Q&A with Writer/Director Ol Parker
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(I'll gradually be adding
Ol's responses to this page)
It was awesome to read your response to my earlier question Ol and I'm glad
to hear that you love Vancouver!. I thought about you when I went out
cycling later that day so in a way, I gave your love to my city. Here's a
recent photo I took of beautiful Vancouver for you to enjoy! It was taken
from the Burrard Bridge which I cycle over every day to & from work.
My new question is, what have you worked on since finishing IMAY and what's
coming up for you either directing or writing wise?
thanks for your picture of Vancouver, reminds me how much I love that place. and thanks for your question about what I've been up to since the movie. I actually just finished an original script I've been working on for the same producers as IMAY, and that's hopefully going out to actors sometime soon. I've been writing a tv series for the BBC, and I'm doing an adaptation of a novel for an american studio, plus I'm attached to direct another film for them. And I have a development deal with the american network ABC, so I'm working on a pilot episode for that. so there's stuff, almost all of which will doubtless come to nothing. but you never know, some project or other might slip through the cracks and onto a screen, big or small, somewhere near you, someday. thanks again for asking. best, ol
Simply a thank you for such a little gem of a film. You are a gifted writer (and director, of course) and this one surprised me. It's a shame it didn't get more exposure, but seems to be finding its audience on DVD here in the states. I'm 36, well nearly 37 and have seen MANY movies in my time, and IMAY is one of my top 5. I believe everything came together in this film: suburb performances by all involved, an honest true to life script, cinematography was absolutely beautiful, I loved the clothing, and the music was just right. Oh, and yes the chemistry between Lena & Piper was remarkable. I guess my question is asking for your personal opinion on Lena. It's obvious you have the utter most respect for her personally and professionally. She definitely has this "something" that is truly mesmerizing to watch. I know her choice of roles has been "interesting" in her career and she wouldn't change a thing. I look forward to you two working together for a third time, you definitely compliment & understand each other. So why do you think she isn't a household name yet?
Have a great day!
thanks for being so nice about the movie, I hugely appreciate it. although all compliments, as ever, are gratefully directed by me towards those who actually deserve them. and I have no idea why lena isn't a bigger star. it's certainly not for my lack of trying. it might be partly for hers - she's far too good a person to mortgage her soul in pursuit of stardom, as so many do. in life, to meet her, she takes your breath away, and when she has the chance to put that across onscreen then it's really something to behold. 'aberdeen' would be one example, an unforgettable performance that went, as did the film itself, shamefully unnoticed. but these things live on, and good will come to those who wait. she'll get there in the end. and if not, she knows that there are other and more important ways to measure success.
thanks again, stacy. and have a great day yourself.
My question is, why were the cast not included in the commentary on the
dvd? While your commentary was quite excellent to listen to and provided
many answers to our questions as fans of the movie, I thought a
commentary by Lena, Piper and perhaps one or two of the other cast
members would have just added that special something to the disc.
I know that timing and logistics probably played a big part in the
decision to have just one commentary on the dvd, but if the product is
doing well in sales would it be quite impossible to release a special
edition down the road, but this time including commentary with the stars
and you all together?
May be an impossible task, but we can dream, can't we?
This is one of the sweetest and funniest films I've seen in recent
years. My daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed viewing the dvd. Much luck
to you and all your future endeavors. Please make more films with Lena
Headey. Thank you.
Lydia from the (USA)
I love the idea of you watching the movie with your daughter, I think that's totally cool. I think I've answered the commentary question elsewhere, but I'm happy to answer it again. yes, as you guessed, it's a budgetary thing. piper's in new york right now, lena's in germany, darren's in toronto, god knows where matt is, and to get everyone together would cost somebody money that we probably wouldn't make them back. it's a shame, they're all so excellent, and I got to enjoy their company, so I wish you guys could too. and yes, I'd love to work with lena headey again. that's twice now, and hopefully she's as proud of both times as I am. thanks again, lydia.
Hello Mr. Parker,
I just wanted to tell you how much I truly enjoyed your movie, my
partner and I saw it at the screening back in February here in Vegas.
