The third film in the series tells the story of Maria, who is at a crossroads in life. Feigning happiness in her marriage to John has become too suffocating. Her 60th birthday sparks clarity, the suppressed feelings of discontent. She longs for another journey to find liberation and happiness again. I Am Maria explores thought provoking, universal issues of identity, doubt and the painful cracks that can slowly form in lifelong relationships. I Am Maria stars Oscar Nominee Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread, Mum) and co-stars Michael Gould (The Darkest Hour), Gershwyn Eustache Jnr (Small Axe, I May Destroy You), Daryl McCormack (Pixie), Ziggy Heath (Harlots) and Ellie James (I May Destroy You).
Written and Created by Dominic Savage
Story by Dominic Savage & Lesley Manville
Maria: Lesley Manville
John: Michael Gould
Anthony: Gershwyn Eustache Jnr
Andrew: Ziggy Heath
Alice: Ellie James
David: Daryl Mccormack
Produced by Krishnendu Majumdar
Executive Producers: Richard Yee and Dominic Savage
Production Co: Me+You Productions
QUOTES FROM LESLEY MANVILLE ABOUT CO-DEVELOPING AND STARRING IN I AM MARIA
- It is not scripted and it is shot on a single handheld camera with minimal people in the room – really just the actors and the camera and the boom operator and it follows you around. You know what the aim of the scene is, the goal in terms of the narrative and the emotional story but it’s really – get into it, roll the camera and see what happens!
- It was almost like a carrot to a donkey for me because I’ve never worked in this way before so it felt like quite a challenge but I felt confident I could rise to that challenge so long as the woman was in place in my head and in Dominic’s and what she was going through was in place and what she was aiming for was in place.
- Working with Dominic is fascinating, he’s a bit of a maverick and I like a maverick! Give me one and I’m a happy actress.
- I would say that at its core the film examines a woman’s right, a person’s right to live their life as they want to. To explore their own thoughts, feelings and their own journey
- At times during the shoot he would ask me how I had achieved certain scenes and I kind of don’t have an answer for that. I haven’t been through what Maria goes through but I have been through lots of other emotions in my life some wonderful and some painful like everybody has. We have good pain, bad pain, grief loss and sadness.
- On working with Gershwyn Eustache Jnr: It is difficult sometimes, you meet in the morning, have your breakfast then you’re in hair and make up and suddenly an hour later you’ve got to do a very intimate scene. We were both very respectful of each other.
- It’s exciting, my job is acting I love acting. I like going to places and having the rug pulled from under your feet and I like making the rug be pulled from under other actors’ feet. It’s a very nice way of working for that. It would be very tough to work like this all the time. I’ve got the energy of 10 duracell batteries but it is tough.
- When you have a script your job is to make that script come to life and try to make it sound like a real person is saying it all. When you’re doing this that job is gone. All you have to do is create the person and what gets said will hopefully come out in the way that I’m talking to you now because I haven’t planned this,
- This has been a real treat because I’ve never done anything like this. I feel satisfied at the end of this shoot and I’m really looking forward to seeing it. We’re telling an important story about a generation of women or an age of women who no longer have to do what is expected of them and you are allowed to be over 50 and free and sexy and naughty and funny. You’re allowed to be those things and you can go off and be them until you heart is content.