'Three Billboards' interview: Director Martin McDonagh bemoans 'bland P.C. filmmaking' (exclusive)

Stefan Pape
Contributor

Anyone who has indulged in either of Martin McDonagh’s preceding cinematic endeavours will know that he’s not exactly a director who plays by the rules.

His outrageous brand of filmmaking, that we saw in both In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths, has carried into his latest project too, as Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is gloriously in-line with his distinct sensibilities – and he has no plans to change either.

Speaking to Yahoo Movies UK, McDonagh explained what attracts him to taking his comedy to the limit – and how he wishes more filmmakers would follow suit.

“It’s knowing where the line is and just going over it,” he said. “I don’t want to take the pee out of anyone really, but I think everything is up for grabs and if you’re an equal opportunities offender like I am, there’s a joy to it. Also it’s the way people speak when they’re not being the best people that they might hope to be.”

Martin McDonagh (L), winner for Best Screenplay – Motion Picture, Sam Rockwell, winner for Best Performance By An Actor In A Supporting Role In Any Motion Picture, and Frances McDormand, winner for Best Performance By An Actress In A Motion Picture – Drama, pose backstage after also winning the award for Best Motion Picture – Drama for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Given the film’s success at the Golden Globes, where it picked up four awards – including Best Drama and Best Screenplay – it shows audiences are craving this style of film too.

“There’s something kind of exciting when people are free to speak as they really do in the real world. I think there’s a bit too much bland PC filmmaking going on and you never really want to watch those films twice, so I prefer this kind,” McDonagh finished.

Sam Rockwell, who was also triumphant in the Supporting Actor category at the Globes, plays a role who is emblematic of the film’s risky tone, and he told Yahoo Movies UK what a joy the character was to get his teeth into.

“I think any good actor would take this part and do something with it,” he said. “I put a lot of my heart and soul into it and I worked very hard and did some research, but I think it’s just a great role”

Given the actor’s inclination to be drawn to more flawed members of society, often portraying nasty characters on the big screen, he did admit that in the case of Dickson, there is a lot more to the role than meets the eye.

“I think there’s more to Dickson though, he’s got a lot of vulnerability and he’s got anger and he gets nasty for sure, but there’s more to him, he’s fearful and has a lot of stuff going on.”

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is released on 12 January. Watch a new clip below.


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