With the release of Irish movie Death of a Superhero, we were thrilled to be given the opportunity to sit down with one of Ireland's finest directors, Ian Fitzgibbon. Ian chats to us here about working with Andy Serkis, the fantastic young cast in this movie - among which the once cherob-faced Thomas Brodie-Sangster who you'll remember from Love Actually is included - and how difficult it is to handle a movie that will likely have the audience in tears.
This is an amazing story, what first drew you to it?
The idea of this 15 year old prepared to face what the adults around him can't. That and his incredible talent for drawing.
Death of a Superhero is at its heart a teen love story - was that what attracted you to the book?
The book is very differen to the movie. But yeah, I'd never done a teenage love story before. That was a real challenge.
Andy Serkis is an acting legend, how did his involvement come about?
He loved the script and the part. It was also a chance for him to show a lesser known side to his acting. He has a beautiful stillness in his performance.
After Gollum, King Kong and Caesar, it's great to see Andy Serkis in the flesh: do you prefer him live or animated?
He's great at both! I can't wait to see The Hobbit movie.
Thomas Brodie-Sangster is such a fantastic young actor, and he's come so far since playing that little cutie in Love Actually, what was it about him that you thought would bring the role of Donald Clarke to life?
Thomas is one of the best actors I've ever worked with. What I liked most about him was his awkwardness. And this extraordinary quality in the silent moments.
The Irish accents from the two young English actors are just amazing - Thomas and Aisling Loftus - did that take some practise or were they just instantly good at it?
Thomas is very musical. He's in a band. I've often noticed that musical people seem to have a really good ear for accents. Aisling's Dad is from Dublin. And they both hung out with the kids (authentic southsiders) on the movie. But still they really nailed it.
This is quite a difficult subject to handle - what was the greatest challenge for you here?
No sentimentality. And no tears. I made a rule very early on. No one is allowed to cry in the movie. A rule I stuck to except for one scene where Sharon Horgan sheds a tear.
So far Death of a Superhero has been really well received, what do you hope people will take from this movie?
Above all I hope they're entertained. And moved. To laughter and tears.
Movies like this and What Richard Did which we saw last month are taking Irish cinema to a whole new level - what are your thoughts on the current state of Irish cinema, are we in a good place?
I haven't seen Lenny's film yet. I've been stuck in London but I hear amazing things about it.
Your personal back catalogue is very impressive, you've worked with some great people and directed some fine work in film and for TV. What is it that ignites your passion?
Talent. That's what really excites me. Working with people who are really good at what they do. I've worked with some great people in the last couple of years.
We're very much looking forward to the new series of Threesome, what can we expect this time round?
It's properly metnal. My favourite episode features our three heroes getting trapped by an evil fridge. I love working with Amy, Steve and Emun.
Any more exciting projects in the pipeline?
Well, I'm in post on something I did for Sky with Dylan Moran. It's something he wrote and stars in. I think there's a really good series in it. We'll see.