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INTERVIEW: ‘My Policeman’ Cast Talks Time and Love

My Policeman Harry Styles Emma Corrin David Dawson

A movie that brings the relationship between two men to life in the midst of homosexual acts being criminalized in the United Kingdom, My Policeman is an emotional rollercoaster that will leave you broken and crying without you realizing that it has happened. The film plays with time in the sense that we’re following a love story between these characters at such a young age and playing into their relationships to each other as they get older. Focusing on desire between Patrick (David Dawson) and Tom (Harry Styles) to be together at a time when homosexuality was outlawed, the story results in Tom’s wife (And friend to Patrick) Marion (Emma Corrin) getting caught in the crossfire.

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What is so heartbreaking about the movie is not only the denial of love for Patrick and Tom but the pain that it has clearly caused their relationships as a whole when we see the characters as they’re older. When Patrick (Rupert Everette) needs care as they age, it is Marion (Gina McKee) who offers their home to him, and through their reconnection and the seeming hatred that Tom (Linus Roache) now has for the situation, we get to learn all about their past relationships and how it left them all hurt in the end.

It’s such a beautifully tragic look at how the world denied love to the LGBTQ+ community for so long and plays with time and wounds in a way that leaves you heartbroken in the worst way. Getting to speak with Emma Corrin and David Dawson for the film, I asked them about the use of flashbacks in My Policeman.

“For us, I think it was sort of the opposite process as the older counterparts,” Corrin said. “We had to forget what we knew happens in the end. Because otherwise you end up playing an ending and I think we had to really try and be present with one another and I think we really enjoyed those elements of the three of them when they were together and they were friends. And those moments of joy and really making that believable and revel in that.”

For Dawson, he is playing a younger Patrick, and there’s a beautiful moment at the end of the movie that happens between the older Patrick and the Harry Styles version of Tom, but it meant that Dawson didn’t get that moment as Patrick. So I asked what he did get to film in the elements of the film which were out of time and more of the blending of the 90s with the 50s versions of the characters. “Michael experimented a lot so we did try out a few ideas. I love the way he works with that.”

You can see our full interview here:

The past haunts

For Gina McKee, she had the unique opportunity to bring a different layer to Marion after what the audience learns about her through Corrin’s time as the character. On paper, there were moments that happened in the past that would obviously paint Marion in a horrid light, but through the use of time and memory, we get to see a regretful Marion and someone trying to make right what she wronged.

So we spoke a lot about her relationship not only with Tom but with Patrick and how the two are different as they get older versus their younger relationship. “Rupert is a brilliant person and obviously a very experienced performer and writer and he has lived a very brilliant and rich life,” McKee said of her co-star Rupert Everett. “And so it was really interesting to have conversations surrounding the story and what that means and our interpretations and our understanding of it and all of those conversations, I think, go into a melting pot which helps when you’re actually filming the scenes.”

You can see our full interview here:

Bringing My Policeman to life

My biggest question for director Michael Grandage was about the use of time in the film. The final shot of My Policeman has become something that has taken over my mind and refuses to let go of me, which is probably the point, but still. It is heartbreaking and beautiful and Grandage leaves audiences crying in its wake.

So when I spoke to him about the passage of time in the film, he told me a bit more about those sequences that seem to blend time. “Most of that was pre-meditated and thought through with the design team and the director of photography, I’d say at least two thirds of it,” Grandage said. “I think a third of it probably came out of some organic stuff that came out of shooting that one new that they could match up with a later period in the edit and some of it came out of the edit. But the point was that it was always intended to be a film about memory and time and how those two things play with each other.”

You can see our full interview here:

My Policeman is available on Amazon Prime Video now.

(featured image: Prime Video)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh.

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