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Danny Boyle Webchat
On Oscars, zombies and arm amputation

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He's one of the very nicest men in showbusiness, so we were very pleased when Danny Boyle again took time out of his day to come visit Empire and answer the questions of Empire readers. While many of the questions focused on 127 Hours, his latest film (out now) about climber Aron Ralston and the time he endured under a rock in the Utah desert, you lot also quizzed Boyle on everything from the end of Shallow Grave to his new theatre project (Frankenstein at the National) to the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony which he's directing to, er, banana muffins. Read on for the full story...

Danny Boyle Webchat

peteS-M says: When you saw the real camcorder footage that Aron did when in the canyon did you make a decision to replicate it exactly for your film or did you choose to change it up a bit? What were your feelings on seeing it for real? I would love to see the real footage some day.
Danny Boyle: We replicated it pretty exactly, and most of the messages of what he said are verbatim – there's one exception: where he imagines himself on a radio show phone-in, which was a chance for James to bring his full Pineapple Express skills to the fore and we couldn't resist. The footage itself, the real footage, is very personal to Aron and his mother and they’re not keen for the footage to be made public. But they were gracious enough to show us the footage a couple of times and it was enormously helpful.

thatfilmlover says: How responsible do you feel for the death of the slow-walking zombie? How do you feel about all those fast running zombie movies now?
Danny Boyle: It's a dream come true! Finally, they're a real menace!

MarieMJS says: How are the rehearsals for Frankenstein going?
Danny Boyle: They are on pause while I'm at Empire, annoyingly.

TwitterGuy says: Would you ever consider making a James Bond movie and, if so, would you consider calling it Casino Boyale?
Danny Boyle:
I would love to work with Cillian again and love that Nolan values him as well.
Oh my God... Another slow-moving zombie writes in!

Big_Pants says: Christopher Nolan appears to have stolen Cillian Murphy from you. Any plans to steal him back?
Danny Boyle: Yes! I would love to work with him again and love that Nolan values him as well. He's still underrated.

Felix says: Was Aron on set when you filmed ‘that’ scene? Did he visit the set at all in fact? It must have been fairly tough for him to revisit.
Danny Boyle: He came to the real canyon when we shot there. And that must have been really weird for him to see not only James Franco dresed as he was in the real canyon, but also the stunt man, the stunt double, also dressed as him. Three versions of himself in the real canyon, seven years later. So strange.

Rhubarb says: You're stuck between some rocks after going for an ill-advised climb. What three records do you pray are on your iPod?
Danny Boyle: (Laughs) Oh, that's so difficult. A bit of Godspeed, a bit of Bowie, and a bit of The Clash.

John_Bajada says: Do you think you’ll make another dark comedy like Shallow Grave or A Life Less Ordinary?
Danny Boyle: I thought Shallow Grave was a thriller - but whatever it is, I'd like to make another one of those!

John_Bajada says: Me and my friend were discussing Shallow Grave and he told me the only way for the film to work is if Alex (Ewan McGregor) is dead. If he's alive then they'll find the money. Is it true?
Danny Boyle: I can't answer that... He’s definitely alive, what is he talking about? (Laughs)

Danny Boyle Webchat

thatfilmlover says: Now that you've got an Oscar, what is your goal as a filmmaker? What keeps you going?
Danny Boyle: Obviously the pursuit of another five star review in Empire...

Doylw says: Which other directors have largly influenced your work, especially with reference to 127 Hours?
Danny Boyle: My all time favourite is Nick Roeg, and there's a sequence in a much neglected film of his, Eureka where Rutger Hauer takes two British girls to a Haitian orgy, which leaves you breathless and mesmerised. And that's pretty much the aim in all the movies – except without the orgy (so far...)

Mr. Boo says: I saw an interview with Aron recently and he has a great sense of humour about the whole thing, it’s mad! Did that relate to your casting of James Franco, a brilliant dramatic actor who stunned us all later with how funny he is?
Danny Boyle: Yeah, Pineapple Express was crucial to the making of 127 Hours.

masterofchaz says: Is there any type of genre you would be hesitant to do?
Danny Boyle: Yeah, royal biopic...

Jimeister says: Are you still in contact with the child actors from Slumdog Millionaire, and if you are, how are they doing?
Danny Boyle:
You feel a bit embarrassed when you win an Oscar, because you think of some of the people who haven't won it.
They're okay! Christian Colson, the producer of Slumdog Millionaire saw them most recently, and they are continuing the education we’ve set up for them. One of them has moved house, one of them hasn't. As always, it's ongoing.

rob leane says: Are the articles that popped up a few weeks ago about your interest in Trainspotting 2 genuine? If so, have there been any talks?
Danny Boyle: Genuine, yep. Waiting for the actors to look middle-aged… and then we will pounce.

