Lorene Scafaria Interview
Lorene Scafaria Interview
Lorene Scafaria, writer and director of Seeking a Friend For The End of the World, talks to View about working with Steve Carell and Keira Knightley, making a beautiful and entertaining film on a low budget and the joy to be found in making a list of classic songs to play as the world comes to an end.
Where did the idea come from and how did the film come about, first of all?

Lorene Scafaria

I was interested in exploring time, namely how it affects our relationships, and to see what would happen when two people meet without the possibility of forever. It was fun to take the conventions of a ‘romantic comedy’ and the traditions of an end of the world movie and do a bit of a mash-up. There's a lot of ground to cover but I was thinking of all the different people in the world and their various reactions to the news and it turned the story into a road trip. I started with the character of Dodge and slowly realized that a man who hasn't really been living would benefit the most from the end of the world.
Did you watch any other end of the world movies while writing the script? Do you have a particular favourite? (Personally, I think it's an under-appreciated genre).

Lorene Scafaria

I do love end of the world movies but I didn't watch them while writing. But of course I saw Deep Impact and Armageddon and I always liked the more human moments in those films, where you understand that these are real people dealing with their impending doom. Our approach was obviously more intimate and lacking in CGI, but all the easier to explore the characters on the ground who weren't set out to save the world.
I love the ending of the film. Without wishing to give anything away, was there ever any pressure to change that ending and if so, was it a struggle to keep it?

Lorene Scafaria

There was never any real pressure to change the ending, but I never would've changed it anyway. We all knew it was a polarizing conclusion, but the absolute point of the film would've been ruined if the ending was different. Sometimes there's no magic fix. Some things are inevitable. Death is a part of life and it always happens too soon.
Steve Carell is superb in the film and I loved how he underplayed the role compared to his usual goofier screen persona. Was it important to the two of you to distance yourselves from his more overt comedy roles?

Lorene Scafaria

It isn't easy to play passive and undecided. But Carell brings such humanity to the roles he's played. Michael Scott was such an unlikable yet sympathetic character and you could see every nuance of his thoughts. Carell is capable of showing so much with a look or a noise and I've always marvelled at his subtlety, even when he's being broad.

Most Read Today

Content updated: 24/04/2019 18:47

Latest Features

Take a stand at the Human Rights Film Festival.
The best films to watch for the 2014 Christmas season
Director Richard Ayoade and actor Jesse Eisenberg talk about creating their doppleganger comedy horror
The writer and co-star of The Stag talks about filming his all male comedy in rural Ireland

Film of the Week

Foxcatcher (15)

Steve Carrell and Channing Tatum star in this real life inspired story of Olympic talent, fierce competition and murder.

UK Box Office Top 5 Films