Alberto Sciamma talks about his comedy road movie starring Kierston Wareing and Tommy French, I LOVE MY MUM.
I LOVE MY MUM is the story of a mother (Kierston Wareing) and her son (Tommy French) who inadvertently get shipped in a container from their UK home to Morocco. Without money or documents and still in their pajamas, they need to find a way to re-immigrate back into their own country.
I LOVE MY MUM opens in Cinemas across the UK on the 31st May 2019.
Q) Alberto Sciamma tell us about I Love My Mum?
A crazy comedy, fast and bonkers at times, it's an explosion of life and a celebration of the absurd. It does has a serious undertone, but I leave it to the audience to find it (and that would be helpful as I have been looking everywhere and can't remember where I left it).
Q) Where did the idea come from?
The movie started with an image in my head and a feeling, a very personal feeling about identity. The image was a mum and a son arguing about something utterly trivial, sandwich fillers, cheese in this case - but I could feel the massive consequences ahead, triggered by such a small argument.
I'm a Spanish guy that has been in the UK for more than half my life; then again I feel like an outsider here and in Spain. Every time I get a taxi in either country the cabbie asks me a version of the same question; "Here for a nice holiday?"
That sense of not belonging, the road trip of life, being lost, searching for a 'home' that may or may not exist, all that intrigues me.
Q) From idea to completion, was it a long process?
It was long, the script was first conceived 10 years ago, then life happens; you go into other projects...
To feel safe jumping into I LOVE MY MUM I needed to be in the right mental space, a sort of ’Aqua-Park' head space - I was waiting for the right moment to do it. Finally I managed to reconnect with the idiot in me and I was ready, so I jumped in, it took a couple of years to put it together and one more year to complete it.
Q) How many countries did you film in?
We shot in different places in Spain; from Benidorm to the Pyrenees, in Morocco all the way from Marrakech to Tangier, in the UK and in Italy too.
Q) Filming abroad must have brought some challenges, what were the biggest obstacles you had to cross?
I was lucky to work with two great producers, Alexa Waugh and Matt Hookings.
Alexa was also the line producer and she, like a true bull dog, was able to fight tooth and nail to coordinate the circus. It was non-stop, shooting and traveling. Practically every scene in the movie is in a different place or country, so just managing to get it done was tricky. We needed to become super flexible as a unit, crew and cast, move fast, no sleep, shoot, travel, shoot...
Most of us got ill. At one point in Morocco we were shooting a scene just with 3 of us left standing, doing everyone's roles, because everyone else was down. But the team helped each other beyond the call of duty, like true brothers in arms.
Also language became another muddy funny obstacle at times; at one point I was directing simultaneously in Catalan, Spanish, Italian and English. I was going nuts.
We had other challenges, some serious and some just funny; from being on our toes to avoid the police in Morocco, to climbing a mountain for hours and hours (just me and Fabio Paolucci, our incredible director of photography) so we could get a 2 second shot.
We also had all kind of incidents, including Tommy French, who had to drive a very old Mercedes taxi, well - he didn't have a driving license with him.... and the Moroccan police where not too happy about it.
At the end of the day I don't think any of us will ever forget making this movie, and after many years, remember the experience with a massive smile in our faces.