Damian Lewis took a break from Homeland to come to Cannes to promote The Silent Storm, in which he will star opposite Andrea Riseborough.
Corinna Villari-McFarlane writes and directs the feature, which will shoot on the Isle of Mull in Scotland from late June.
The Silent Storm follows the story of an overbearing husband and his wife, who meet a young delinquent. Villari-McFarlane says her script is influenced by anything from Carl Jung to Celtic myths: “It is a strong, simple story with universal emotions.
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“The main thing was to get great actors who come to it for the right reasons and who have real depth,” the writer-director told Screen on Tuesday.
Lewis was her first choice but she thought his schedule would be busy; thankfully Homeland is on hiatus this summer, which allows him time to shoot in Scotland.
Lewis says he was drawn to the script because “it is an intimate character piece. I loved it and it’s not just bleak, gritty British reality, it has scale and it also has hope.” He says her script is in the same school as masters like Ingmar Bergman or Werner Herzog. Indeed, his character undertakes a Fitzcarraldo-like physical challenge during the story.
Lewis’s character is a Second World War veteran who comes home to a changing community. “He is a man of a bygone era; he¹s beaten down, he’s pent up and repressed, and he crushes the women around him,” says Lewis.
But don’t let that put you off: Lewis also notes there are “moments of joy” in the film.
Bond producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli are executive-producing alongside Marc Samuelson, Steve Milne and Hani Farsi.
Nicky Bentham (Moon) of Neon Films produces.
Bentham said: “It is a tempestuous, brooding drama but full of life and full of colour,” and, of Mull, she added: “It is just one of those magical places.” Bentham and Villari-McFarlane are also working on a very different project: a screwball sex comedy called Monk’s Apartment.