Deborah Haywood

Deborah's debut feature Pin Cushion premieres as the opening film of Venice Critics' Week.

What’s your connection to the British Council?
British Council screened my debut feature Pin Cushion to Venice Critics Week as part of their selector screenings programme in London (more info here). And now the film is opening Venice Critics' Week.

What are you working on right now?
My abs! :) erm, not really, I'm too lazy for that. I'm finishing Pin Cushion in time for Venice Critics' Week. Only the sound to go...

What/who originally turned you onto film?
I think it was probably an ex-boyfriend. He introduced me to all of the British Kitchen Sink films. If it wasn't for him I would never have seen films like Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush. I think he got all of his film knowledge from Morrissey...

What was your first job in the film industry?
I was a script reader and script editor for producer Sally Hibbin at Parallax. The first screenplay I was attached to was by Tracy Brabin, who is now an MP. She's still a good pal. I didn't know anyone in the film industry, but approached Sally and asked if I could be a script reader for her. I wanted access to British scripts so I could read a bunch with the hope of becoming a better writer.

What is a key piece of advice you’d give to someone starting off in film?
That listening to your belly is the most important skill you need. Belly knows best!

What is your favourite British film?
Up the Junction (1968). Cos I love the storyline, the characters and the acting. The colours, the fashion, the design, the music, the songs, the setting, and the cinematography. And Suzy Kendall.

If you could have directed/been involved with any film ever made, which one would it be?
Sweetie, by Jane Campion. Cos then I'd be Jane Campion.  Or The Virgin Suicides, cos then I'd be Sofia Coppola. :)

What’s the first film you remember seeing?
I think it was Great Expectations. The imagery of Miss Havisham and her cobwebby house terrified me. And I felt so sad for her. That was on the telly though. I can't remember the first film I saw at the cinema. Probably Dumbo or Bambi but I don't remember them. The first film I saw 'unaccompanied' at the cinema, was Breakdance (1984).  We nearly got kicked out for being rowdy.

What’s your favourite line or scene from a film?
This is hard! The end scene of the original Brighton Rock is pretty amazing.

Favourite screen kiss?
The one in An Officer and A Gentleman. Because I was a teenager and had it taped off the telly on VHS, and watched it a LOT.

Who’s your favourite screen hero or villain?
Hero: at the moment it's Nick from The Handmaid's Tale. Because I fancy the pants off him. Villain.. Vincent Gallo in Buffalo 66. Because he scares the shit out of me. In a good way.

Who would play you in the film about your life?
Lily-Rose Depp. Because we look "exactly" the same and we're "exactly" the same age. Honest!