Jonny Campbell, director of “The Casual Vacancy”, reveals intriguing information about the series!
Our friends over at AlwaysJKRowling.com recently had the chance to sit down with Jonny Campbell, the director of The Casual Vacancy TV adaptation. Jonny revealed new details regarding the politics that feature in the mini-series and a surprising fact about how familiar he was with the book before being asked to direct the show!
During the interview Jonny was asked if there were any particular cast or crew members he was looking forward to working with. He revealed he was most looking forward to working with an actor who is well known to Potter fans for playing Professor Dumbledore. Jonny said that
the large ensemble cast were wonderfully dedicated and great company on set. I’d wanted to work with Michael Gambon forever, and he lived up to his legendary billing.
Jonny also revealed that he hadn’t read the book prior to being asked to direct the adaptation! Jonny shared that he actually found this an advantage, stating,
No, I hadn’t read it before I read the first episode, which was very useful in this instance since I was able to approach the screenplay and the story without prejudice. Ignorance can sometimes be an advantage [since] I was then able to read the book almost as a character ‘bible’ to ensure that where possible and appropriate some of the extra texture and detail of the book could find its way into the locations, set design or the performances.
When asked if he could share some wisdom of how to forge a career as a director, Jonny answered,
the best advice I have to becoming a drama director is to study literature, theatre, documentary and storytelling.
Jonny was also asked if he had taken the upcoming UK general election into account when filming and if that had influenced any decisions in the filming of The Casual Vacancy. Jonny responded,
I think the themes in this story will always be relevant, not just at this time. The fact that there was an election coming up the year after we started the project was never even mentioned [since] it was totally irrelevant to the story, contrary to what some people have thought. Sarah Phelps, the screenwriter, does have an acute social conscience, as does J.K. Rowling, but the story is about how people react to a sudden death in a small community – the minutiae of grief – and how the ripple effect of this death passes through the lives of a host of characters.
You can read the full interview between AlwaysJKRowling.com and Jonny Campbell here.
If you missed The Casual Vacancy, don’t worry! The DVD will be released in the UK on June 15, 2015, and is available to pre-order now from the BBC Shop or Amazon. If you’re in the US it will be shown on April 29 and 30 on HBO.