The director of a new film, ‘Will’, based on Liverpool’s historic Champions League Final victory in Istanbul, has revealed that she wanted to take on the project because of her love for the city.
Speaking to JMU Journalism during her visit to LJMU’s Liverpool Screen School to talk to first year Film Stidies students, award-winning director Ellen Perry said it was because of Merseyside and the history of the city that she wanted to do the film. She said: “Liverpool has this magic, you probably don’t see it living here, but from an outsider looking in, it’s a beautiful part of the world.”
Ellen added: “You’re all beautiful, unique people, it’s like you’re not even English. The city is such a special
place and I think Liverpool Football Club follows in the
footfalls of the city.”
The world premiere of ‘Will’ was held in the Odeon in Liverpool One on Sunday night. The story follows an 11-year-old orphan boy, played by Perry Eggleton, who runs away from home to watch the 2005 Champions League Final in memory of his late father.
Current LFC boss Kenny Dalglish stars in the film, alongside Istanbul heroes Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher who played a part in Liverpool’s epic triumph over AC Milan, but it was the manager who revealed his unlikely talent for acting.
Ellen said: “Kenny made sure he read his part of the script but thought it was just a football movie so was playing his part lightly. There’s an emotional scene before where Damien Lewis’ character tells Will about a goal he saw Kenny score for Liverpool which I showed Kenny and from that moment on he knew what to do. Kenny Dalglish was a superb actor, but they were all really good. “
She added: “They were all strong performances. I’ve seen footballers act before and these three were extraordinary… they were committed, knew their lines and were willing to improvise.”
The US director moved to Liverpool for two-and-a-half years during the making of her film and spent a lot of her time researching, working very closely with the club and the fans. She told JMU Journalism: “I read every single biography on Kenny, Steven and Jamie, and went to as many matches as I could. I went to pubs and talked to the fans. They thought I was crazy!”
The film took five years to make from start to finish and Ellen described the process: “It’s like giving birth for women, that’s how painful it is. But it was really a privilege to do it, it’s great to do what you love and make a living.”