Pixie's Olivia Cooke: 'Theatres need drastic help' from the government (exclusive)

Watch: The stars of Pixie talk to Yahoo about the covid crisis and its impact on the arts

New British dark crime comedy Pixie is released in cinemas today – and it’s notable not just because of its influential British director, Barnaby Thompson (Wayne's World/Spice World) or its cast of rising stars including Ready Player One’s Olivia Cooke, Bohemian Rhapsody’s Ben Hardy and Peaky Blinders’ Daryl McCormack. No, arguably the most exciting thing about the new Ireland-set drug heist caper is that it’s even coming to cinemas at all.

It’s one of the few new movies to arrive in cinemas of late, thanks to the effects of Covid-19 across the industry and subsequent UK cinema closures - something the film’s cast and director are well aware of.

When Yahoo Movies UK chatted with the British film’s cast and director, they opened up about whether they were concerned about the state of the arts in the UK since the pandemic.

Read more: How 'Pixie' subverts the tired 'manic pixie dream girl' trope

“Yeah, absolutely. It'd be nice if it was more government funded. I don't think they really are aware of how much it's needed,” Olivia Cooke tells us, citing the government’s lack of arts funding since the closure of theatres and cinemas.

“During lockdown, I don't know about you, but one of my saving graces was [watching] TV and film, and being able to have some escapism for for a small segment of time within what was going on.”

A still from new release Pixie (Paramount)
A still from new release Pixie (Paramount)

“I think theatres need drastic help,” Cooke explains, “because when you go to the theatre – back when we went to theatres – the audience is usually very white, and very middle to upper class. So you then wonder about how that is the entertainment of the rich and sometimes conservative-leaning. So, help out your own in a way,” she adds.

Director Barnaby Thompson agreed that while he is concerned for cinemas closing, he sees opportunity in the British film industry too: “There's enormous amount of talent here, and there's enormous amount of opportunity, and in many ways, it's a great time, because of streaming... the cinemas have been going through a tough time anyway, so they're really feeling the pinch now.”

A still from new release Pixie (Paramount)
A still from new release Pixie (Paramount)

“I think we all take cinema for granted. I went to see Tenet the other day, and just to be in that big black box to watch a proper movie, with the sound, and the scale, and your telephone turned off. It's how you completely lose yourself in something. And so I think that we have to not take it for granted,” Thompson tells us.

Pixie is in cinemas now. Watch a trailer below.