With the smart and twisty adult thriller, The Good Liar, opening this weekend in theaters, I recently sat down with director Bill Condon for an extended interview at the Collider studio. During the wide-ranging conversation, Condon talked about the difficulty in making an adult thriller, casting Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren, how Mirren’s idea changed the ending, what he learned from early screenings, memorable moments from filming, deleted scenes, and a lot more. In addition, he talked about making Beauty and the Beast, what happened with The Bride of Frankenstein and the Richard Pryor project, his involvement with The Greatest Showman, and answered a few fun questions like what TV show he’d like to guest write and direct, what props does he own, what film scared him as a kid, and more.
If you haven’t seen the trailers, The Good Liar stars Ian McKellen as a lifelong con artist who starts to woo a wealthy widow (Helen Mirren), but as she opens her home and life to him, he develops feelings. What should have been an easy con escalates into a cat-and-mouse game with the ultimate stakes. The film also stars Russell Tovey and Jim Carter.
While Mirren and McKellen have worked together on the stage, this was their first time sharing the screen and, as you might expect, they were fantastic. If you’re looking for a smart adult thriller where it will constantly keep you guessing, you should check out The Good Liar.
Check out what Condon had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about.
- How difficult it is to make an adult thriller like this nowadays.
- What does it take to get Ian McKellan, and to get him to play a villain again?
- Did he do any work on the script?
- What changed once Ian and Helen Mirren came aboard. Did they have any contributions to the script?
- How many early screenings did he do, and what did he learn through that?
- How long was the first cut as compared to the final version?
- The last thing he cut before picture locking.
- The demands of the production schedule.
- What was he most stressed about before shooting began?
- On the public’s reaction to seeing Ian and Helen while shooting.
- Did anything change about the ending after the test screenings?
- On the moments during production he’ll always remember.
- Did he have friends who wanted to visit the set because of the caliber of actors?
- How is he promoting this film?
- On what appeals to older audiences.
- What were his expectations of Beauty and the Beast’s success to be?
On what happened with The Bride of Frankenstein and Richard Pryor projects he was involved in.
- His involvement with The Greatest Showman.
- Is there a TV show would love to guest write and/or direct?
- What movie has he seen the most?
- Favorite ride at Disneyland?
- What does he collect?
- What was the last thing he was obsessed with?
- What TV show has he watched all the way through more than once?
- Does he own any movie or TV show props?
- What movie scared him as a kid?
- What made him fall in love with movies and want to make them as a kid?