She just happened by chance to come across it online, and has fallen in
love with the film ever since. I believe it's one of her favorites now,
especially since the essence of the movie is just about the love story.
Anyway, my other reason for writing is to ask if it was possible to get
a copy of your script or if you could direct me to a retailer where I
can buy it. You see my partner, Auriel, has been looking for it ever
since the screening and hasn't been able to obtain one. She wants to
be a director herself someday, but is bummed since she hasn't been able
to pursue her passion as of late. I'd like to get a copy, in hopes of
cheering her up and to encourage her to stay vigilant in following her
dreams. I'm sorry to put you on the spot, and I understand if for
whatever reason you would prefer not to send it or disclose a retailer,
but I figured it couldn't hurt.
Well, thank you for making such a fantastic movie, and for taking the
time to read this. I look forward to seeing more of your work in the
Athena from Nevada
thanks for your compliments, thanks for your question. I don't actually have a copy of the finished script, or I'd gladly give it to your partner. but your webmaster is in contact with the one of the companies that made the film, so they should do, and maybe she could get one off them. I'd happily write some bollocks on it if you wanted me to.
tell auriel to keep trying. it's hard to get to direct, it's hard when you do get to direct, but if you're lucky then there are some fantastic rewards. as the fact that I'm typing this demonstrates. thank you so much.
Where is the soundtrack? It was a very poignant score and I'd love to
some of the songs... was a soundtrack ever compiled?
By the way-- Thank you for this movie. It was brilliant, optimistic and
San Diego, CA
thanks for asking about the soundtrack. again, I refer you to your webmaster, who has in her possession a cd of all alex heffes' superb music, and should somehow be able to sort you out should you wish to hear it. and if you want to hear more of alex heffes, then check out 'the last king of scotland', a most excellent film which will be in your cinemas later this year. and for which there will definitely be a soundtrack cd released. he's a lovely man, and he did a lovely job. thanks on his behalf for appreciating it.
thank you for your wonderfull story, the delightfull, breathtaking
sceens, all the lovely interactions in the film, they were very
I am Hungarian, working in England from this year on and i was able to
search for the places where u filed IMAY, and it is amazing how
beautifully you did. As i like photography i learned from you to see the
beauty in small details, and realised that the nicest views are not so
obvious at all (Primrosehill is beautifull- i am ther nearly every
from June 17) I watched the movie in Camden town.
Imagine me and you is a film what brings unknown people togeather
from all over the world, to discuss, share all the endless feelings what
these lovely movie arised in our heart and what effects our life from
now on? The cast are brilliant, makes me feel warm and enjoyed their
company, and i have an urgent feel to be nice, kind, honest, helpfull to
others, more and more...thanks to teach us for that...
And one of my Q: What was the
main message to us from you through this film?
I wish you more so nice experiances like during filming IMAY.
Lots of love,
thanks for writing, being kind. I like the thought of you trekking round primrose hill, because that's what me and my friend ben the cameraman did too. all of the shots of the view, or joggers, or kids on the hill were taken by the two of us one glorious morning between 5 and 7 am, and it really was one of the happiest times of my life. so thank you for reminding me of it.
anyway, your question. I wouldn't really presume to have a message for anyone. I had subjects I hoped to explore - I fell in love at first sight, and I wanted to write about that. and about guilt, and morality, and whether you should always follow your heart, and and and ... but as for a message, I don't know. I know I'm an optimist, and if people watch something I've written and feel better about themselves, the world, other people, then I feel like I've achieved something. so thank you again, and everyone else that writes with questions, or comments.
I"ve seen the whole movie and I am wondering if Ol will answer my ?.Does
the movie has any relations to the new British legislation on gay
marriage. Or it has nothing to do with it?
jancel from the Philippines!
hi jancel from the philippines
thanks for writing, thanks for asking. actually in the first draft, luce had a line that went "no, no, and maybe when the laws change ..." and by the time we came to film it, it was changed to "no, no, and maybe now the laws have changed..." which was a very happy thing. so no, we were in no way related to the changes in legislation, we just reacted to them. delightedly. all the best to you out there.
