“The Edge of Love,” director John Maybury’s biopic about the amours of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (played by Matthew Rhys), is having its premiere at the Edinburgh Film Festival tomorrow. Anna Burnside at the London Times talks to screenwriter/playwright Sharman Macdonald about how one gets such a film made, the secret being, and here’s one for all the struggling writers out there to try at home, to get your daughter Keira Knightley to sign on as one of the leads.
Knightley asked to read the script, loved it, and set up some meetings in LA. It was during one of these calls that Knightley accidentally cast herself as Vera. “They said to her, ‘Of course you’re going to be in it’, and she said, ‘Well, Shar’ — that’s what she calls me, she doesn’t call me Mum — ‘I couldn’t say no’.”
Also in the Times, Andrew Lycett interviews Thomas’ daughter Aeronwy Thomas, who likes the film while pointed out a few deviations from the truth: ” ‘The dresses all look too expensive,’ she says, recalling her childhood. ‘Where are the patches on the elbows of coats and cardigans?’ ” Sheila Johnston at the Telegraph talks with the film’s producer Rebekah Gilbertson, who has her own family connection to the story two of the people portrayed in the film, Vera Phillips (played Knightley), who had an affair with Thomas, and William Killick (Cillian Murphy), who was married to Vera and tried to murder Thomas, are her grandparents:
Her family rarely mentioned the scandal: “There was always a sort of mystery around it. I was told once that they had agreed, the four of them, not to talk about it. And my grandfather felt he had five daughters and didn’t want to be considered as the person who tried to kill Dylan Thomas.”
The film has yet to secure a U.S. distributor, possibly because its rumored Sapphic and threesome scenes are apparently just that. With this and “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” we’ve almost got enough for a year-end trend piece on the vaporware mÃ©nage! Frustrated fanboys everywhere rage, rage…eh, whatever.
[Photo: “The Edge of Love,” Capitol Films, 2007]
+ Sharman Macdonald: Keira, Dylan Thomas and me (London Times)
+ Aeronwy Thomas on The Edge of Love and her father, Dylan Thomas (London Times)
+ The Edge of Love: ‘My granddad tried to kill Dylan Thomas’ (Telegraph)