Rachel Tunnard

Rachel Tunnard makes her feature directorial debut with offbeat comedy Adult Life Skills (formerly titled How To Live Yours), which she also wrote and edited.

  • Rachel Tunnard

Rachel Tunnard

The film, which has its world premiere on April 17 at Tribeca (details here), stars Jodie Whittaker as a 30-year-old woman whose childish behaviour frustrates her mother.

Tunnard, a BAFTA Brit to Watch, previously made the short Emotional Fusebox, which was BAFTA and BIFA nominated.

The British Council helped screen Adult Life Skills to Tribeca as part of our festival selector screening programme (more information here).

What/who originally turned you onto film?
Watching Fred and Ginger movies at 7am with my mum on school holidays. Actually, that might have just turned me on to the idea of walking down grand staircases in big swooshy dresses.

Let’s say: me and my brother (taking ages) picking the ‘Friday night film’ from the video shop round the corner as kids.

What has been your career high so far?
My Dad, rehearsing for his role as the ‘pub landlord who plays the recorder’, on his own on the Yorkshire Moors, practicing ‘Morning has Broken’ in full Wicker Man-type costume while we set up the shot.

He said hikers were walking past him and giving him a look that said they thought he was into "weird dogging."

What’s your advice for someone starting off in filmmaking?
Publicising your own failings in a way that is funny is the key to endearment and success. Also, be humble and always offer to make the tea. They never fire the person who makes the tea.

What is your favourite British film? Why?
Trainspotting! I was 15 and it was so cool. I wanted to be Kelly Macdonald, in that dress, with Blondie playing, snogging Ewan McGregor (I still do).

If you could have been involved with any film ever made, which one would it be?
I always feel a lot of pressure as a film-maker to say something high-brow or academic as an answer to questions like this but in truth, it would probably be something like Wayne’s World. It looked like such a hoot and such a massive warm film family.

What’s the first film you remember seeing?
Return of the Jedi at the cinema. All those Ewoks… I thought they were hilarious. It must have been a re-run or something as I was too young when it first came out. I came home and told my mum I wanted Luke Skywalker to be my big brother.

What’s your favourite line from a film?
‘We want the finest wines available to humanity. We want them here, and we want them now!’ (Withnail and I)

‘BIG MISTAKE. BIG. HUGE’ (Pretty Woman)

‘Party on Wayne’ (Wayne's World)

Or basically anything from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, I could quote that film all day, with accents and gesturing, much to the embarrassment of my brother.

Favourite screen kiss? 
Reality Bites at the end - basically wanted to be Winona Ryder in that moment / in that film / I still do.

Who would play you in the film about your life? Why?
My brother in a wig and a dress, because, come on, it’d be hilarious, he’s got all the goods on me.

What are you working on right now?
A a buddy breakup road-movie produced by Duck Soup for Film 4 and a couple of TV projects for Channel 4 and eOne.