The cover of the DVD and Blu-ray release of Tamara Drewe reads: “From the director of “The Queen” and “Dangerous Liaisons“,” which is true and certainly something to brag about—director Stephen Frears has a rich career and those are two of his most celebrated films—but doesn’t quite communicate the flavor of this mix of British pastoral and modern sex comedy. This is more like the Stephen Frears of “High Fidelity” and “Mrs. Henderson Presents” (the latter a lovely little piece which will live in infamy for offering a not-quite-so-lovely Bob Hoskins nude scene). The 69-year-old Mr. Frears, speaking by phone from his home in England, agreed. “It is a lighthearted film,” he says, but hasn’t much of an opinion either way on the advertising. “I just make them and let my personality come out in different ways.”
In fact, he doesn’t really seem to like talking about his films. A thoroughly pleasant and friendly gentleman, he is also modest and reticent to go into detail about the film. But he does have a sense of humor and a sense of pride in his co-stars. “They are very, very good actors,” he explains when I ask about the actors. “I mean, I don’t know. It wasn’t difficult to achieve an ensemble.” Perhaps not. There certainly is an ease that comes across in the little community that Tamara Drewe creates. I guess when you have the career that Stephen Frears has, you don’t feel the need to explain yourself. It’s all there on the screen.
What’s in your DVD player?
“Only Angels Have Wings.” I was asked to talk about Howard Hawks.
“Tamara Drewe” was based on a graphic novel, but understand it ran in the newspaper The Guardian before it was published in graphic novel form.
It ran in The Guardian as a strip, where I remember seeing it, and then it became a book, where I didn’t see it, and then it turned into a film script.
In an interview on the DVD, you said that you had read the strip and enjoyed it, but it was the script that excited you about the project.
I didn’t think you could make a film of it until I read the script.