Video Update: Maxine Peake on the Paul O’Grady Show – 24 April

If you haven’t had time to catch Maxine’s interview on the Paul O’Grady Show last week you can watch it down below now, enjoy! Thanks to my friend Rich for making the interview available to us.

Video Update: ITV Granada Reports interviews Maxine Peake about The Falling

Here are two interviews with Maxine who was interviewed for The Falling:

Thanks to my friend Rich over at Kathryn Morris UK for his help!

The Falling special premiere event: Maisie Williams, Maxine Peake, Carol Morley & Florence Pugh talk about the film

Maisie Williams, Maxine Peake, Carol Morley & Florence Pugh talk The Falling

BBC Films attended the special premiere event for The Falling and caught up with the stars Maisie Williams, Maxine Peake and Florence Pugh, plus writer/director Carol Morley.

Direction and Interviews: Ravi Ajit Chopra
Camera: Christopher Nicholson Price
Production Assistant: Anthony Gonzales

Maxine Peake interview: The actor on new film The Falling, being a teenage communist, and the great motherhood debate

Here’s a great Saturday read for you all – enjoy this new interview below:

Peake is a stage, film and television actor, who has starred in ‘Dinner Ladies’, ‘Shameless’ and ‘The Village’

You’re at home now in Salford – what are you up to?

I’m back after three months in London. I’m having a big spring clean and my boyfriend is sorting out the garden. He’s a production designer and has been away on a film. Now we’re both back, we can relax for a bit, have a holiday in the south of France, then at the end of May I’m starting a new play in Manchester, so I’ve got to start learning lines.

Your new film, The Falling, stars British actress Maisie Williams as a teenager in a rural girls’ school – what’s it about?

It’s a coming-of-age story in some respects, about a young girl who has quite a complicated relationship with her mother and her best friend, and is swept into a mass hysteria that takes hold of her school. It’s about teen sexuality and the energy of that time of life and the emotion it creates.

Your own teenage years sound quite different – you grew up in Bolton and joined the Communist Party. Tell us more.

I joined the Communist Party when I was 18. When I was 10, there was the miners’ strike, and the Cold War was going on; it was quite a potent time to get involved in politics. I got involved through my grandfather, who was a member. I moved in with him for five years when I was 15, after my parents divorced. My mum had another boyfriend and moved away with him and I didn’t fancy it.

What about now – who will you be voting for next month?

I’m still a socialist, but I left the party for practical reasons; I went to London to drama school and got swept up with that new life. I’m not a fan of Labour – I believe they’re the reason we’re in this mess in the first place, but we need to get the Tories out. I was never a fan of Tony Blair. I was at Rada in 1997; everyone there used to call me “Red Max”. I remember everyone cheering when New Labour got in. I went straight to the phone box and rang my granddad. He said: “Oh God, Maxine, it’s not good.” And it’s getting harder.

What worries you most on a personal level?

I didn’t think I’d be sat here at 40 and still have the same battles on my hands. Sometimes it feels like the feminist movement never happened. There are lots of new factions of young women getting involved, but still we have a huge battle. Lots of it is to do with my business, with women being objectified and sexualised. I’m shocked by friends who have teenagers and by what they have to deal with. There are huge battles for everyone in every walk of life right now – I’m a feminist, but I’m a socialist first. It’s about equality for everybody.

You spoke last year about having unsuccessfully tried for children, and the pressure on women to be mothers…

It’s not like I ever said, “I’m not having children”, but when I was young, having kids was never part of my big plan. It was about my career and trying to do well. Then I met the right person and I did think about it and we discussed it and we tried, but it just didn’t happen for us. I don’t feel distraught about it. The flip side is women who do have children get pigeon-holed into being mothers and wives, and can’t get up the ladder. Whatever you choose, it’s just another way of putting women in boxes. I do get upset when people ask, “Have you got children?” I would never ask because I think you don’t really know what’s going on with people.


Maxine Peake was born in Bolton in 1974. The daughter of a lorry driver and part-time care worker, she won a scholarship to Rada and has starred in ‘Dinner Ladies’, ‘Shameless’ and ‘The Village’. A stage, film and television actor, she lives in Salford with her partner, Pawlo Wintoniuk. Her new film, ‘The Falling’, is in cinemas now


Maxine Peake is back on the big screen – Video Interview about ‘The Falling’

Maxine Peake is back on the big screen – Video Interview about ‘The Falling’

Bolton actress Maxine Peake spoke to Granada Reports about her new movie, The Falling.

