Guy Ritchie made his mark in the London underground. No, not the subway system, the crime stories that permeate that historic country's underbelly.
Filmmaker and director Guy Ritchie is back and ready to RockNRolla. What would be his must-have five elements for tackling his next crime epic?
1. Be cool
SheKnows found the director as one would expect. Calm, cool, collected and possessing a British accent that would certainly melt Madonna's heart. Or, at least it used to.
Debuting on the film scene with Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrells, Ritchie certified his place in the movie industry with his all-star cast Snatch. Luring Brad Pitt to join his London acting troupe that includes Jason Straham, Snatch was an international hit.
Then, he met Madonna. They got married, had children and it appeared as if Ritchie's heart had melted a bit. Yes, he made a romance movie with his wife that was universally panned, and yes, he directed a few of her videos, but now, with RockNRolla, the man who made it safe to love loathesome people, is back in his element.
2. Stick to what you love
SheKnows: After some years away from the crime genre, what was it about the story of RockNRolla that took over your brain?
Guy Ritchie: I suppose as long as film or stories are being told, we like stories about bad guys. I don't think I'm unique in that respect. I'm drawn to the dark side, because, again, it's an interesting world for stories. In the Usual Suspect, the story of Kaiser Souze, I remember everyone I saw that with, it was the story that we found so beguiling. I think we're interested in the dichotomy of the human condition in that respect. We like bad guys, right. If you take Dark Knight, everyone like The Joker. The Joker's the bad guy. We're drawn to him. I'm not unique in that way, the trouble is I fancy bad guys.
3. Cast well
SheKnows: How important was the casting of Thandie Newton in this picture?
Guy Ritchie: Thandie was perfect for this strong female character was of the utmost importance to the story. It was based on a character that I had heard about. The thing was about this accountant is she would get titillated, but she was rather glamorous who got titillated by the dark side. When someone told me the story, I found it far too attractive to ignore. It's based on a true story. She had transcended her job and inspired these terrible things.
SheKnows: Such a classic screen vision of the crime girl. The name of the film, RockNRolla, where did that arise from?
Guy Ritchie:It's not based on anything specific. I just became aware that there's a phrase that's generated. If you said someone's a RockNRolla, it gives a certain picture - someone who lives life very large.
Usually it's someone quite volatile, usually about someone who's creative. Trouble is there are consequences to that desire and often then end up putting their finger in the socket. But I think that makes fertile ground for a narrative. So, what we try to do in the movie is integrate as many what I deem interesting characters contemporary and RockNRolla just happens to be one of those characters.
4. Location, location, location
SheKnows: In Snatch as in all your films, the landscape of London plays a huge element. Why is that so important to the Richie film experience?
Guy Ritchie: I read an article by an American about how London had become the new New York in the last ten years. To a degree, that's true, but it's always been international. Recently, it has become so rich. It's kind of like the Wild West now. Inevitably these characters are going to have to get along with one another. The nouveau riche has always been tremendously unpopular in the UK. Old money has dominated the culture for the last couple hundred years. But that's changed now. No longer is un-cool to be the nouveau riche, there's something funny about that, right! I like the idea that you have these cultures that clash. London, to me, is such a place with so much creative energy.
5. Focus on future
With his marriage to Madonna officially over and a film with huge buzz landing on the scene, where does Guy Ritchie head next?
Guy Ritchie: What I have a passion for is the graphic novel genre in film, because I'm rather retarded when it comes to reading (laughs)! I like it to be thrown up on film. I was thrilled when the likes of Sin City of 300 came into the equation. To a degree, my movies, I'd like to see them as cartoon driven. With the advent of technology, we can now manifest this in a form that is more efficient to what it is I'm creatively interest in. I will end up in that genre.
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