to “secretly thinking” about when the next directorial opportunity will arise: “I feel like I’ve laid something to rest with Driving Lessons, but with luck in a few years I’ll have a chance to direct again.”

In the video Jeremy discusses the challenges of working with actors, and what he learned from shooting entirely on location.

Driving Lessons is released in UK cinemas on Friday 8th September 2006.


Original article found here at BBC I September 7th, 2006

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