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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > Issue 270 > Q & A

Q & A

THE WRITER BEHIND DEMOLITION, THE NEW FILM STARRING JAKE GYLLENHAAL, TALKS ABOUT ABOUT OVERCOMING LOSS, PERSONAL IDENTITY, AND WHY A GAY TEEN WAS CENTRAL TO THE FILM’S PLOT

BRYAN SIPE

Is the film’s story something that’s personal to you?

Yeah, but not in the way the lead character, Davis [Jake Gyllenhaal], is dealing with it. When I started writing it I was in a dark place. I’d been in Hollywood for half a dozen years and I was failing. I wasn’t working as a writer, I was working in a bar, probably spending too much time drinking after-hours, in debt and failing in my personal relationships. I felt like I didn’t give a shit any more. I didn’t care about writing, or reading, or watching movies, or music. Once I was conscious of that, it was a downward spiral. When you shine a light on it and you realise it’s happening, it’s scary because you don’t know how it happened, and you don’t know how to climb out of it. But what happened was I found this voice, it was a whisper in the beginning and it got louder and became a character and that was Davis, and he was experiencing loss and grief, having lost his partner. This is something I didn’t realise I was doing, it was something I reflected on after the script was done; my loss was my creative self. I had lost something very precious to me and the only way I could express that in a way that would be potentially relatable was for this character to lose his partner. His voice became my cathartic expression of what I was dealing with, my trying to work my way out of it.

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About Attitude

From EastEnders to X-Men! Ben Hardy returns to Attitude for his second cover feature, fresh off the set of hotly anticipated superhero film X-Men: Apocalypse. Inside, we present a special report on gay racism, looking at how Black, Asian and ethnic minorities are represented in the gay community, scene and media. We also interview Olivier award-winning Matt Henry from hit musical Kinky Boots, Alexander Vlahos who plays the gay prince in new BBC series Versailles, and feature a photo exclusive from hot new book Why Drag? Plus, in praise of the legendary Meryl Streep, and a look at the contentious issue of pinkwashing and Tel Aviv Pride.
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