Fresh from her last role as Hamlet at the Royal Exchange in Manchester Maxine Peake now starring in the movie, The Falling.

Its about the outbreak of a mysterious illness at a girl’s school in 1969.

She talked to Granada’s Entertainment Correspondent, Caroline Whitmore, about the film.

You can watch the interview here.

Video Update: Maxine Peake interview at ‘The Falling’ Screening – 20 April 2015

Maxine was interviewed at last night’s ‘The Falling‘ London gala screening and you can watch the interview below… enjoy:

Cassam Looch from HeyUGuys interviews Maxine Peake and cast-member Maxine Peakefor their movie The Falling which also stars Maisie Williams and Florence Pugh.

Photos will be up in the gallery at a later time too. For now, see a couple of pictures of Maxine and the rest of the cast on here. Love her outfit!

‘The Falling’ starring Maisie Williams, Florence Pugh and Maxine Peake out on DVD/Blu-ray on 24 August

The Falling‘ will be released on 24 August. You can pre-order the DVD/Blu-ray on amazon.

It’s 1969 at a strict English girls’ school where charismatic Abbie and intense and troubled Lydia are best friends. After a tragedy occurs at the school, a mysterious fainting epidemic breaks out threatening the stability of all involved.

Carol Morley: ‘Maxine Peake is my muse’

Film-maker Carol Morley talks about making The Falling, her friendship with Maxine Peake – and the Madchester days

The cast and crew of The Falling is overwhelmingly female, which is unusual in the film industry. Was this deliberate?
It just happened organically. I think it came about becauseI am interested in female stories and in telling them from a female point of view, so the make-up of the cast and crew was really a reflection of where my interests lie. It wasn’t a box-ticking exercise. It was much more natural than that. But it was definitely a very powerful dynamic on set and when we were at the London film festival, with the cast and crew all lined up, looking so female, it looked and felt very strong and powerful.

What can be done to involve more women in film-making?
I feel quite optimistic about this. Nowadays, most young women have access to technology that would not have been available to them 10 or 20 years ago and they are used to taking pictures and videos on their mobile phones. This will substantially change the number of girls who are interested in film-making and feel confident about doing it. When I was at college the boys would grab the cameras first and would be much more confident than me around the equipment and the technology. But that’s changing.

This is the fourth time you have worked with Maxine Peake. Tell me about your friendship with her.
She’s my muse. Derek Jarman had Tilda Swinton. Maxine is my Tilda Swinton. She’s very open to new ideas, she’s somebody who’s prepared to take risks, which I really admire, and she has a real interest in so many things. As a friend I like her because she is prepared to speak her mind and put herself out there politically. And of course we both have the whole northern working-class thing going on too. Through seeing her on stage and meeting her actor friends I learned a lot about actors and the craft of acting.

Casting Maisie Williams as Lydia was a stroke of genius. Are you a Game Of Thrones fan?
I’ve not seen Game of Thrones, never witnessed Arya Stark [Maisie’s character] in action, and that was a really good thing. When Maisie auditioned for the part I had no preconceptions and I think that made her feel quite free. It meant she could come on set with no baggage, fresh, as though she’d never done anything before and she loved that. She was really supportive and she taught the less experienced girls a lot.

How did you find newcomer Florence Pugh?
I leafleted the area around Oxford, where the school location was, and Florence was one of hundreds of girls who sent us one-minute videos. I remember seeing her in the corridor before her audition and she had loads of makeup on. I asked her to take it all off. And then she came in looking really natural and she was amazing. I was blown away. After she left the room the casting people were very quiet. They said they had goosebumps – it was like a young Kate Winslet coming in the door.

Your father killed himself when you were 11 years old. Did you draw on that experience to create the central story of Lydia, a girl with no father and an emotionally frozen mother?
Definitely. Having lost my dad at that age, the idea of the absent father is for me very powerful. Lydia’s father hasn’t died but he’s not there and her family is in crisis and I dug deep into my own life and experiences to try and bring truth and complexity to the way that was portrayed. It’s not autobiographical but there’s an amazing amount of my own feelings in it.

