A report from the set of Starfish last year has been shared online by Hey U Guys, and includes interviews with Tom and Joanne Froggatt. Read it in full on the Hey U Guys website.
One of the more remarkable aspects to our journey up to the set, was to spend time with real Tom Ray, on hand as an advisor, but also as a body double to Tom Riley, who was portraying him in the movie. Though having the real victim present during the shoot added a vital injection of perspective to all involved – reminding those in the cast and crew that the triviality of a film set is nothing compared to what this poor family had to go through – it still added a pressure on the actors embodying the subjects.
“The honest answer is that no, it’s not a good pressure,” Riley told us earnestly. “It’s been tricky. You don’t want to look like you’re taking the piss or doing a parody. His kids are in the movie, it’s been hard, I won’t pretend it’s been an easy thing to do, but no matter how difficult that is, it’s far harder for him.”
“It makes it seem like every worry in your life seems trivial. Just take the prosthetics, I go into the first scene quite tired, but I’m lucky enough to take it off at the end of the day, which Tom can’t do.”
Given so much of this film has been shot on location, it has meant that Riley, in full make-up, has been going through similar experiences that Ray has to contend with on a daily basis. “When we’ve been shooting on location, particularly kids, they point and stare at me, and one guy said to me in a restaurant, “what’s up with your face man?” and I thought, this is Tom’s life, day-to-day. People stopping and staring, or doing the other thing where they’re actively trying hard to. He lives with that every day of his life, and I’ve just had a taste of it. It’s been very humbling.”
It’s a remarkable turn by Riley, and one that is matched by his co-star – and producer on the movie – Joanne Froggart, who plays his wife, Nicola.