Andy Whittle says: Sunshine: a brilliant and masterful film. Do you think it was one of your more successful films? Or least?
Danny Boyle: Hmm...

slumcat says: How often do you read? And what is it about a book that makes you want to make it into a film? Is it immediate?
Danny Boyle: Yes, it's immediate. You kind of get taken over by it. It's important to try not to rationalise the feeling, just follow it. Anyone can rationalise you out of these feelings, but you just end up doing a Bond movie, or a copy of a Bond movie.

James says: Any plans for a 28 Months Later?
Danny Boyle: There is a good idea for it, and once I've got Frankenstein open, I'll begin to think about it a bit more.

Felix says: Just how relieved were you to get a fast lap time on Top Gear?
Danny Boyle: Pretty relieved. The humiliation that was promised if I did a slower time than Jonathan Ross was not worth contemplating.

Eddy says: What does it feel like to win a Best Director Oscar? I imagine it feels somewhere along the lines of awesome but I've never had the chance to ask a winner.
Danny Boyle: You feel a bit embarrassed, because you think of some of the people who haven't won it, and it feels a bit inappropriate, but hey ho, you go with the flow. Actually, very proud and not just for myself, though there is a bit of that, but for everybody that helps you make the films, and in your heart of hearts, you know you owe a lot to.

Rhubarb says: Where do you keep the Oscar? Is it holding a door open somewhere?
Danny Boyle: I had it on a shelf, but it's not the kind of thing that blends into the background. It blinks at you, unignorable like an elephant in the living room, winking at you. So now I keep it under the bed. If you find yourself there, it'll be there too.

Quentin_Cappucino says: Quentin Tarantino recently shared his favourite films of 2010 (his no. 1 was Toy Story). What were your own favourites?
Danny Boyle: Um... Bad Lieutenant, and Four Lions. Love Four Lions.

Danny Boyle Webchat

stuartboyle says: If you were an actor, which of your film's roles would you love to do?
Danny Boyle: Never had that question before... Any of Ewan’s, actually. Ewan’s are pretty great, except I'd be useless and overact.

KevnMur says: I read some where that the makers of Touching The Void got in some hot water for bringing the victims back to the scene of the trauma. Was this something that you had to be very conscious of?
Danny Boyle: We were very careful to be cautious of Aron's feelings, particularly of any jokes on set when he was around. But as someone said earlier, he has a great sense of humour about things like, “It's harmless, this scene.” That kind of thing.

MJD says: 127 hours is your firstwriting credit. Is writing something you will do more of in the future?
Danny Boyle: Only if I have to! If I can't persuade anybody qualified to...

Ethan Hunt says: Were the rumours that the Bond producers wanted you to helm Bond 23 true?
Danny Boyle: I love watching them, but I’m not the kind of guy to make them.

JDoggle says: What did you think the ending of Inception was about?
Danny Boyle:
The golden rule of editing that there are only two things that matter in a movie: the beginning and the end.
The golden rule of editing that there are only two things that matter in a movie: the beginning and the end. And the beginning, not so much. It doesn't have to make sense, as long as it’s good.

Preet says: Is there a certain actor that you want to work with in the future?
Danny Boyle: Ewan McGregor.

steffols says: Danny, I just made some banana muffins, do you like them? And would you like one?
Danny Boyle: No, blueberry muffins for me, I'm afraid.

rob leane says: If you had to watch one of your films on a loop for 127 Hours which one would it be?
Danny Boyle: I could only watch Apocalypse Now on a loop for 127 Hours.

jamro says: How do you feel about the so-called 3D revolution? Is it really the future? Or just a money-spinning gimmick?
Danny Boyle: I think we have to turn everything digital first, which is exciting. Because it gives you the lightness and flexibility to make films like Slumdog and 127 Hours. 3D introduces cumbersomeness again, which is not for me...

MarieMJS says: Is it okay to bring back some Frankenstein stuff? How did you decide to go for the project at the NT? Can you could tell us more about your (awesome) casting, etc?
Danny Boyle: Frankenstein and his creature every other night. Weird rehearsing it, but we had to figure out a way to make people come twice… Nick Dear, the writer, and I had been working on this adaption on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein for years, with the National Theatre’s support, we just had to find the right combo of actors to do it.

Jack P says: How do you think Bury are going to do in the League? They're riding high at the moment!
Danny Boyle: Poor home draw at the weekend though. We did come back from 2-0 down, though! Good manager and I think he'll take them up this year.

Preet says: How do you feel about directing the 2012 Olympic opening ceremony?
Danny Boyle: Nervous. Intimidated. But relaxed too…

synthhead says: When it comes to the music in your films, how do you decide what to use? Is it as simple as what you're listening to around the time or do you hear something powerful and store it away in the memory banks for another time?
Danny Boyle: The memory banks are interesting, because we all share them. Like in 127 Hours, Lovely Day by Bill Withers comes on and everyone knows it, even if they weren’t born when it was out. The collective library we carry around it endless, and then you bump into new songs as well and it’s a great combo.

Apologies, got to go back to my day job at the National! Bye for now!


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