Dear Mr. Parker,
My name is Danielle van Herk, I'm 19 years old and I'm from the Netherlands. I found this e-mail adress on this website: http://www.imaginemeandyouthemovie.com/ and I thought that this would be a good opportunity for me to ask the question that came to my mind the first time I heard about this movie; What inspired you to make this film?
I am a Media Communcation student at Webster University and I really want to get into film/television production, so I always want to know what went on behind the scenes of a film, why a film was made, who are the actors/actresses and why were they chosen, who came up with the idea of the film and why, so that's why my question.
I really do hope you can answer my question!
Danielle van Herk
I was inspired to write the movie because I fell in love at first sight. and I knew that I had - unlike rachel, I knew straight away - but then come a whole host of other questions. is it real? what causes it? can you base any logical action or plan for the future on how you feel? can you stop feeling it if you want to? should you? and many more. but that moment, and my life ever since, was the genesis of the movie. thanks for asking, and good luck with your studies.
Anyway, I wants to request why Lena and Piper all the time were smiling,
for me this kind of love as mentioned lena is very painful, and I don’t
know in every kiss and touching , especially Piper was smile. They were
embarrassed?????? Love when it is true, it would honesty and sincerely,
and I filled only actress was in character it was Lena, congratulations
for her, not only for a role, and for honesty in her life. I saw her
last Friday in your movie and read almost every things about her until
now in websites, a lot of articles and interviews of her, I admired her
and may be loved her but right now it difficult to me to recognised it,
because I didn’t enough courage as Lena and may be I accommodate for my
present and comfortable and burry life. (Either have the courage of
Rachel and Luce)
It is not possible to touch directly with her say of my part that I
suggested continuing her own and sincerely way, it’s the only and right
way to willing a real happiness and one more thing I extremely
recommended her to practice real ones kisses. At last and no more least
important to make touch with Pedro, Almodovar it would be amazing and
explosive duo, it really filling that.
Ines de la Cruz
that is an absolutely cracking letter, I've read it about thirty times now, and while I'm still not totally sure what you're on about, I gather that lena has made something of an impression on you. as she does on all who are wise and sane. and some who aren't. yes, she should meet pedro almodovar. actually everyone should meet pedro almodovar, he's a lovely man, and a very great genius. I saw 'volver' the other night, and like most of his other movies, it rules. thanks for writing, ines. by the way, I do speak spanish, so should you ever wish to write again, you could try that. take it easy, ol
First of all, thank you very much for this gorgeous and awesome movie..
it is really one of the very best I saw in years! I guess I saw it
about.. donnu.. hundred of times since I bought the DVD.
I completely fell in love with Luce. So my question is.. when did you
get the idea of her personality? Do you actually have a favourite
character in this movie?
Edie was great, too! It's a pity that she is just seen in two scenes.
She is soooo funny! Plus... I really can't understand why you cut out
this one scene where Luce fetches her up from hospital..... really...it
would have been just... few seconds!!
I also saw it in German (once), they changed the title in "A wedding
with three persons", a thing I can not understand at all! The german
dubbing is.. so terrible. Guess that's a reason why it wasn't that
successful here. Did you know they call H "Lexi"???
I read that you found it really embarrassing doing this one scene in the
flower shop, where Luce and Rachel kiss for the first time. Is that
true? How often did it take to have it the way you wanted it? *grin*
So I hope we're seeing more from you, soon. I'm looking forward to it.
Hope you understood everything.. I'm a german girl whose last
English-lesson has been.. about 3 years ago.
Ana Graciela, Germany
hey ana graciela
thanks for writing, your english is great. and vastly better than my german. I actually went over there for the premiere, and made an atrocious speech in german, and then watched the dubbed version. which was only marginally better than my speech. but what can you do.
I'll try and answer your various questions. I felt like I knew Luce from very early on, which isn't always the case. and then I felt lena knew her even better, bless her. As for favourite characters, I don't know. you tend to have soft spots for all of them, or you hope to, anyway. I'm sure there were reasons we deleted that Edie scene, but I can't remember them. something to do with not wanting the audience to get ahead of us, so getting to the ending as quickly as possible. but you're right, it's short, and eva rules, and maybe it should have stayed.
