Daisy Ridley, Tom Bateman Talk Bringing Indie Thriller ‘Magpie’ to Life at SXSW World Premiere

Daisy Ridley took a moment during the post-premiere Q&A for her indie thriller “Magpie” at SXSW on Saturday night to reflect on the journey of bringing the film to life.

“I remember the first day on set when I saw the trailers saying ‘Oh my god, we’re making a film.’ Now, I feel like, ‘Oh my god, we’re here,’ ” Ridley said after “Magpie” had its world premeire at the State Theater in Austin, Texas. “Magpie” hails from Bateman’s Werewolf Films, 55 Films and Align.

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Ridley conceived the premise that drives “Magpie” and she produced the movie in addition to limning the central role. Ridley plays Annette, a tightly wound woman with two young children who struggles while watching her creepy husband (Shazad Latif) descend into an affair with an actress (Matilda Lutz) after the couple’s daughter is cast in a movie.

Ridley was working on location in Canada on a movie when the idea came to her about an actress who infiltrates a family. Bateman explained that he had no choice but to write the movie. Ridley “gave me about three days” after mentioning the idea before she pressed him to get working on the script, he said. At first the story was more focused on the husband’s budding affair, but as the pair built up the Annette character, it became clear that she was integral to making the film work.

“We started to find the woman at home really fascinating,” Bateman said. “She’s a woman who has the strength and backbone to hold this family together under such awful circumstances.”

Ridley was full of praise for her colleagues and director Sam Yates. “Everyone brought such unique energy. They just lifted everything,” she said.

“Magpie” marks the feature directorial debut of Yates, known for helming theater and short films. Saturday’s screening marked the first time any of them have seen “Magpie” with an audience, which was an illuminating experience, Yates said.

“Watching it with the first audience has been fascinating for us. Seeing where laughs come, where the applause is,” he said. As for making his first movie, Yates admitted, “there’s no substitute for going through it. I learned loads about loads.”

(Pictured: “Magpie” star and producer Daisy Ridley, producer Kate Solomon, director Sam Yates, writer-producer Tom Bateman and stars Matilda Lutz and Shazad Latif)

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