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Director Richard Curtis' Swan Song Movie Holds Its World Premiere

posted 8 Aug 2013, 16:07 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 8 Aug 2013, 16:08 ]

The cast and crew of "About Time" react to their director Richard Curtis announcing his retirement from directing.

LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (AUGUST 08, 2013) (REUTERS) - Cast members Bill NighyDomnhall Gleeson, and Rachel McAdamsjoined their director and writer Richard Curtis on Thursday (August 8) for his last ever world premiere - an open air screening at London's Somerset House - as he announced recently that "About Time" will mark his retirement from film-making.

Curtis was the writer and executive producer on both "Notting Hill" and "Four Weddings and a Funeral" and went on to direct "Love Actually" and "The Boat that Rocked."

"About Time," which he directed and wrote, tells the story of a clumsy young man called Tim (Domnhall Gleeson) whose father (Bill Nighy) one day informs him he has the power to go back in time and correct mistakes. He uses this power to ensure that his dates with Mary (Rachel McAdams) go according to plan and that she will fall in love with him.

But, unlike most of Richard Curtis' movies, the romantic comedy element finishes within the first half and as the film progresses it becomes more about a comedic love story within the extended family.

Curtis has admitted that he will continue to write but his film production days are behind him. When asked why he was giving up the film-making side, Curtis replied "Oh, well, I don't know. I think there are many better directors than me in the world and I think everyone can do without me. The thing is this film is about trying to enjoy every moment of your life and directing is a bit tense so I'm trying to take my own advice."

Bill Nighy, who plays the father figure in the film, said "I don't blame him. Whenever I watch anyone directing a movie and when you think of it as what he calls a thousand days of your life, why would you? Because it is a really difficult and tricky job so I don't blame him but I really hope that it isn't his last one."

Curtis is not only a director, writer and producer but is also the founder of the UK'sComic Relief charity, which prides itself on every single pound generated is spent on charitable projects. To date it has raised more than £600 million pounds (GBP) for worldwide causes.

Rachel McAdams, who plays the love interest of the movie, shared Bill Nighy's hopes that this isn't the end for Curtis' movie making career. "I really hope it's not his last, of course. He's also busy saving the world so it's hard to ask him to stop doing that so that he can direct a movie but it would be nice if he could do both and he's a pretty balanced guy so I don't think we've heard the last of him," she said.

When asked how she would sum up Curtis' style, McAdams explained "He kind of makes you laugh, he kind of makes you cry. He makes you appreciate the small things in life which are actually the biggest most important things. He's got such a wonderful family and I think he expresses that in his films. I think they're quite autobiographical - not verbatim - but I think he brings a lot of his heart to it and you can feel that. They're the kind of movies that crack your heart open a little and make you a little... well they always make me cry."

Her partner in the romantic comedy part of the movie, Domhnall Gleeson, son ofBrendan Gleeson, said "Well just look at him! That's all the beauty you need right there. He's a wonderful man. When I was staying here, because I live in Dublin, they put me in a house near their families so they could come around for tea and hang out with them. He really believes what's in his movies, in love and friendship and romance and making all that count and he really believes those things and makes them work for him. I think it's a lovely thing and I'm very glad I know him."

But what does Richard Curtis believe his own legacy is? "I don't know I've got a legacy. I think people will look back and say that Hugh Grant had a surprisingly long career. Maybe that's my legacy," he joked.

Curtis' first passion was for acting but when he realised he wasn't any good, he turned his hand to writing. When asked if he would now consider taking acting up again in his retirement, he laughed "I know, I was talking to Bill Nighy about whether he'd like to direct me in the future. No, I'm the second worst actor of all time. You wouldn't want to see what happens when I fictionalise." When pushed about who he felt was the first worst actor of all time, he looked bashful and said "You know."

"About Time" goes on release in the UK on September 4th.