And yes, the scene in the back room of the flowershop was a deeply embarrassing one for me. I was actually sitting on the bed that's at the end of the ladder luce leans on, doing the camera for the topshot, where we look down on them. and we had another two cameras going. so there were a lot of people in a tiny room, very hot with all the lights. and in the middle of it all, two actresses laughing very hard.
thanks again for your questions. take it easy, ol
I LOVE "Imagine Me & You" and can't watch it enough! Lena and Piper
perfect together and Lena is just plain gorgeous to look at. My
is whether there might be stills of behind the scenes hanging about that
could be posted on the site for us avid fans to see. I enjoyed seeing
behind the scenes shots of Lena and a few of the other actors. Thanks,
Katherine (Vancouver, BC Canada)
how cool that you're from vancouver, I love that city. but if you live there it means you have better things to do than watching my film more than once. thanks for your words, and I wish I could take credit for lena looking nice, but I'm afraid she does that in other movies too. and I think the webmaster here has dug up pretty much every photo ever taken on the production. there is one more, the cast and crew photo, which is in a box somewhere in this house. and which if I ever find, I will present to this site. thanks again katherine, give my love to your city. best, ol
My name is Pam Hudson, from the United States, state of North Carolina,
town of Southern Pines, (golf country). What, if any, interest do you
have in spirituality? I find the underlying spirits in your characters
in Imagine me & you to be quite intriguing and well developed, and
wonder if that was intentional on your part, or the wonder of your
I work at a hospice and give specific attention to how we all live and
move and have our being.
I like your writing very much and thank you for Imagine me & you. I
have watched it many times and always feel uplifted and find myself
smiling as it ends/ which it does much too soon in my opinion, by the
It has been said and has come to my attention again recently, that we
are only 6 degrees away from any one person in the world. I hope one
day to travel the six degrees and be gifted with meeting you. My best
to you and yours.
Have a good moment!
hey pam in southern pines
thank you for your very thoughtful question. I try, as all writers do, to create characters that are rounded and recognizable, with credible motivations, attainable qualities and understandable flaws, whose dialogue demonstrates them to be something more than just the sum of their actions. I almost invariably fail. but luckily I manage to cast actors who can fill in the blanks that I've left. it's to them that your compliments should go. but thank you, thanks for writing, and have a good moment yourself. best, ol
I know 'Imagine Me and You' came out months ago now but i only just saw
it and felt compelled to tell you how moved i was by it. It really did
give me that warm fuzzy feeling (as cliche as it may sound). It was
written so brilliantly, it was witty, charming and there were moments
where i felt weak in the stomach just watching the chemistry between
the two girls. Lena Headey is an amazing actor and one i will be
watching out for in future movies. It really almost made me cry, and i
never cry in movies. I absolutely loved it and i really cannot believe
some of the harsh reviews it has received. These people must have no
imagination or be really out of touch with the gay thing. Anyway,
congratulations on an amazing movie which will definitely be in my top
5 movies of all time.
Thank you. Shelby - Brisbane, Australia
thank you, you're very kind. much too kind, in fact, but thanks anyway. and you should start crying in movies, you absolutely should. watch the bit where john hurt goes to tea with anthony hopkins and hannah gordon in 'the elephant man', and see if that doesn't get you, it always slays me. hope you're having fun in brisbane, and truly, thanks again.
Hello Mr Parker,
First of all I would like to thank you and everyone else involved in
this wonderful, funny, charming, touching movie. The story is great,
superb, design and locations beautiful and the soundtrack is excellent.
IM&Y truely is a gem and just thinking about it now makes me smile. So
thumbs up to all of you!
Now for the questions:
Is there any chance for the region 2 DVD to include an audio commentary
Piper and Lena please? Since they keep saying everywhere they had so
fun doing this and they're such good friends, I think it would be really
great if they could talk us through the movie and share some of their
thoughts about it.
What's your favourite part in the movie and why?
Was there anything you originally wanted to do in/with the movie but
couldn't due to lack of budget/time or anything like that?
Thanks again and take care,
Leslie, in Belgium
hi leslie in belgium,
thank you for being so nice about the film. although please don't feel you have to call me mr parker. anyway, another multi-parted question ...
- yes, a commentary by those two would be great, far better and more insightful that my inane ramblings. as would one with matt and darren, who are both hilarious. I've no idea if it'll happen, but to be honest I'd have thought it's unlikely. it's a budget thing - their busy schedules mean they're all all over the place, and to coordinate them would take time and money. but I'd love to hear it. except, obviously, for the bits where they talked about me.
- my favourite bit in the movie is where they first meet in the flowershop. there's a point where lena has a line, but instead of saying it she just stands and stares at rachel, lost in her for a second ... then sorts herself out and says the line. and I remember thinking we could just junk the rest of the film, everything we needed was in that moment anyway.
- I think I was so lucky to get to make a movie, any movie, let alone the one I wanted to make, that I try and focus on that rather than on the budgetary constraints. I was amazed anyone gave me any money at all, and I was and am very grateful.
as I am to you, and to anyone else who writes, asks things, whatever. thanks again, take care, ol
A big hello to Ol from me here in Big D (Dallas, Texas). I enjoyed your
film very much - I couldn't stop smiling afterwards. I think that was
the first time I had any desire to play DDR. Before my question, a
funny story: when I went to see the movie, as I was about to buy the
ticket, this elderly man kept trying to guess which movie I was going
to see. He guessed twice and I told him he was wrong and I told him it
was IMAY and the smile on his face changed so drastically - it was all
I could do to keep from cracking up. Oh well, you can't please
Well, my question is about the almost kiss scene after Luce and Rachel's
night out. What happened there? I have my opinions but wanted your take
on it. Was Rachel trying to kiss Luce on the cheek and Luce
misinterpreted it and tried to kiss her on the lips? Or was Luce moving
away because she didn't want to mess up a couple? By the way, it was
very well played.
Okay, another one: What were you looking for in an actress for the role
of Luce? What was it about Lena Headey that made you see Luce in her?
Sorry, 3rd question - I promise it's the last. That scene in the wedding
when Luce/Rachel meet for the first time and Luce fishes the ring out of
the punch bowl - I couldn't help but notice how simbolic it was. It was
like a wedding between the ladies. Luce was in a tuxedo-like outfit and
Rachel in that dress - then Luce fitting the ring on Rachel - all going
on behind a man's back. It's kind of like a metaphor for the whole
movie. Was this your intention or should I just get some sleep?
That's it, thank you! You should keep making films like these (hopefully
with the same folks).
thanks for writing, asking things, all of that. another multiple question, I'll do my best ...
- the truth is, I don't really know what happens in the almost-kiss. what I wrote, if you're interested, was
OK, well ... thanks for the evening.
It was my birthday.
No, today? You should've said. It's mine at the weekend.
We're practically twins.
Well ... happy birthday.
She goes to kiss her. But neither of them know whether to go cheek, or mouth, or which cheek. They have an incredibly awkward nose-bumping moment, before they figure it out, peck each other politely.
They pull back, look at each other. Their faces are very close now ...
The headlights of a passing car illuminate them for a second. And they both jump back.
Then the car has gone. And the moment has passed.
OK then. Goodnight.
and then I gave it to two wonderful actresses. who - correctly - didn't do the polite peck. they just played awkwardness, and confusion, and lust and morality. all of that very late at night, after a 14 hour day, in the freezing cold ...
- why did I cast lena? watch a scene of hers, any scene, you can see all the reasons. she's good, and kind, and beautiful, and funny, and smart, very smart. I don't think I gave her a single note all the way through filming. she knew the character, knew what she wanted to do, and did it flawlessly.
- the symbolism of the punchbowl is either a happy accident, or proof you need to get some sleep, or both. the same with rachel 'finding her metaphorical voice', as someone told me she does in the traffic jam. it's bizarre, you just write this stuff, and people are kind or mad enough to think this hard about it. I'm really very grateful. but honestly, sleep now.
thanks muriel. keep on having fun in dallas. best, ol
Thank you for this wonderful movie! It's lovely, pure, heart-warming, and funny; a very rare combination of great dialogue, moving non-speech moments, and flawless performances by every single person involved.
