The Lost King: On the red carpet with Sally Hawkins, Steve Coogan and Stephen Frears
The Lost King is the latest in a line of royalty-related features from Stephen Frears, following Victoria and Abdul and The Queen. It also marks his second collaboration with Steven Coogan, who co-wrote and also stars in the film, as he did with their previous project, the superb Judi Dench-led Philomena. In terms of tone and content, it’s perhaps the latter that The Lost King shares most with, following as it does the true life story of an ordinary woman who has the determination and tenacity to go against the establishment to find a certain truth.
In this case, it’s the tale of middle-aged Philippa Langley living in Edinburgh, who suffers from chronic fatigue and finds her professional career flatlining; after seeing a performance of Shakespeare’s Richard III she becomes obsessed with the figure and the way he has been treated and judged by history, and so becomes fixated on discovering where his body is buried. The always brilliant Sally Hawkins takes on the role of Langley opposite Coogan, both injecting equal parts humour and heartwarming charm into their wife and husband roles, while Harry Lloyd takes on a playful apparition of King Richard III.
The Upcoming had the pleasure of chatting with the cast and creatives on the red carpet at the film’s UK premiere. The lovely Hawkins explained the allure of playing Langley and telling her fascinating story.
Coogan gave us some insight into how the retelling of Langley’s story came about, from his first watching a documentary about the exhumation of King Richard III and writing the script with Jeff Pope, to committing the film to screen with Frears. He also shared how both comedy and drama are important to his career and to storytelling, even if he may eventually tire of his Alan Partridge alter-ego.
Renowned film composer Alexandre Desplat explained the appeal of writing the soundtrack for The Lost King, why he enjoys working with Frears, and his process. He also said a few words about the highly anticipated Guillermo del Toro movie, Pinocchio, which is set to premiere in London during the forthcoming film festival.
Lloyd chatted to us about playing the unusual “character” of King Richard III (more Langley’s invisible best friend in the film than a king) and what an experience it was working opposite Hawkins.
Mark Addy further shared the appeal of being involved with the project, in particular the chance to work with Hawkins, Coogan and Frears, and why he felt it was a story that needed to be told.
Screenwriter and executive producer Jeff Pope spoke about the approach he and Coogan have to writing together, and why they were compelled to tell this extraordinary story about a very ordinary person.
We also had the chance to hear from the real-life Langley about what it meant for her journey discovering King Richard III to be depicted on-screen, with none other than Sally Hawkins in the lead role.
Videos: Filippo L’Astorina
The Lost King is released nationwide on 7th October 2022.
Watch the trailer for The Lost King here: