Having caught sci-fi fans’ attention with his role as Mickey in BBC’s now massive show DOCTOR WHO, actor Noel Clarke has went from acting, to acting, writing and directing his own films, in every kind of genre from dramas, horror (STORAGE 24) and now Sci-Fi with his new film, THE ANOMALY (Now available on DVD/Bluray via Anchor Bay). With one hell of an interesting premise involving a man waking up suddenly and having only 9 minutes at a time to try to solve what he’s doing there, the film is a fun ride, with plenty of choreographed fighting greatness, a style that rivals Hollywood’s huge films, and a really engaging story-line.
We thought it would nice to have a small chat with Noel, regarding THE ANOMALY, as well and the transition from actor to director. Read on!
You’re obviously know for your role in Doctor Who, as well as many other roles. The last time we spoke was during the press rounds for Storage 24 and you mentioned growing up loving sci-fi. What was it about The ANOMALY that made you want to take this futuristic story on as a director?
Man, I just loved the fragmented story. I love films like that, I made one a few years back called 4321 and those types of films have always grabbed me. Also, as a director , I wanted to challenge myself. I wanted to make something that looked like it cost 5 times more than it actually did, and I’m proud that we achieved that.
The film has a very unique style and I loved the style of the fighting scenes. Were there any particular films or individuals who might have serves as inspirations for that style?
I loved THE RAID, and the long no-cuts fight and wanted to do something like that, but also, I really am not a fan of the now over-cutting of fight scenes. Bourne got it so right, after that it became, throw punch, cut, kick, cut, drop a frame for impact. Half the time I can’t see what’s going on anymore, so I wanted these fights to be full takes of real action and that’s what I did, playing with the speed to add to the visual style, but those were real fights. Well, as real as they could be, safely.
You’re a very talented filmmaker, and have a very unique vision and also writing style (for the films you’ve written). Will there ever come a point where you’ll decide to focus on a career as a director and stop acting, or are you equally in love with both?
Short answer — yes. Long answer, I still love them both and it’s not like I’m Spike Lee in either respect. I’m not at that level of director yet where I feel that is my main thing. [My Doctor Who character] Mickey Smith is so far away from the “kidulthood” guy but it all kind of gets washed over, and people forget I’m acting, that I’m not Mickey and I’m not a street thug either. They are all characters. People who really know me know that.
Your films have spanned multiple genres, which I think is a sign of a great director, not limiting themselves to one type of film. As a filmmaker, are there any specific directors who have inspired you a filmmaker?
Thanks. My thing is, as a film fan, I like all types of movies, so as a creator and filmmaker I want to make many different types of films as well. Inspire me as a director? It’s complicated. There are too many great people to mention. Also, there are plenty of people “directing” who are hailed as the second coming but I know they couldn’t direct traffic, but they have great DP’s and crew and agents around them, and they scrape through. It’s like they fail upwards. It’s funny but that’s what it is. I know too much about the business to be massively inspired by any one person, but back in the day Kevin Smith, Quentin Tarantino, Alfonso Cuaron, Doug Liman, Paul Thomas Anderson — those were the guys that made me want to make movies.
What’s next for you? We’re always on board with your output, we dig your stuff.
Thank you. I’m just trying to feed the kids! I can’t really tell you what’s next, as I’m never sure what will get made and what won’t. I’m writing a couple of commissions so if they go, that will be good. Also a few of my scripts might be getting made. Director-wise, there are 3 movies I know I want to make. The first as a hint may be going back to the well… that’s all I can say now. Thanks guys!