Maxine Peake and Jeremy Irons urge Britain to ‘show the love’

A new short film aims to inspire us to protect the people, places and life we love from climate change for generations to come.

Actors Jeremy Irons and Maxine Peake have joined forces to help make a powerful video about climate change.

Former children’s Laureate and ‘War Horse’ author Michael Morpurgo, Oscar-winning composer Rachel Portman and director Stuart Rideout of film production company Ridley Scott Associates also helped create the powerful five-minute film – which aims to inspire us to protect the people, places and life we love from climate change for generations to come.

In ’I wish for You…’ a grandfather (Jeremy Irons) writes a poignant letter to his granddaughter, declaring his love for her and describing the world that he wishes her to grow up in – and that climate change threatens. In later life, the grandchild (Maxine Peake) rediscovers the letter and resolves to do all she can to fulfil her grandfather’s wishes for the world.

The film is part of a BT-supported campaign from The Climate Coalition – which includes WWF, ActionAid, RSPB, Oxfam, the National Trust, The WI and Christian Aid – which will turn hearts green this February, inspiring the British public to ‘show the love’ for all they hold dear but could lose to climate change. The campaign is calling for 100% clean energy within a generation.

In the run-up to Valentine’s Day, designers from Wayne Hemmingway to Celia Birtwell, school children, artists, Premier League football clubs, churches, arts institutions and businesses will make, wear or share green hearts to kick start conversations about the things they love and want to protect. Green hearts will also appear in unexpected locations – from playgrounds to mountainsides, football pitches to beaches.

Jeremy said: “So much we love is still under threat from climate change. December’s historic agreement in Paris might lead some people to believe that the job is done – but Paris simply set the direction of a journey we must now all take together.

“I took part in this film to show my love for the world that climate change threatens. My grandchildren won’t be safe and secure unless we take proper care of our one and only planet.”

Maxine added: “This film is a celebration of the bonds between us and the world that sustains us. Climate change is hitting the world’s poorest people first and worst – so we owe it not just to our own families, but to families everywhere, to act fast to protect them.

“75% of people in the UK support renewable energy – but only 9% think there is that much backing for change. By watching and sharing this film, we can spread the message that if we act together, it’s not too late to build a cleaner, fairer future.”

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Bolton actress Maxine Peake swaps the theatre for the streets to sell Big Issue

SHE calls the Royal Exchange Theatre her second home, but Bolton actress Maxine Peake is usually treading the boards there, not selling the Big Issue outside it.

Maxine was selling the magazine as part of a campaign to support its sellers who are homeless.

The star, who won rave reviews for her performances in Hamlet and The Skriker at the theatre in Manchester was one of a number of celebrities to take part in the magazine’s Vendor Week campaign.

It also featured poet Lemm Sissay, who crew up in care in Leigh and Atherton and is now the chancellor of the University of Manchester, radio DJ and Inspiral Carpets keyboardist Clint Boon and Tony Lloyd, the interim Greater Manchester Mayor.

They all spent an hour selling the Big Issue in Manchester city centre to find out what it is like for the magazine’s regular sellers.

Maxine said it was “really hard” but an enjoyable experience to spend time with seller Monica, who she has met before while performing at the theatre.

She said: “It was fun, it was great to spend time with Monica, who is a Big Issue seller outside the stage door at the Royal Exchange, who I’ve known for a few years.

“People ignoring you and blanking you or looking at you quite disgruntled is quite a difficult thing. I did it for about an hour and I know Monica does four or five hour shifts. It’s destroying in some ways.

“People were lovely as well, so you’ve got that mix, somebody being a bit grumpy and then somebody being absolutely, so its quite difficult.”

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Maxine Peake ‘ignored’ while selling Big Issue

Actor Maxine Peake said she was “surprised how people just ignore you” while taking a real-life role as a Big Issue seller in Manchester.

The stage and TV star joined regular seller Monica outside the Royal Exchange Theatre to sell the magazine as part of Vendor Week, an international event which will see people around the world take a turn at street-selling for an hour.

Peake, who appeared in Silk and The Village, said she found it hard to deal with the number of people who walk past without speaking, adding that she did not know how Monica coped with it “without losing [her] temper”.

The Manchester event will also see poet Lemn Sissay, DJ Clint Boon and Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd sell the magazine.

Watch the video here!

Watch the entire short film “Keeping Up with the Joneses” with Maxine Peake


Commissioned by BFI and Lighthouse as part of the BFI Shorts 2012 programme.

OFFICIAL SELECTION: BFI London Film Festival 2013, London Short Film Festival 2014, Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival 2014.
BAFTA Award nomination, Best British Short Film 2014
BIFA Award nomination, Best British Short 2014
WINNER: Best Thriller Short Award, London Short Film Festival 2014
WINNER: Best Thriller, Aesthetica Film Festival 2014

Writer: Selina Lim
Director: Michael Pearce
Producer: Megan Stuart-Wallace
Cast: Maxine Peake, Geoff Bell, Adeel Akhtar

28 mins Black comedy. MP’s wife Celia discovers her husband’s true colours when she is taken hostage by his criminal business associates.