Did you write the screen play in chronological order?
Did you create character profiles to fascilitate the writing process?
What did take longer: writing the initial script or revising it?
Were there any additional (annoying) costumers in the flower shop who didn't make the final cut?
There's a photograph standing on a small table beside the sofa in the scene of Rachel's confession to Heck. Does it show young Piper Perabo, young H with longer hair, or someone else?
Did you drink the punch bowl after you filmed the wedding party?
Johannes Schult from Germany
thank you, you're very kind. although obviously I can't take any credit for the non-speech moments. and you've asked about a thousand questions as well, bless you. here you go then, in order:
- I do write chronologically, yes. I can't write any other way. because I don't make any kind of plan, so I have no idea what's going to happen next, I can't skip on and write a later scene. it takes longer this way, but the journey is more surprising, and therefore more fun.
- I don't do character profiles. I just hope I know who they are, then can get that across through their dialogue. then cast someone excellent to help me out.
- it took about three months to do the first draft. we started shooting two and a half years later, so in that time I was constantly rewriting, revising, farting about with it. and then the actors came in, and said whatever they wanted to anyway.
- the photo on the table is of the woman we borrowed the flat off. a lovely person, wish I could remember her name. she runs a charity to which I would suggest you contribute, if I could remember what that was called either. something to do with famous people painting plates. anyway, we were very grateful, still are, so that's her face in the movie.
- all the stuff we did with customers in the shop is in there. one scene we moved from where I originally wrote it - the guy luce throws out of the flowershop originally turned up earlier, which is why lena appears to have changed clothes and then changed back. but who worries about these things? not the director, that's for sure.
- if you knew how many hands had been in that punchbowl by the end of the day, you wouldn't have wanted to drink it either. I'm sure lena's were clean, because she's a good person, but some of the crew ...
thanks again johannes, take it easy. best, ol
I really do love Imagine Me & You beyond all reason- I saw it for my birthday treat back in February and it’s become my all-time favourite movie. I love the characters of Rachel and Luce, in fact I really relate to Luce because I’m madly in love with someone who sort of reminds me of Rachel. I think I might be a bit like Luce by the time I’m in my twenties- or at least, I hope! I have two questions for you, I hope that’s all right:
1. Do you happen to know why the Region 4 DVD didn’t have any special features? I was deliriously happy to finally own the film on DVD. I even ordered it from my friendly local DVD store, just to be absolutely sure I would get a copy. When I saw there weren’t any special features I nearly cried (well, inside, a little). I had really been looking forward to finding out how the movie was made.
2. At any point in the writing process, did the characters have last names?
In any case, thanks so much for making this movie and for giving me so many hours of pure joy. : )
Emily from Australia.
thanks for writing, you guys are all incredibly flattering. I thoroughly recommend that you become like luce, it seems like a good way to live, and if you can pull it off you'll never be short of friends or admirers.
as for your questions - the surname thing I answered before. I'll try and ask someone in production, maybe the names are still on file somewhere. come to think of it, heck's might have been 'McCloud', for no particular reason ... and the other question, about your dvd, I can only apologise. as with the poster, trailer, etc, different companies release different dvd's in each region, and apparently you guys are getting the raw end of the deal. I've seen the american dvd, and while you're not missing much with my commentary, there's some other good stuff on there you should have. is your dvd player multiregion? if it is, and you want to send me your address via the webmaster, I'll make sure you get a version with all the trimmings.
thanks again for writing. all best, ol
I am Stella(again)..
I'd love to know who is the wanker..I mean who is the footballer..
Thank's for you time..!
p.s.I am grateful for this lovely,funny,absolutely perfect movie...!and of
caurse for your choise of actresses,they are marvellous!
thanks for your question, and your kind words. we filmed the football scenes at brentford football club in west london, and the players are actual members of the brentford team. the guy wearing number nine is their captain and centre forward, and what's interesting is that he actually was a wanker. I'm not sure if someone at the club had read the script and cleverly put him in that shirt, but I do know that after a long evening's filming there, lena was entirely happy to shout abuse at him. and we all enjoyed hearing it. good times. thanks again for asking, and being nice.