Exclusive: RT Visits the Set of Three and Out

We wrap up warm for a London-based night shoot in Winter.

by | April 22, 2008 | Comments

Three and OutSecurity has been tight in London since the 7th July 2005 tube bombings. It’s just gone ten o’clock on a Monday night in November and the temperature outside on London’s Holborn Viaduct is just about nudging 47°F; 8°C. While most Londoners are safely ensconced in their homes, warmed by central heating and mugs of tea, many probably fast asleep in anticipation of another week of work, RT has wrapped up as warmly as possible – two pairs of trousers and a rather fetching jacket/sweater combo if you’re interested – to be told that we have to clear the area. A suspect package has been found inside a building nearby and the bomb squad are on the way.

Of course our first instinct is to wonder if this is some kind of elaborate rewrite. We’re on the set of Three and Out, a new British film from first-time movie director Jonathan Gershfield, and we had been expecting to see actor Colm Meaney attempt suicide by leaping from the bridge. For the purposes of the film, of course. Instead, producer Wayne Marc Godfrey sweeps past us and delivers some bad news. “It just keeps going wrong tonight,” he opines, “first the crane wasn’t working and now we’ve been told to shut down by the police while they check the package out.”

And so everything stops. Giant stadium lighting in front and behind the bridge is switched off, the 30-foot crane that had been performing acrobatics around us is lowered and wheeled to safety, and a sullen crew loads into minibuses to be taken to the production’s base for lunch, which, at 11 o’clock at night, should really be called dinner.

Of course, it could have been so much more complex… A night before our visit the production was filming in the bowels of Charing Cross Underground Station and, Godfrey says, everything ran perfectly smoothly.

Three and Out
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine star Colm Meaney in Three and Out.

The connection here is that the film’s lead, Mackenzie Crook, is a tube driver. “I play a want-to-be novelist who’s working as tube driver,” Crook corrects as we pull him aside while the bomb squad is doing their thing. “In the space of the month he has two people fall under his train, and his co-workers tell him that if it happens a third time before the month is over he’ll be retired with ten years’ wages. He sees it as a way of getting out of his rut and getting on with his writing.”

“So he hears on the radio that Holborn Viaduct is a suicide hotspot,” interjects co-star Meaney, “and while he’s out looking for a jumper to ‘save’ he meets my character, Tommy, preparing to jump. That’s what we’re shooting today, or what we’re trying to shoot; our first meeting.”

Four months later and we’re in a small London screening room for the film’s first unspooling. Gershfield wanders to the front and introduces the film before taking his seat and no-doubt nervously wondering about the audience’s reaction, though if he’s nervous it doesn’t show. What unspools is something decidedly more hopeful than the black comedy we appeared to be witnessing in November. Despite the premise – suicide as comedy – Three and Out goes to lengths to find sensitivity.

Rounding off the cast, though not on set when we visited, Harry Potter star Imelda Staunton plays Meaney’s estranged wife and new Bond girl Gemma Arterton his even more estranged daughter. After meeting Meaney’s character Tommy at Holborn Viaduct and getting him to agree to his plan, Crook’s Paul agrees to go on a pilgrimage with him to the Lake District to make amends with his family before the deed is done.

Three and Out
Gemma Arterton and Mackenzie Crook in Three and Out.

“It’s a brilliant, brilliant script,” Arterton told RT when we sat down with her after the shoot. “It’s quite Little Miss Sunshine-esque. I play Colm Meaney’s character’s daughter that he abandoned when she was fourteen. She’s a Liverpudlian punk called Frankie who ends up falling in love with Mackenzie’s character. It’s a comedy but she’s the emotional heart of the story, I suppose, with her mum, who’s Imelda Staunton.”

“This is just a wonderful story,” says Meaney. “The writing is very good and the characters are really beautifully complex. There are no caricatures; they’re all wonderfully three-dimensional. It’s also very emotional – the balance is there in the script – it literally makes you laugh and makes you cry and that’s pretty rare.”

Agrees Crook, “It is a black comedy, but while the subject matter sounds quite downbeat it’s not a downbeat movie.”

For the former star of The Office, getting to play someone who wasn’t a complete carbon copy of his character Gareth had its attractions too. “A lot of the characters I get sent are very much in the Gareth mould and I get put up for a lot of those Territorial Army characters and the ones that stand out for me are the ones that aren’t the obvious characters. This guy, Paul, is perhaps not as nosey as I usually play, but he’s no action hero either!”

Three and Out is released in UK cinemas this weekend.

