Emily: On the red carpet with Emma Mackey, Frances O’Connor, Fionn Whitehead and Oliver Jackson
Emily is the directorial debut from actress Frances O’Connor, dramatising the life of famed writer Emily Brontë. An impeccable cast, with Sex Education‘s Emma Mackey at the centre, brings to the fore the much-debated personal lives of the author and her siblings in the 19th century, while the weatherbeaten moors and a gothic sensibility loom as large in the picture as they did in the protagonist’s writing. In O’Connor and Mackey’s hands, Emily is imagined to be a shy, yet rebellious creature who is ahead of her time, bringing into being the kind of mind that could pen Wuthering Heights, and a fiery spirit runs through the movie, reverse engineering with the stilted nature of usual period dramas (that indeed O’Connor grew to fame starring in, such as the excellent The Importance of Being Earnest). While taking liberties in terms of historical fact – which is limited in availability – the movie offers the perfect vehicle for sparking romance, passion and interest in the classic texts of the Brontës in the next generation.
The Upcoming had the pleasure of speaking with the filmmaker and her cast on the red carpet at the film’s premiere in London. O’Connor spoke about taking the leap into behind the camera instead of in front, why she was so fascinated by the story of the Brontës and how she chose and worked with her cast.
Mackey told us the appeal of playing the titular character and working with O’Connor.
Fionn Whitehead shared his thoughts about playing Branwell Brontë and the research that when into his preparation.
Oliver Jackson told us about his character of William Weightman, the love interest of Emily.
Adrian Dunbar gave us some insight into his character, Patrick Brontë, the patriarch of the family.
Amelia Gething then chatted to us about taking on the role of Anne Brontë and her experience of being on set.
Alexandra Dowling further shared her experience of playing Charlotte Brontë and exploring the sisterly relationships between the characters on screen.
Producer Piers Tempest stopped to speak briefly about the making of the film and evoking the era and setting with panache.
Videos: Marta Starczynowska
Emily is released nationwide on 14th October 2022. Read our review here.
Watch the trailer for Emily here: