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Q&A with Writer/Director Ol Parker
(Page 1 , Page 2 , Page 3 , Page 5 ,Page 6 )
(I'll gradually be adding Ol's responses to this page)

is so special movie in the world, but you try make another movie whit this question GLBT...
congratulation you and I see your other movies again..

Cynthia
Ecuador

hey cynthia

thanks for writing, it's very cool to think of you watching the movie in ecuador.  and nice to know that if I ever make another one then you'll see that too, it'll give me something to tell the distributor.  to answer your question, I'm sure I'll write again about glbt issues, if maybe not so directly next time.  I think everything I've written since has at least one gay character in it, because most people's lives have at least one gay character in them.  and if they don't, then their lives are the poorer for that absence.  take it easy, cynthia, all the best, ol

Dear Mr. Parker,
 
I thank you for making such a great, great movie! I love it so very much! I work at a videostore and when people ask me for a good movie I always recommend IM&Y. It truly is a beautiful movie.
 
So I have a question; I've been searching the net for the jeans Lena Headey wears but I can't find a brand anywhere. She wears such cool clothes in the movie and I'd love to have the same. Could you please tell me what the brand was?
I'm not sure if it's polite to ask another question, because celebs are busy these days, but does Lena Headey have a fanmail address? I'd also like to contact her to tell her how much I adore the movie and her character.
 
Mr. Parker, thanks again for this movie. It will be a great addition to my collection when I buy it on it's release date 29th of november here in The Netherlands.
 
Love,
Wanda

hey wanda

thanks for writing, it's much appreciated.  and it's very kind of you to recommend the movie to your customers, although if you wish to retain all of their custom you should perhaps think about offering them a different choice.

you should definitely write to lena headey.  she may even reply from new mexico, where she's currently beating up terminators.  I don't actually have her fanmail address, never having written her fanmail - except in my head - but you can easily get it from the internet movie database.  or she may have a website or three devoted to her, she certainly deserves to have.  just hit google, it'll sort you out.  and send her my love.

as for the jeans she wears, I have absolutely no idea.  but luckily you get the chance, I believe, to ask a woman who does, the fabulous consolata boyle.  so please do so, and I'm sure she'll sort you out.  and if you could send her my love too, I'd be very grateful.  as I am already, because you took the time to watch my movie, and to write and tell me about it.  thank you, all the best, ol

Hello Mr. Parker,

First, I thank you for making such a touching, funny and smart movie. I was quite moved by it the first time I watched it, and it continues to touches me every single time I see it.

Here is my question: Would you consider making a movie where Edie would be the main character (or, at least, one of the main characters)? She was so funny and sympathetic.  It would be nice to see what she is doing for a living, or if she will change her "love of the week" days to settle down with someone...

Thank you for your time and, again, thank you for this beautiful film.

Happy New Year,
Veronique
Montreal, Quebec


hi veronique,

thanks for writing, and a happy new year to you too.  I love the idea of a whole movie devoted to edie, and I'd love it even more if the magnificent eva birthistle was available to reprise the role.  it was a joyous day when she came in to meet, I'd seen 'ae fond kiss' the night before, in which she literally took my breath away, so it was more a case of me begging her to be in the film than her auditioning.  she had about a thousand other offers, but I think she took pity on me, and said yes.  and I repaid her by cutting one of her three scenes out of the movie.  but she's my friend, and I think she understood, and I very much hope to work with her again.  even if not, almost certainly, on a film about edie.  friends of the lead characters are always fun to write, they can be slightly wilder, more exotic than your main protagonists, who have to carry the weight of the movie.  and I loved writing edie, should've written her more.  but eva can do anything, there's no end to her talent, and hopefully someday soon she'll take pity on me again.  thanks for your question, veronique, and all the very best to you, ol


Dear Ol,

First of all I want to thank you very much for this wonderful movie because I do love it from the bottom of my heart! It's a really awesome movie! You did a great work!

Imagine me & you is perfect. Everything is perfect in your movie: the cast, the script, the soundtrack, the locations (Primrose hill looks like a very beautiful place: I hope to visit it someday). You're a great writer and director and I really wish you all the best
because you deserve it!

If it is not a problem, I would like to ask you some questions...

Is there any chance you will work again with Piper and Lena? I hope there is because you're fantastic together!

I definitly fall in love with Lena Headey because she's a really amazing actress. In every scene, in each expression, in each gesture, she is able to make you feel what her characther is feeling. She's able to make you feel her emotions only through her beautiful eyes. And then you only wish you will have the chance to meet her one day to
congratulate with her and thanks her for being such a good actress. I watched all her movies available here in Italy and..wow, really she's gorgeous and great! I do love her.
What I would like to ask you is if you know any her address where I can write to?

I'm a Media Communcation student and my dream is to work in film/television production and maybe became a director, like you, and maybe working with Lena Headey...I know: I'm a daydreamer!
So I would like to ask you if it was possible to get a copy of your script...

I promise: this is the last question...Do you think will you ever set a movie in Italy?

One last thing: Ol, you're really great and I thank you for making IM&Y that is a wonderful, funny, charming, touching movie.

Well, that's all.
Thanks in advance if you have the time and inclination to answer this questions.
Sorry for the mistakes...Hope you understood everything.

Take Care,
Lots of Love,

Laura - from Milan, Italy.


hi laura from milan

thank you for your generosity, and you many questions, which it's not any kind of problem to answer.  and your english is excellent.  here are some answers, hope they satisfy you.
-  I've no idea if I'll get to work with piper and/or lena again.  I do know I'd be lucky if I did.  you'd have to ask them if they think they'd be as lucky.
- another one who's fallen in love with lena.  it's an ever-lengthening list, and an honourable one.  as for writing to her, I think your webmaster is going to put up an address, because you're not the first to have that idea.  all I know is that she's with caa in los angeles, tina thor in new york, and a letter to either of those should find her.  good luck, and as always, send her my love.
- respect to you for doing your studies, and I fully recommend the life of a director, because you really do get the chance to turn your daydreams into reality.  that's precisely what they pay you for.  so keep working, but don't stop dreaming.
- I actually just got sent a book to adapt, half of which is set in venice.  I'm not going to take the job, because I wouldn't know how to do it, or how to do it well, but it's proof that I could never say I won't make a film in italy.  who knows what the future, or the next post will bring?
thanks again laura, you're very kind, and it's much appreciated.  all the best, ol


I thought this movie was incredible and i'm so glad it ended with the 2 ladies together. Have you considered making a sequel some day? It would be cool to see how things work out after they hooked up. Thanks

sara
Ortonville, Minnesota

hey sara

thanks for writing, and being so kind about the movie.  which has actually gone into profit now, so a sequel's not such a crazy idea ...  but no, I have no plans to write more.  that was their story, and I did my best to tell it, and I'm thrilled it made you happy.  now I'll try and tell other stories, and hopefully you'll watch them too.  thanks again, best, ol

Dear Mr. Parker,

Two friends and I watched "Imagine Me and You" a couple of days ago and we all really enjoyed your movie.  The storyline was terrific and it was good to see such a talented group of actors, most of whom we hadn't seen before.

My friends and I have a disagreement in interpreting one scene from the movie, and we are hoping you could clarify things for us.  In the schoolroom where H is giving her "planet show", does the hand touching / hair straightening actually happen or is this just the fantasy of one or both girls?  If it wasn't really supposed to take place, then I am unsure how Luce afterwards, on the stairs, knew what Rachel was going to say before the words even came out of Rachel's mouth. ( I guess my saying that reveals how I interpreted the scene! )

I am sorry to "nit pick" such a wonderful movie, but my curiosity (and my friends who insist I am wrong in my thinking) got the better of me.

Thanks in advance if you have the time and inclination to answer this question.  Once again, nice job with the movie!  We will be looking forward to your next.

Best,
Joann
(in sunny California)

hey joann

thanks for writing from sunny california, it's freezing and foggy here, but appropriately festive.  I'm not totally sure I should answer your question, I think it might be cooler just to say that whatever you guys thought happened happened, even if you thought different things.  there's no right or wrong way to watch a movie, or not one of mine anyway.  and I like the idea that you were interested enough to bother to argue about it afterwards.  

that was a horribly tough shoot, that day, nowhere near enough time, and we were saved by the extraordinary professionalism of boo jackson, who got her speech word perfect about thirty times in a row.  and come to think of it, the two actresses had no idea what was happening either, and nor did the cameraman.  there wasn't time to talk it through first, so I was just directing out loud.  "camera pan down, lena and piper put your hands close but don't touch, camera pan up, etc" .  while all the time the kids sitting in front of them wanted to know what the hell was happening behind their backs ... so perhaps the answer is that none of us knew what was really going on.  and now you and your friends don't either.

so I'm sure that didn't help.  but really joann, thanks for your question, and please take my failure to answer it as a sign of appreciation.  

keep enjoying the sun.  best, ol


Hi me name is Theresa Cieslik. I just wanted to know as 'Imagine Me and You' is a british film, how come when it came to the dvd release, that the dvd didn't have any extras unlike the US version which had commentary, deleted/extended scenes and cast Q&A's? I'd really appreciate it if you could shed some light as to why this is the case. I was really disappointed when I came to buy the dvd as I thought the film was great!

Yours
Theresa Cieslik from Manchester.

hi theresa

thanks for writing, and watching and liking the film.  and I know, it's a shame that the british dvd is so crap.  it's obviously not something over which I had any control - uip released it here, and it's their decision what does or doesn't go on the dvd.  it's a money thing, I guess.  we didn't make enough, so they didn't want to spend any more.  but it's especially a shame as apparently the american dvd has done really well over there, and made a whack of cash.  or so someone told me recently.  although they could be wrong.   have you got a multi-region dvd player, theresa?  if you have I could send you the american version, which has some extra stuff on it.  but otherwise you're just stuck with the british one, with which I was disappointed, and I'm sorry you were too.  but thank you for writing, I really appreciate it.

best, ol


Dear Ol,
I want to thank you for making such a wonderful, sweet & funny movie for the fans to enjoy. IMAY is such a wonderful movie & i truly enjoy watching it over & over until i think i've changed my English accent to British... I'm from Malaysia & fyi these kinds of movie (with sappho themes) is a big no-no at the cinemas/theaters here in our country.

Just wondering maybe in the future would you cast again both lena & piper in another movie i mean in the same film? they make such a cute team.

All the best.
farhan-Malaysia

hey farhan

thanks for writing, it's excellent to think of you enjoying sapphic movie fun in malaysia.  I'd work again with piper and lena, together or separately, in a heartbeat.  you'd have to ask them if they'd want to work with me, but my life and my film were hugely enriched by their presence.  so yes, is the answer to your question.  a big thumping yes.

thanks farhan.  I really appreciate you getting in touch.  

best, ol


I will never forget the first time I saw this movie. It was a blizzard out and I was seeing it by default because the one I wanted to see was sold out so I took a chance on this one since I had never heard of it. I realized in the first 5 minutes I was watching something special, something different. From the moment Lena walked outside to go home alone after the wedding scene in the movie, I knew this was a different actor because she made me feel for her, and love her, sympathize for her and respect her all at once. There is a certain humanity that comes with the way she acts that makes you feel you are watching and experiencing real life- and so it pulls you in. Its like if you hear something tragic that has happened far away, you feel badly but if you feel that something tragic has happened to your best friend, your sister, some one you trust, care about and respect, then you feel an aching in your heart for that person. You feel it inside and you become part of the situation. Lena Headey has this ability and that is the ability to make you feel.  And what is more moving to me is that when you watch her on screen you know she is truly a good person. It is because she is able to convey such powerful meaning in each expression, each gesture. There is an undoubted biting intelligence you witness that is the reason she is able to act so brilliantly. The fact that she has lived and experienced these feelings and emotions before, worked them out and tried to understand them, is the only way she would be able to know how to convey them on screen so poignantly. Lena seems like an “old soul,” someone wise and softened who knows something most don’t about life. It is so engaging. I really knew/felt all of this is the first five minutes of watching her. Of course once you mix all of this with her beauty it is almost hard to really believe but you feel special having witnessed it.  
What I wanted to say is thank you for making a movie that finally showcased her talent. Her other movies never gave her this chance and now the world is better off because of it. You created such an honest, sensitive and soulful film and let the perfect person engage everyone in it and feel your message.  
I really just wanted a chance to say thank you and express myself on the matter. But if I can ask a question it would be if I am correct on my instincts. And if so why/how do you know, being lucky enough to know her as a friend? By the way, from your answers, thoughts, views and passion I can see how you two are such good friends.


Joanna from NY


hi joanna

damn, what is lena doing to you guys?  actually I totally know and understand what she's doing to you guys, she does it to everyone she meets, and  - as your question proves - many she hasn't yet.  

I can tell you that lena is everything you would want her to be, and more.  george orwell said that by 40 we get the face that we deserve, that physiognomically we become who we are inside.  that is why lena is so beautiful now, and why she will only get more lovely as the years go by.  she is, as you say, a truly good person, and the world is a far better place for her presence in it.

thanks for writing, joanna.  

all the best, ol

 

Dear Ol (if I may be so forward as to call you Ol!)

Firstly - congrats on the EXCELLENT EXCELLENT film. Thoroughly enjoyed it - thoroughly enjoyed making my friends enjoy it!!!!!!

However - I have a bone to pick with you!!! - I was quite happily esconced in Los Angeles, another ex-pat living the life of sun and surf, not missing England, completely sold on the fact that I HAD to be here for my career (yet hating myself for it!) and then YOU come along with your bloody FANTASTIC bloody film and wreck everything......

....and now I ask myself "should I move back to Old Blighty? Could I live in Primrose Hill and spend my days on the heath wearing fabulous knitwear and drinking tea with Lena Headey...."?!?!?!?

The answer, sadly, YES! Dear Lord, next I'll be opening a flower shop.....

My question (yes I do actually have one!) is this: Did you have any major reservations about casting an American actress? especially seeing as the other three leads were so very British!

Anyway - enough of my drivel. Thanks again for a wonderful escape. Hopefully one day we'll get to work together.

Regards,
Grace
Los Angeles, USA

hey grace, by all means call me ol, yes. everybody else does.  thanks for watching the film, although if you want to keep your friends I wouldn't force them to watch it too. and I should warn you that I think you're getting the movies confused with real life.  which doesn't consist of hanging out on primrose hill wearing knitwear and drinking tea with lena headey.  more's the pity.

I did have reservations about casting an american, yes. but then I went to new york and met piper, and she read for me, bless her, although she was doing another movie and was totally unprepared.  and her accent was pretty great even then.  but she had and has a strong work ethic, she's passionate about what she does, so she came to england early and worked her tail off.  her face used to hurt at night from all the new muscles she was using.  and by the time filming started, her accent was so good that nobody even bothered commenting on it to praise it.  a remarkable achievement, by a remarkable person.

incidentally, grace, if you do decide to come back, then you could do a lot worse than open a flowershop in primrose hill.  if I had a pound for every times someone came into the shop while we were filming wanting to buy flowers, I'd have about ten pounds by now.  

thanks again, best, ol


Hi Mr. Parker,

First of all, I absolutely loved Imagine Me & You.  It seriously ranks up there as one of my all-time favorites.  Just wanted to say a big THANK YOU for making this movie and casting such suberb actors.

Quick question: one of the first things to strike me was Luce's outfits. She is incredibly stylish and I was wondering where I might be able to find similar-style clothing.

Thank you!
Kathy
Los Angeles

hi kathy

thanks for getting in touch, being so generous.  the main reason luce looks so stylish is that lena is so stylish.  many of the clothes she wears in the movie are hers - the boots, the jeans, the hat (which I seem to remember is from diesel), everything on the bench at the end, probably quite a bit more - and the rest she worked on very closely with consolata, our wonderful designer.  I think the original idea that luce wear a lot of layers was mine, but since that turned out to be such a good idea, it probably wasn't.  but if you're serious about wanting to know what she's wearing, and where from, then maybe the webmaster could hook you up with consolata.  who is a superb person, and would I'm sure be delighted to answer your every question. as, of course, am I.  thanks again, kathy,  

best, ol

Hey Ol,

..me again..having some more questions ^^

You had about 90 minutes for this movie. Imagine... you would have had as much as you wanted/needed. Would there be any changes? Would there be anything you would add? Me (a Luce-Fan), I'm kinda missing a final Luce-scene, where she decides to leave... not that it would've been necessary.. (grin)

