Saturday 11 January 2020

Interview with Stephen Gallacher - Writer/Director of Nothing Man

Ahead of its release next week we spoke to Stephen Gallacher about his revenge thriller Nothing Man which stars Daniel Hall as a homeless man suffering from amnesia who is out to seek justice after his only friend is murdered.

You work in crowd P.A – in addition to writing, directing and acting – tell me about that? What does that involve?

I am now a 2nd assistant director on various films and tv shows such as Fleabag and The Split. It now involves writing call sheets and working out logistics, it can get quite monotonous but it’s all part of the job and it’s great to learn about every aspect. It’s also a great place to bond with cast and chat to them about projects.

You worked on Jason Bourne in that capacity?

At the time I was a crowd PA and got to work on some of the London stuff they did, it was a lot of fun, big crowd days are always fun. Two hundred people running around pretending like stuff is exploding near them and things, it’s cool.

I have to ask then, did the Jason Bourne character inspire Nothing Man?

In some ways yeah he did, but our main influence was certainly Dead Man’s Shoe’s by Shane Meadows, we loved Paddy Considine’s character in that and he was kind of birthed from there. Also we made Dan do his best Batman impression for the voice.

How long ago did you conceive the concept?

Wow, well its been eight years since we shot it so probably nine years since we came up with concept. We did a day of brainstorming to come up with the story and the concept and worked on it from there.

And what was the initial germ of the idea? 

We wanted to make something where it was low cost high concept, and wondered how best to do that and we also wanted to make it about societal problems and people. I like having some kind of message in my movies, even if it’s a small one, so having the issue of homelessness and a shady corporation getting rid of them was a response to the homeless situation in York and especially London.

I’m very interested in some of the feedback you’ve received on the film – I imagine while everyone really digs the film they’ve all got different opinions on the actions of those in the movie? Had some wild comments flung your way?

We’ve not had anything too crazy, I think most people think Noam is a great anti-hero and that’s where we pitched him. No one is morally perfect and I like characters that have more than one side to them, they’re human after all, so make sure they’re as conflicted and as complex as that. 

To get serious for a moment. What can be done about the homeless situation? It’s getting worse and worse it seems. Is there anything we the people can do to help there?

Well in the UK we just voted in a government that will not help the situation, it is getting worse and they’re doing very little to fix it. We have houses sitting empty, we ignore and avoid those less fortunate, so I think like most things it’s fixing the problem at the root. We need to invest in better health care, decriminalize certain drugs, get people into rehab, get them a routine, open up more shelters and give them an incentive to work and give them jobs.