Saturday, March 12, 2011

Neil Cross talks about writing for TV and Hollywood

Recently there was a cool article in the Dominion Post (the daily newspaper for the Wellington region) about acclaimed crime writer Neil Cross, who has lived in our capital city for several years, after immigrating from Britain. Things have been very, very busy for Cross in recent times - along with writing his disturbing psychological thrillers (such as Ngaio Marsh Award finalist BURIAL) he has also been screenwriting for both British television shows (first as lead writer for the award-winning Spooks, then as creator and writer of the acclaimed but polarising Luther) and for TV and big-screen films. All while based in Wellington.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Cross for an article in Good Reading back in 2009, one of the very first 'author features' I ever wrote, and then meeting him at the Whodunnit and Whowunnit? event last year (see photo above, left to right: Ruth Todd of the Christchurch Writers Festival, thriller writer Andrew Grant, myself, Paul Cleave, Cross, and Vanda Symon).

In person Cross is a very witty, intelligent, and interesting guy.

In her article for the Dominion Post, Rebecca Palmer writes that Cross is keen to maintain his distance from overt success and celebrity, and values his sense that it's still weird for him to be meeting people like Hollywood actor Willem Dafoe and director Guillermo del Toro, that he's still somehow 'getting away with it'.

Cross shares why and how he created the TV cop show Luther, and the drive behind its extremely morally ambigious lead character. It's a show that has been slammed by some, while acclaimed by more; it's certainly been divisive when it comes to reviewers and viewers (sometimes a sign of a very good show). Cross also reveals he is particularly proud of getting a printed apology from Guardian entertainment writer Stuart Heritage, who wrote a "sick- makingly bad review" of the first episode of Luther, but later proclaimed it a "genuinely great cop show".

There is a lot more in Palmer's Dominion Post article on Cross, including updates on the myriad of book, TV and film projects he now has on the go. You can read the full article here.

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