So. I read a looooot about how you got to cast Piper Perabo or Lena Headey. So tell us.. how has it really been? Did you cast Piper before Lena, or the other way around? I read an interview with Piper where she tells that Lena helped her to convince you to give her the role as Rachel.. and there is another one where she says that it was her who told you that Lena would be a very good choice so.. I am very curious to get the right version from you ^^

Lena Headey. Is there any movie you saw from her? If not, how did you decide that she's the perfect Luce? She said something about "worst audition ever" ...

Would you be so kind and would tell me something... funny, that happened during cast/shoot with Lena. (Sorry... but I am a fan of hers... as you might've noticed ^^) How would you describe her? Any bad habits like... donnu.. forgetting lines.. or .. coming late.. or whatever (laugh). Thank you  :)

He leído que tambien entiende el Español. Yo he nacido en Chiclayo (Perú, me han educado acá en Alemania), mi mamá es peruana. Como viene,que usted tambien lo habla? Estaba una vez ya en el Perú?

Muchos saludos,
Ana Graciela


hi ana graciela

nice to hear from you again, thanks for your many questions.  if I could do it all again ... I don't know.  since I can't, I try not to worry about it too much.  but what the hell, since you ask.  I'd like it to be longer.  also funnier.  more touching.  just generally better.  but you live and you learn (a bit), and hopefully the next film will be improved by some of the lessons of this one.  although should it ever happen, I'll probably just make a whole new and different bunch of mistakes.

the casting was pretty simple, in the end.  my wife was going to play luce, but then she got pregnant, and the start date of the film went back and back, and it was clear she wouldn't be able to do it.  I'd known and loved lena for years, but hadn't felt she was right for rachel, and so once thandie dropped out, it was literally one phone call.  the producers still wanted lena to come in and audition, which is not her strong point - although lena at her worst would still come out on top of just about any other actor you could name - so in she came with typically good grace, and that was that.  at around the same time I started getting messages from piper in america, saying that she loved it, wanted to meet etc, so I asked each about the other, and they of course talked without telling me.  so it was all more or less simultaneous, and as easy and happy a process as I could ever have hoped.

lena is as good inside as out - part of why she's so beautiful - so there are no horror stories of filming with her.  she did attempt to quit smoking towards the end of the shoot, which I refused to allow for fear that nicotine withdrawal would darken her habitually sunny demeanor.  so she quit when the movie ended instead.  just one of the many reasons why she was an utter joy to direct; she even carried on smoking when I asked her to.

and finally, my mum is spanish, is how come I speak it.  and no, I've been to uruguay, I've been to argentina, but never to peru.  one day, maybe, if the accident will.

thanks again for writing, asking things, being nice.  you're very kind.  best, ol

Dear Ol,

First I want to thank you for making this film - it's been a delight to
have experienced it. I have since become a huge Lena Headey fan. I also
want to say thank you for generously taking the time out of your busy
life to answer our questions.

I've always wondered when you first wrote the script and the love story
was between a man and a woman - who was the man? Was he the Luce
character?

Also, did any of you make use of the DDR machine and if so, who was the
best? :)

Many thanks,
Jetgirl

hey jetgirl of the cool name,

thank you so much for writing, asking.  I wish I could tell you that only two people went on the ddr machine that morning, that the rest of us were working far too hard.  but it was actually the last scene we filmed with piper and lena, and there was kind of a party atmosphere.  so most people had a go.  but everybody sucked except, thankfully, the girls.  it's a bittersweet memory for me; a lovely day, but the last one.

as for your other question, yes, in the first draft the man was the luce character.  not that he was anything like luce, but he was a guest at the wedding, and rachel saw him.  but I only wrote ten or fifteen pages of that - as soon as they met at the reception I realised the idea didn't work, and junked it.  only to wake up a couple of months later and see a way it might work...

and finally, there's really no need to thank me, it's a pleasure answering your questions, a pleasure reading all your kind and generous words, and the least I could do to thank you for bothering to watch the movie.

thanks again, best, ol


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