Perfect Sense Interview

Ewan McGregor and Eva Green live in a world where the five senses are rapidly disappearing…

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A former Bond girl gets together with a Jedi Master in Glasgow-set Perfect Sense , as Eva Green falls in love with Ewan McGregor against the backdrop of a nightmare-ish scenario.

“I think that the power of love can transgress all of the negativity that surrounds it,” begins director David MacKenzie, most famous for his gritty-Brit arthouse epics such as Hallam Foe and Young Adam. “And in the case of Perfect Sense, love is the only thing that can get people through some very dark and difficult times…”

Indeed, when a mysterious, unexplained, worldwide virus begins to destroy the five human senses – beginning with smell and followed soon after by taste and hearing – scientists fight against time to find a vaccine whilst others make the most of what they still have. After all, how long before we can no longer even see the ones that we care about…?

“When I read the script to Perfect Sense I felt that it was a very powerful, poetic and original story,” MacKenzie continues. “I hope that it says something about how there is always a beacon of hope in the complexity of the human spirit.”

His leading man is quick to agree with such heady sentiments…

“I am a big fan of stories that are set against disasters so I was really excited about making Perfect Sense ,” says McGregor . “I would say that it has a number of very strong and thought-provoking themes and I also think that it is a love story rather than an outright sci-fi film. However, the sci-fi fans who follow my work might say otherwise so I don’t want to pigeonhole anything [laughs].”

For MacKenzie the question of genre was certainly at the back of his mind – although the filmmaker admits that he intended for this to be a romance rather than the doom-laden sci-fi flick that many reviewers have concluded it is…

“It upsets me when people tell me that this is a bleak movie,” sighs the director. “I actually think it is life-affirming film. It is about hugging everyone and remembering to ‘love thy neighbour’. To be honest, I did not think that I was making a sci-fi movie. Perfect Sense is beginning to be represented as one – maybe because you need to put it on a shelf somewhere – and Eva Green does play a scientist, so we see inside science labs, but it feels only loosely tied to the genre. If we end up being included on the outer edges of sci-fi then that is fine but the story happens in the here and now. There is nothing futuristic about it and that is how I always define that sort of thing….”

McGregor also feels that Perfect Sense is an optimistic, rather than a pessimistic, picture…

“I don’t think this is a downbeat movie at all,” he smiles. “In fact, I believe it is quite hopeful. I see Perfect Sense as a love story with very well developed characters.”

Genre or not, however, MacKenzie admits that he is not about to entirely change track with his next project…

“It’s going to be what I consider a real sci-fi flick,” he claims. “It will have space travel and all sorts of stuff.”

Calum Waddell

This is an extended version of an interview that appears the current issue of SFX , on sale now. Perfect Sense is released on Friday 7 October.

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