The Line of Beauty
Interview with producer Kate Lewis
Producer Kate Lewis...
"Being one of the generation of Thatcher's children I was captivated when I read Alan Hollinghurst's witty and beautifully written novel set in 1980s London.
"It was fascinating to look back at Thatcherism, excess, the tabloid scandals and Aids with the perspective of the intervening years; it made me wonder how much had really changed.
"And the novel's such a page turner, with richly textured characters and an ending that really packs a punch.
"Andrew Davies, the adaptation maestro, had suggested the novel to the BBC and was aboard to write the screenplay.
"It felt daunting to be adapting such a highly regarded novel, but having worked with Andrew as a script editor numerous times, I reckoned he could pull it off if anyone could.
"The novel went on to win the prestigious Man Booker Prize, and I found myself rather star struck to be sitting down for dinner with Alan [Hollinghurst] a month or so later.
"In fact, he couldn't have been nicer. He's a courteous and modest man, softly spoken though occasionally revealing a flash of the biting wit that makes his novels so remarkable. And his enthusiasm for the project was infectious.
"Alan seemed comfortable with Andrew's scripts – indeed, they are very pretty faithful to his novel – and also with the direction that the director, Saul Dibb, wanted to take the material.
"He came along to watch a lot of the filming. Having a novelist on set can be tricky as they often get frustrated that things aren't as they had imagined.
"Andrew Davies is often humorously quoted for saying that he prefers his authors not to be living!
"But Alan was great, standing back with an objective and generous eye but filling in the gaps when we needed.
"He's the sort of man who soaks up information like a sponge, and I'm pretty sure he now knows more about the filming process than I do!
"Alan says he likes what we have done with his novel - though I know that he is too polite and generous to say otherwise.
"But I hope there is some truth in this, as there will be many fans of the novel waiting to lynch us if we get it wrong!"