November 11, 2012

In honor of Veteran's Day here is a post about The Last September.  David plays Captain Gerald Colthurst in the 1999 film based on the book by Elizabeth Bowen. In the book the character is called Gerald Lesworth.

The story takes place in County Cork during the Irish War for Independence. The heroine 18 year old Lois Farquahr (Keeley Hawes) struggles primarily with her romantic attraction to two men, one a British Captain (David Tennant) garrisoned in county Cork near her family's estate, Danielstown, and the other an Irish rebel (Gary Lydon) who lives with a tenant farmer family of Danielstown.

The book was re-issued with 2 film tie in covers one with the movie poster and the other with the opening scene dancing with David.

The movie was directed by Deborah Warner, this film marked her cross over from director with the RSC to film.

Starring in the film are Maggie Smith who plays Lady Myra Naylor, Michael Gambon who plays Sir Richard Naylor and Fiona Shaw who plays Marda Norton. The movie was filmed in Slane, County Meath.

David was quoted in a What's On Stage interview: "I also get a real kick out of working with legends. I did a film called The Last September with Maggie Smith and Michael Gambon; that was a blast." - November 17, 2003

He talked about the film in an interview in the Birmingham Post:

"'It's based on a novel by Elizabeth Bowen and set in Ireland in 1920. It's shades of Merchant-Ivory but I think a bit grittier than that.

'I play a British army officer who's there helping to protect a big house owned by an Anglo-Irish family; I fall in love with the daughter of the house, Keeley Hawes, and she sort of falls in love with me, but can't make up her mind between me and the IRA man hiding in the woods.

'So you have the political side of it, which is fascinating - I knew very little about it.'"

In his interview in Academy Magazine (RSAMD) he said this about Maggie Smith - who he got to work with again, briefly, in Harry Potter, along with Michael Gambon:

"Some people’s craft is so intricate – Maggie Smith, for example, the way she can turn a line. I’m continually surprised and inspired by the people I work with." 

The film's world premiere was at the April 1999 Dublin Film Festival where it was rushed strait from the labs and had not yet been graded so it was subject to a press embargo.  The film was also shown at Canne in May to a warm reception.

During the filing the cast stayed in an 18th century country house and had dinner together sharing stories giving them the real feel of all staying together in a grand house like in the film.