Harris Dickinson says Scrapper subverts "stereotypical" British cinema
The acclaimed feature debut from writer/director Charlotte Regan has just arrived in UK cinemas.
Acclaimed independent film Scrapper has just arrived in UK cinemas – telling the story of a 12-year-old girl and her estranged father who returns from Ibiza to care for her following her mother's death.
That synopsis might make it sound like a relatively bleak, social realist drama, but the film is actually anything but: it's a brightly coloured, extremely imaginative film that handles tough themes with an impressively light touch.
And star Harris Dickinson – who plays absentee father Jason – admits that the way in which the film subverts the tropes of previous British films focusing on working-class communities was a huge pull when it came to signing up for the project.
“I read the script and really loved it," he told RadioTimes.com in an exclusive interview. "I think it was just the sort of fresh take on the genre, you know, moving away from the stereotypical version of this film in a British landscape.
"And it felt like it was tackling a multitude of themes in exciting ways with comedy and magical realism."
Speaking more about the comedy of the film, he added that "humour is an important part of psychology" and suggested it can play a role in further driving home the more serious aspects of a film.
"We need humour in order to sort of accept the more dramatic themes within art," he said. "I feel like it's very important.”
- Scrapper director reveals EastEnders impression led to child star's casting
- Ruth Wilson addresses possibility of Luther return: "Wait and see"
Meanwhile, writer/director Charlotte Regan – who is making her feature debut – said that the idea right from the start of the project was to portray working-class life in a more colourful way.
“It was just like, how can we intentionally make like a working-class film that has more joy and a lot more colour and more happiness in it?" she said.
"I think I'd like grown up watching a lot of the desaturated, like super bleak ones, which were incredible films but always felt like they were missing the joy of those communities, I guess.”
She also mentioned a number of films that had helped inspire the feel of her own, referencing the early work of Taika Waititi and Sean Baker's 2017 gem The Florida Project.
"The Florida Project does it quite well," she explained. "It's dealing with heavy topics but does it in a way where the kid's play feels more central than the heavy topic does. You know, it's almost secondary to the joy, I guess.
More like this
"And like Paris, Texas and Paper Moon and films like that, for sure."
Try Radio Times magazine today and get 10 issues for only £10, PLUS a £10 John Lewis and Partners voucher delivered to your home – subscribe now. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.