Tag Cloud

Rom-Com independent TruTV Marvel Studios robots Food Network festival TBS venice Stephen King binge reboot best Musical social media 2018 supernatural richard e. Grant RT21 Nominations fast and furious Polls and Games HBO Max stop motion 45 cancelled TV series emmy awards Song of Ice and Fire MCU satire casting vampires Pop TV WGN what to watch Apple TV Plus Emmy Nominations Music History Sneak Peek Sony Pictures ABC GLAAD HBO Go zero dark thirty tv talk Captain marvel Pet Sematary Sci-Fi spinoff Disney streaming service laika DC Comics video on demand Spectrum Originals cinemax E3 Ovation Freeform Family period drama Rocketman Holiday Universal CMT ABC Family video documentary VH1 Trivia teaser spider-man Summer Apple CNN cats dc Crackle Walt Disney Pictures Set visit hist worst movies LGBTQ 2015 Hulu series Classic Film movies OWN crime drama ratings Chernobyl 007 directors versus batman Amazon Kids & Family CBS All Access werewolf AMC Year in Review TCA Winter 2020 comiccon foreign free movies Spring TV transformers award winner NBC FXX finale mockumentary PBS Apple TV+ TLC Country The Walking Dead Mudbound comedies streaming cancelled TV shows a nightmare on elm street parents Box Office quibi Vudu VICE game of thrones Tubi USA Marvel Television FX ITV dogs spanish language Valentine's Day Lucasfilm movie YA sitcom diversity Mystery comic Western adventure zombies Travel Channel canceled BET Mary Poppins Returns indie SundanceTV Ghostbusters Masterpiece 4/20 halloween Binge Guide game show space psycho all-time Grammys singing competition scary movies films Drama Mary Tyler Moore Peacock Chilling Adventures of Sabrina indiana jones 2020 franchise Amazon Prime E! Sundance TV comics DC Universe sag awards National Geographic Mary poppins talk show screenings Photos Amazon Prime Video APB HBO theme song Superheroes 20th Century Fox latino Dark Horse Comics technology elevated horror Animation crime Brie Larson IFC Biopics cooking Schedule Trophy Talk renewed TV shows Acorn TV First Reviews reviews thriller justice league discovery X-Men Quiz Warner Bros. OneApp FOX PaleyFest crossover natural history Writers Guild of America PlayStation facebook joker Film Paramount Fall TV spy thriller 72 Emmy Awards stoner Reality canceled TV shows Television Critics Association DirecTV doctor who Endgame dceu Starz San Diego Comic-Con war boxoffice Syfy composers Comedy football blockbuster TCA Awards universal monsters slashers Emmys Holidays child's play 2019 Disney Ellie Kemper Disney Channel twilight TNT Video Games Arrowverse screen actors guild Lifetime Christmas movies TV renewals Black History Month Lifetime Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt BET Awards Spike children's TV YouTube Premium 21st Century Fox witnail Winners docudrama Cosplay serial killer political drama Fantasy Superheroe zombie Bravo Adult Swim YouTube Red Cannes south america Disney+ Disney Plus YouTube nature Mindy Kaling Election miniseries kids Hear Us Out VOD Thanksgiving Calendar Film Festival SXSW Avengers golden globes sports BBC One CBS hollywood spain FX on Hulu See It Skip It mission: impossible Sundance politics documentaries cults Esquire Horror concert RT History Marvel criterion The Purge The CW Best and Worst Rocky toy story green book New York Comic Con Turner TCM BBC America TCA 2017 rotten movies we love A&E Trailer hispanic GoT Baby Yoda Academy Awards Black Mirror Epix Comics on TV Premiere Dates psychological thriller Toys TIFF revenge Netflix book nbcuniversal BAFTA harry potter cartoon Martial Arts Watching Series NYCC anthology Showtime Shudder Awards ghosts asian-american Rock 2017 Tarantino anime Heroines Oscars Pop dark sequels historical drama travel blaxploitation Logo SDCC dragons strong female leads Comic Book Winter TV Marathons Opinion Extras President Lionsgate Star Wars Awards Tour cancelled Countdown breaking bad romance medical drama rotten science fiction classics aliens Star Trek Musicals TCA Columbia Pictures Discovery Channel GIFs crime thriller MTV chucky ESPN Nickelodeon superhero IFC Films Nat Geo stand-up comedy Sundance Now American Society of Cinematographers Pixar Shondaland Britbox The Arrangement Tumblr christmas movies biography Tomatazos USA Network Funimation Comedy Central Hallmark Christmas Super Bowl based on movie critics DGA adaptation animated WarnerMedia name the review CW Seed Amazon Studios Creative Arts Emmys Turner Classic Movies Hallmark Christmas movies Reality Competition police drama news die hard Action Character Guide Elton John romantic comedy 2016 MSNBC Podcast Television Academy Fox News true crime TV Land Women's History Month DC streaming service A24 cars toronto Crunchyroll Infographic remakes First Look unscripted scorecard Pride Month Teen cops LGBT 24 frames BBC 71st Emmy Awards Netflix Christmas movies dramedy jamie lee curtis Paramount Network cancelled television Disney Plus Pirates TV Anna Paquin festivals Certified Fresh television mutant Interview worst nfl disaster The Witch Cartoon Network sequel Red Carpet obituary El Rey