Press Conference: “Fish Tank”

L'équipe du film
Director Andrea Arnold and crew of "Fish Tank" at photocall and press conference

At today’s meeting with the international press, Fish Tank director Andrea Arnold was flanked by stars Kierston Waering, Harry Treadaway and Michael Fassbender, producer Nick Laws, cinematographer Robbie Ryan, film editor Nicolas Chaudeurge and set designer Helen Scott. As for Katie Jarvis, who plays Mia, she was unable to attend because of a happy event as she has just had a baby. Excerpts from the conference follow:

Andrea Arnold on the image that inspired Fish Tank:
I won’t tell anybody what it is, because I feel like it gives the film away. I had an image of Katie doing something, and I wondered: what was she doing, why was she doing it, and I start writing outwards from that image. It’s one of the strongest images in the film, I think, and that’s how I’ve always written.

Michael Fassbender on his character, Connor:
When I first spoke to Andrea, it was on the phone… She told me a little bit about what my character’s journey was, sort of very brief, and I got a sense of it then. I had an idea where it was going to go. And, you know, the scenes – it wasn’t really that difficult. I mean, you just sort of try and sort of serve the story as best as possible. What’s always interesting with Andrea’s work is you have these characters that do questionable things, and it doesn’t make them essentially "evil" – words like that are sort of black and white – but there’s a lot of shading in there…The audience leaves the cinema questioning what they just saw, and questioning the morality of the actions of these characters. Essentially, I never wanted to judge the character or his actions. I just wanted to sort of play it moment by moment, and just let the story take care of itself, in Andrea’s hands.

Kierston Waering on the fact that she had no script:
Well, for me it was a one-off option again, because I’ve worked with Ken, and I didn’t think I’d be working in such a similar way again. It was fantastic to work in sequence again, which apparently is quite rare. And not knowing what’s going on, because I always believe that in real life, you don’t know what’s going to happen…

Andrea Arnold on the choice of the title:
It just felt absolutely right. People always want to put something on the documents for the film early on. Before you’ve even made the film, they want to know what the title is. I always feel I need to feel the film first, and see what it’s going to be before I think of the title. So I kind of resist the title thing until I absolutely have to. I’m not sure, but – "Fish Tank" – there’s a lot of life in a fish tank, and it’s a small space… I felt that was a good metaphor for the film.