Your breakthrough documentary, The Alcohol Years, was based on your own experience as well, wasn’t it?
Yes, the film covers my life from the age of 16 to 21, which coincided with the opening of the Haçienda in Manchester, where I come from. I left school at 16 and hung around, not getting a job, drinking too many free drinks and being promiscuous. By the time I was about 23 I’d moved to London and decided I had better get my life together. I applied to St Martin’s and studied film.

After leaving college I was looking for ideas and I met up with Clio Barnard, the film-maker, who was a friend, and her boyfriend, who started telling me stories about myself from that “lost period”, which I didn’t remember at all. Obviously I knew I had been “bad” and had a wild time of it but I didn’t know any of the detail he was coming up with. So I put an advert in the newspaper asking anyone who knew me to come forward with their stories about me. Once I had gathered them all together I went back and made the film, which was really a reconstruction of a character that all these people thought they knew. It was me and it wasn’t. All my films are about identity and I think The Alcohol Years kicked that off.

In a way The Alcohol Years also allowed me to move on and make Dreams of a Life [her film about Joyce Vincent, whose body lay unnoticed in a London flat for three years after her death]. I felt that having exposed myself and my life on screen in that way gave me permission to look at Joyce’s life in the way that I did.

Were you surprised by how much Joyce Vincent’s story resonated with people?
I always knew it would strike a big chord. It took five years for us to make it and no one wanted to invest in it because they all thought the story was too grim and that no one would be interested in seeing it. But I always felt it was an important story of our times that could shine a light on the way we live now, especially if you were to tell it in a very filmic way rather than a journalistic, factual way. I felt that if you told the story right and you didn’t pass judgment on any of the characters in it then people would find a lot to identify with. And they did. So many different types of people connected with it. I believe that if you keep a story open and alive, and don’t close it down, then people will feel able to insert themselves into the gaps. People will think, this could be me. After the film came out I had so many people writing to me saying just that.

You’re often described as Paul Morley’s sister. How does that feel?
My brother is nine years older than me, so when my dad died he was just leaving home. There are two parts to my brother for me. The first is when he was living at home and he was incredibly inspirational, bringing all this music into the house, all these books, especially science fiction, which he loved. When I was six he was 15 and I really hero-worshipped him. Then came part two when he left home and went to work at the New Musical Express and I still hero-worshipped him. I used to buy the paper and feel really proud of him. So I don’t mind people describing me as his sister. It’s been brilliant having him as a brother. He is very, very supportive.

None of our family did anything remotely connected with writing or art or film before he moved into that world. I remember my mum showing a copy of the NME to my seven-year-old cousin and saying that this was Paul’s writing. She said: “Doesn’t he write neatly?” Paul was the first one to show us that there were other ways of interpreting the world. Whenever he was on Newsnight Review my mum would tell everyone. Mind you, all she’d notice was if he’d had a shave or not. The only annoying thing is that on IMDb it says I’m Paul Morley’s sister, but it doesn’t say he’s my brother. We’ll have to rebalance that!

What next?
I’m adapting a book by a major writer but I’m not allowed to say what it is. All I can say is it’s fiction and it will have a really good female cast. I’ve finished my first draft and I think it will be announced around the time of Cannes.


Maxine Peake in ‘The Falling’ – watch the film at Dublin Film Festival – 28 March 2015

Maxine’s latest film ‘The Falling‘, which will be released nationwide on 24 April, will be shown as part of the Dublin Film Festival next Saturday. You can book tickets for it here.

Carol Morley is best known for her documentaries Dreams of a Life and The Alcohol Years; her second narrative feature (after Edge) is a dark, twisted and thoughtful coming-of-ager set at a British girls’ school in the late 1960s, partly inspired by a recent case of psychogenic illness, or mass hysteria, in the US.

Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones) and newcomer Florence Pugh star as two teenage friends, Lydia and Abbie. When an unexpected tragedy occurs, Lydia begins twitching and fainting at school. Her malady infects fellow pupils and teachers but stern headmistress, Miss Alvaro (Monica Dolan), thinks it’s all down to their overactive imaginations.

Mixing supernatural elements with drama, choreographed dance with original music, The Falling is its own beast yet has hints of Heavenly Creatures, The Craft and even The Woods. Terrible secrets hide in the grounds of this school and the deterioration of Lydia’s mental state is strikingly rendered by cinematographer Agnès Godard (Beau Travail).

Katherine McLaughlin The List

With special guest Carol Morley

Please note that the festival is over 18s only

Thanks Emma for emailing us about it!