Interview: Danny Boyle talks ’127 Hours’

Photo credit: Julie Thomas

Director Danny Boyle has a well-earned reputation in critics circles for being a friendly and honest interview subject. My first experience with the man came when he was promoting his underrated family film “Millions.” It was a quick chat but I could easily see how his humble charm could win over film critics.

Subsequent interviews with Boyle for his follow up films “Sunshine” and the award-winning “Slumdog Millionaire” confirmed what I suspected, not only does he love filmmaking but he’s also one of the few people to speak openly about it. In a climate where interview answers are rehearsed and scrutinized in order to give off a false image, it’s refreshing to speak to someone who doesn’t feel a need to be fake and say “the right things.” This doesn’t suggest that Boyle goes around trashing his actors or making controversial remarks, just that his answers are candid and his overall personality is endearing to a stranger like me.

This brings us to the reason you’re reading this, in other words the new Danny Boyle film. It’s called “127 Hours” and while it may be a departure from the Oscar winning “Slumdog Millionaire,” keep in mind that when Boyle and his movie won a boatload of awards he had his choice of any project to do next. To pick a claustrophobic story about a rock climber who gets caught under a boulder and has to amputate his way to freedom is a very gutsy move. The fact that “127 Hours” is doing great business so far and stands out as one of the year’s best films further proves that Boyle’s risk has paid off. Using his powers for good instead of going for an easy paycheck doing a Hollywood blockbuster may be the obvious choice to some filmmakers but it doesn’t seem to be in Boyle’s nature.

The following conversation with Boyle was conducted during his press tour to promote “127 Hours” in San Francisco last month. As you’ll hear for yourself in the audio link below the man does not disappoint when it comes to candid talk about his ups, downs and the overall filmmaking experience. We obviously discuss the new film and the challenges of putting his leading man James Franco in such a tense working environment but our conversation also touches on some of his past work and future endeavors. Possible projects like sequels to “Trainspotting” and “28 Weeks Later” are mentioned as well as reasons why movie stars shouldn’t complain when they’re being interviewed.

“127 Hours” is expanding today to limited theatres across America.

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