Today: June 20, 2024

Director Iain Softley On Trap For Cinderella

As Iain Softley’s adaptation of Sebastien Japrissot’s Trap For Cinderella opens in UK cinemas, FilmJuice caught up with director Iain Softley (Backbeat, K Pax, Wings Of The Dove) to chat about the ups and downs of directing and his latest project … 

You went to school in Ealing. Were you aware of Ealing’s connection to British films – and did that have any influence on your career choice?
I passed the Ealing studios twice a day to and from secondary school on the 65 Bus. But I went to a small primary school in Twickenham and the film world seemed very out of reach, despite the fact that one of the parents in my class was a Spark on a James Bond film. Rock n Roll seemed more within reach. In the Summer, we swam in the Twickenham outdoor pool on the river by Eel Pie Island, where once a week we saw the Rolling Stones amplifiers being rolled over the little bridge onto the island where they had a residency.

What would you say was your big break as a director?
My big break as a feature film director was without doubt getting Backbeat off the ground. That happened because I come up with the idea of making a film about the relationship between Stuart Sutcliffe – the fifth Beatle, Astrid Kirchherr, and John Lennon, and wrote the script myself. One of the best ways to get started is definitely to own the material on which the film is based, and ideally to write the script.

What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you on set?
I was told by cinematographer Ian Wilson before I started shooting Backbeat that at least once I would call action before the camera was running. I did. Once. And I’ve done it, thankfully only once, on every film I’ve made since!

Of all the big name stars you’ve worked with, who has been the most down-to-earth?
In my experience the big name stars are all down to earth. This maybe because the right attitude is very important for me, and I probably avoid working with people with a bad reputation. Most of the big actors I have worked with have the experience to know that everyone’s career goes in cycles and that being grand not only doesn’t make you very popular on the set, it can get in the way of doing good work.

When you start a new day’s filming, what’s the very first thing you always do?
I try to find a quiet moment to go over that day’s script, my shot list and story board, just to make sure that there is nothing I have missed, or see if there’s something else I can add that will give the scene something extra.

The novel, Trap For Cinderella, was first adapted for the cinema in 1965. Is it hard to follow the work of such a respected filmmaker as Andre Cayatte?
Not at all because Sebastien Japrissot, author of Trap For Cinderella, told me it was not a very good film, and furthermore no one had seen it! I was unaware that another film had been made when I first read the book. I wasn’t particularly interested in trying to find it before I made the adaptation, but now I would be curious. Not only have I not been able to find a copy. I haven’t even found anybody who ever saw it apart form Japrissot himself!

Trap For Cinderella – thriller, mystery or psychological drama?
It’s a combination of all three.

What one scene from Trap For Cinderella which – from a directorial point of view – were you especially happy with and why?
I’m going to pick an extended sequence!  Micky arriving in her apartment for the first time after her amnesia. Do’s first visit to Micky’s apartment and Do meeting up with Micky at the club the next day. I like a lot of the sequences in France too. They turned out pretty much how I’d hoped they would.

Where to next?
On holiday with my family!

Trap For Cinderella opens on 12th July.

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email:

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