Andrew Haigh interview

Andrew Haigh may not be a household name domestically but his newest film All Of Us Strangers has six BAFTA nominations including Best Director, and Best Supporting Actor and Actress. Perhaps not oddly Haigh’s latest film was totally shut out of the upcoming Oscar® race.

(The BAFTAs, the 77th British Academy Film Awards, will be carried live on BBC America this Sunday, February 18.)

In All Of Us Strangers Andrew Scott gives a superlative performance as a contemporary single man living in a high rise London condo. A series of edits make it seem like Scott has traveled by train and by foot and comes upon a house where he visits a couple. Who they are is not explained in the first scene.

His parents, mentioned earlier in the film, were killed in a car crash when he was a child. Yet on a second visit it’s pretty clear that Claire Foy and Jamie Bell are his parents and they seem to live in the 1980s. Paul Mescal is Scott’s boyfriend, a fellow resident in the high rise.

Even in the present Scott listens to ’80s English influenced New Wave like Frankie Goes to Hollywood or Pet Shop Boys or Fine Young Cannibals. 

There’s an otherworldly feeling not unlike The Twilight Zone where Scott travels between two seemingly normal time periods. In fact there is a TZ with a similar plot, from Season 1, the episode “Walking Distance.” All Of Us Strangers is based on Strangers (1987) by Japanese novelist Taichi Yamada and is the second movie adaptation of the book.

We caught up with Haigh in 2015 when his film 45 Years did a similar awards dance when lead actress Charlotte Rampling was nominated for an Oscar® as Best Actress. Rampling discovers her husbands secret past in letters he has stored in the attic.

“I like the my films small, I like to have control. I like to know that the film you see in the cinema is the film I wanted it to be,” said Haigh. “It makes sense in England because we have so many attics. We store our past around us, but we hide it from view,” noted Haigh. “They are under the bed, or on the bookshelf or up in the attic. It’s like a pressure pushing down on them from the rafters while they’re lying in bed.”

Haigh’s earlier films include Weekend, and Greek Pete as well as the HBO series Looking. Previously Haigh worked as an assistant editor on several films helmed by Ridley Scott including Black Hawk Down and Kingdom of Heaven.

“I’m in the back room, I’m not editing with Scott. But it was a fascinating learning experience, seeing how a really big film works. I was in Malta when they were shooting Gladiator. You see how things are constructed and how decisions get made. It was a good time for me,” said Haigh.

All Of Us Strangers is in select theaters and will be available via streaming on Hulu starting February 22.

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