The last year has been an incredible ride for me. Not only did the movie go well but the stage play, which I co-wrote, was a critical and commercial success. Now that the world is taking a breath I wanted to take the time to look back on the past 12 months and give a shout out to all the people and places that made it special.

The Country

When we set out to make the movie, we knew that we’d end up shooting it in the UK. It was always going to be in rural England because that’s where we grew up and still have a lot of family and friends. Going back to the UK was a dream come true for me and I’m so grateful to all the people who helped us make it happen. We had never been to such a beautiful place and it really inspired the story. We have wonderful rural landscapes, dramatic coastlines, and friendly locals who were more than happy to help us with our movie.

The Cast

The cast was incredible. We had some of the best British and Irish actors working on the film. What I love about working with experienced British actors is that they always bring so much energy and excitement to a role. It was a joy to watch them shine and it made me realise just how much talent there is in the UK. We had big-name stars in Chris Pratt and Katherine Waterston, Bill Nighy and Brenda Blethyn amongst many others. It felt like an amazing ensemble cast and it really showed on screen. Even now, as I’m writing this, I’m starting to think of new people I should probably mention!

The Script

I’ll be the first to admit that my English isn’t the best, so I needed all the help I could get from professional English speakers, especially considering I was writing the script with one of the leading English novelists of our time. We had the best of the UK’s top literary talent working on the script. It was a real joy getting to know them and their exciting, adventurous lives. It really inspired the story, from Emily’s point-of-view, and she did such a convincing job that I thought she was the real deal even before we started shooting.

The Director

Benjamin Bonney is an incredibly talented filmmaker who worked with us on the film. It was his idea to shoot in black and white and I really think it made a difference. We were able to capture the feeling of nostalgia much better I think, and it added to the film’s charm. He also did a phenomenal job adapting the novel’s rhythms and keeping the tension throughout. He’s such a dedicated crew member and I think that showed in the finished product. He’s since gone on to direct several other movies, including the upcoming Alien: Covenant, so I’d like to thank him for all his hard work.

The Set

The set was incredible. We had such a talented and dedicated crew behind the scenes, who all pitched in to create something magical. The amount of detail that went into making everything look as good as new was astonishing. I couldn’t dream of a set that looked more beautiful. The costumes, designed by Emily’s mum, were also timelessly fashionable and it made the entire cast and crew look like James Bond. I felt like I jumped right into a 007 movie, as the clothes and the sets blended together so well. It truly was a triumph of style versus substance.

The Producers

We had fantastic producers behind the scenes who worked hard to make sure the entire production ran smoothly. They made sure we had everything we needed and that the timeline was met. It’s amazing how much goes into putting on a movie, and I think they did a fantastic job. We had some of the best script doctors in the UK working on the script, as we were always struggling with the English language. It was great to have someone trained in English literature to spot any bad habits in the script and help us to correct them. It really made a difference. As an independent film, the amount of paperwork was a lot, especially with the constant changes that happen during production. But the producers were there to help and made sure everything was done legally and by the book. It’s a small town, and everyone knows each other, so there were no problems with casting or locations. Everything fell into place perfectly.

The Moment It All Began

It all began when my agent sent me the email about the part. I was immediately drawn to it because of the story’s rich setting and I loved the character of Emily. At the time, I was living in New York because I was shooting the movie The Edge, and I was in the middle of a tour of Ireland when I got the call. I booked the flight to London immediately and did four days of intensive screen tests with the producer, Benjamin Carrai. The final scene of the movie is based on one of those screen tests and it shows how much pressure there is when you’re shooting a big-budget movie with high expectations. I remember walking through the town’s main street, laughing because I thought it was so funny. The town’s mayor came up to me and said, “Welcome to Our Town! I loved your work in Killing them Softly. You’re very talented.” I was like, “Thanks, I love your town!” It was the first time I realized that a lot of people in small towns had probably never seen my work. It was an incredibly moving experience for me.

The Town

Now that the dust has settled I’m happy to report that a lot of the townsfolk have been really pleased with the film. A lot of credit must go to the wonderful residents of Widcombe, who were incredibly welcoming to us while we were there and the people from Amble, who organised a brilliant premiere for us in their town. I really hope we were able to show the charm of both towns in the movie. But I’ve gotta say, it was pretty chilly while we were shooting in Scotland because it was raining a lot, so I hope Bill Nighy’s character doesn’t catch pneumonia!

The Fans

I still get recognized by fans on the street every day, which is such a joy. It’s been incredible getting to know so many people who really liked the film and supported me throughout this whole process. It really humbled me and gave me an appreciation for the small-town life that Emily and I lived during shooting. And it made me realize how many people out there, in small towns and big cities alike, needed someone to listen and to help. It was my sincere hope that our film could raise awareness and help to change the way people interact in real life. I also love that people think it’s funny that I can’t carry a tune, but it’s actually, a really useful talent when you need to work on cars or farms!

The fact that our movie was a success, not only at the box office, but also with critics and audiences, means a lot. It’s been an incredible ride and I’m so proud to have been a part of it. I look forward to returning to Widcombe in the near future, as it was such an amazing place to film. I’d like to thank everyone involved in making our movie the success that it was. Without their tireless work, dedication, and support, this story would not have been able to unfold the way it did. Thanks for reading! I hope this article has helped you to have a better idea of what this town is like. If so, let me know – I’d love to hear from you! You can find me on social media, including Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, where I post regular updates and sneak peeks at my life. Feel free to follow me and I’ll follow you back. You can also find my contact details on my website,, where you can also find a wealth of information about my life and work. Thanks again for reading, I hope this article has helped you. I look forward to hearing from you soon!