Tag Archives: Anne-Marie Duff

Interview: Kristin Scott Thomas

I think it’s safe to say that everyone knows The Beatles, but it’s probably far less likely that you know what John Lennon’s teenage years were like and even more unlikely you know who Mimi Smith. Lucky for you, Nowhere Boy focuses on just that.

John grew up under the care of his aunt and uncle, Mimi and George Smith, not because his mother had passed but because she was simply absent from his life. When his uncle George passed away, it was John’s mother, Julia, he ran to, not Mimi. Julia had a passion for music and a fun-loving spirit, but it was impossible for John to ignore the fact that she had abandoned him. On top of trying to rekindle that relationship, there’s also growing tension between John and Mimi, who’s concerned for his welfare and simply misses him.

Had anyone but Kristin Scott Thomas played the role of Mimi, this would have only been Aaron Johnson’s film. Scott Thomas portrays Mimi with such powerful reserve and honesty, she turns the character into an ever-present force, almost acting as John’s conscience when not on screen. And when she is on screen, wow can she get tough.

Scott Thomas in Nowhere Boy must have had the same effect on me as she did Johnson’s character because going into our interview, I felt quite obligated to sit up straight, be on my best behavior and even put on my glasses. Yet in person Scott Thomas is as warm and friendly as they come, and was eager to discuss her experience working on the film. Having known little to nothing about The Beatles, Nowhere Boy turned into an enlightening crash course in Lennon’s story. Check out everything Scott Thomas had to say about her connection to Mimi, admiration for Johnson, her other new film, Leaving, and much more in the video interview below.

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Review: Nowhere Boy

After The Runaways, the thought of another teen-centric music movie was wildly exciting. However, Nowhere Boy isn’t really about the making of The Beatles as The Runaways depicts the assembly of that band. In fact, for the majority of the film, music takes a backseat to family issues. Nowhere Boy may be devoid of the music video element that made The Runaways such a blast, but the drama that’s put in its place is just as effective.

Back when John was a little boy, an incident forced his mother, Julia, to give him away and so he fell under the care of his aunt Mimi and uncle George (Kristin Scott Thomas and David Threlfall). The film opens with a teenage Lennon played by Aaron Johnson living happily in Liverpool in 1955. When his uncle passes away, John runs straight into the arms of his mother, Julia (Anne-Marie Duff), which is where his flare for music really ignites. Julia is ecstatic to have her little boy home, welcomes him with open arms, plays him Elvis records and teaches him to strum a banjo.

It’s all fun and games until the reality of the situation comes into play. Julia’s husband isn’t thrilled to have John around the house fearing it’ll distract her from their two little girls while John’s aunt grows concerned for his sake as well as simply missing him. There’s a reason John and his mother were separated and the closer he gets to her, the closer he gets to having to acknowledge his troublesome past. As these tumultuous relationships collide, John still manages to assemble his first band, The Quarrymen, which ultimately grows to include both Paul McCartney and George Harrison (Thomas Sangster and Sam Bell) before setting off for a tour in Hamburg.

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