- Title: VARIOUS: Stars turn out for "Killing Bono" UK premiere
- Date: 29th March 2011
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (MARCH 28, 2011) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) IVAN MCCORMICK, MUSICIAN, SAYING: "You could tell." MUSIC JOURNALIST NEIL MCCORMICK, SAYING: "He had a lot of charisma. He was always a cool guy in the school. He was charismatic and energy and intelligence. Didn't mean you thought that he was gonna be a rock star. You know he was just a cool guy in school. But he had something and the same qualities you see him now, would see in him now, were absolutely present in the school corridor."
- Embargoed: 13th April 2011 13:00
- Reuters ID: LVA89IHECVHGSW5XDIHGSRC3YFSK
- Story Text: New film "Killing Bono" is a tragi-comic tribute to rock'n'roll's countless flops, and tells the true story of two brothers who began as U2's friends and rivals but ended up on the scrapheap of musical history.
The movie is based on music journalist Neil McCormick's memoirs of the same name, although its makers took considerable liberties with the source material. At the film's London premiere McCormick said he didn't mind putting the story of his life into the hands of others.
"You know I'm a writer and I created my story and people always say it's been turned into a film but it hasn't been turned into a film", he said. "I did have to surrender a lot of ego and control -- but ego and control got into the way of our career in the Eighties. So, I know enough ... that you should just let people get on with it. So that's what I did."
Director Nick Hamm was also at hand and added:
"He says himself he's made so many bad decisions in his career that actually he was happy to leave it to the experts. You know ultimately he's gonna be celebrated as a failure in the music business, but nonetheless celebrated."
Unlike in the movie, for example, McCormick never did pull a gun on his school friend and nemesis Bono, even if much of his youth was consumed with an unhealthy obsession over U2's staggering success and his own failure as a singer.
Another fictional twist in the film, is how Neil hid the fact that U2 had asked his bandmate and brother Ivan to join them, so sure was he that his group Shook Up! would eventually eclipse its rivals.
In the film Neil and his younger brother Ivan are portrayed by actor Ben Barnes, best known for his lead role in the Narnia blockbuster "Prince Caspian,", and Robert Sheehan of British TV series 'Misfits.' Despite both having successful acting careers, Barnes said he understands the appeal of becoming a rock star.
"I have a bit of a hanker for it", he said. "The leather trousers and the wigs and the crowd that we rented in the film. We paid them vast amounts of money to scream for us, but it still made us feel like rock stars. It doesn't matter."
Barnes and Sheehan are almost inseparable in the film. They appear in most scenes together, which is why they say the dynamic between them was very important to the film.
"We were very much like husband and wife", Sheehan says of his and Barnes relationship on set. "We switched from big spoon to little spoon. We alternated. You know? Keeping it very equal in our relationship."
Members of U2 did not attend the premiere that evening, but according to Ivan an Neil McCormick, they have seen the film, and, while not vouching for its accuracy, the music journalist said they enjoyed the comedy and its portrayal of the early days in 1970s Dublin.
"They have been supportive from day one. It's not their film, but they gave us some music for it and they've seen scripts. And they've always been saying to me: 'How's the film going, how's the film going?' Bono calls it 'Killing Myself' -- and they saw it in Australia and they thought it was funny. They particularly liked the early scenes because -- that stuff is not caught anywhere else, except in this film, you know. That's, that really takes us back seeing those moments before they became U2, before they became anything."
'Killing Bono' opens in UK theatres on April 1.
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