Fancy a Festive Fry-Up? He's One of This Country's Most Respected Film Directors, but Marc Evans Is Now Turning His Sights towards Television. Here He Tells about How, Nathan Bevan with the Help of Stephen Fry, He Hopes to Have Painted a Small Screen Masterpiece for Christmas
Byline: Nathan Bevan
HE'S the Cardiff film director who made his name with the reality television-inspired horror movie My Little Eye in 2002.
And now Rhiwbina-raised Marc Evans is returning to the small screen for what he hopes will be his biggest hit to date - and he says he's got national comedy treasure, rampant tweeter and all round clever clogs, Stephen Fry, to thank for it.
"It's kind of down to Stephen that the whole thing is happening at all," says Evans of Doors Open, an adaptation of Ian Rankin's crime novel about an art professor, a self-made millionaire and a banker who attempt to steal priceless paintings that'll screen on ITV tonight.
"He'd picked up Rankin's book at an airport one day, loved the story - God knows how he found the time in hie schedule to actually read it though - and really saw himself playing the character of Professor Gissing.
"Luckily having your own TV production company (Sprout Pictures) can really help in turning those sorts of dreams into reality, and the rest is history really.
"Stephen flew in from New Zealand where he'd being filming his role in The Hobbit, did his thing and then was off to play Malvolio in a production of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night at The Globe.
"He just fires on all cylinders all the time and is a complete joy to work with - it became as much about the anecdotes he'd deliver off set as the work we'd be doing on it."
Evans adds that a question posed by Fry's character was sufficiently intriguing to make him want to commit to the project.
"Gissing asks, 'Why, if a perfect copy can be made of a famous painting, do we still hanker after the original?' "And that really got me interested in exploring from where that allure and attraction stems and why, in this time of widespread recession and rising poverty, do the prices on the art market never seem to dip? "Plus there's an added conundrum, namely, does stealing become forgivable given the current financial climate and the fact it's a private art collection owned by a national bank that's being ripped off? …