×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Lena Headey on Immigration Drama ‘The Flood’: ‘Maybe It Will Grow a Bit More Compassion’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Lena Headey wants her new movie, “The Flood,” to further understanding of immigration crises around the world. She plays Wendy in the film, a British immigration officer deciding the fate of an asylum seeker. “What I hope, personally, is we change 10 minds, or people reconsider how they feel about someone who has lost everything,” she told Variety. “Or maybe it will grow a bit more compassion, understanding, curiosity or bravery.”

Helen Kingston’s script for “The Flood” draws on real-life stories after her, producer Luke Healy and director Anthony Woodley spent time volunteering in Calais, France, a refugee hot spot. Kingston’s work is “a really smart take on what’s happening,” Headey said, adding that the film deals with its subject matter without preaching or being overtly political. “I think it’s a very quiet, strong bit of cinema and it’s really honest about what’s happening and how we are all responsible for it.”

The Film Sales Company is at AFM with the movie, having just boarded sales.

Headey is an ambassador for the International Rescue Committee. Along with several of her “Game of Thrones” castmates, she has publicized the work of the NGO, which works with refuges around the world.

Game of Thrones” star Iain Glen also appears in the movie, which is set in France and the U.K., playing Philip, Wendy’s boss. Healy is producing through his Megatopia Films banner. Three years in the making, it is now in post-production.

“We were keen to show the complexity and the humanity on all sides of the story – the refugees, the immigration officers who decide their fate, the people smugglers and even the lorry drivers who transport them,” Healy said. “Our hope was that the film is as a bare and honest reflection of what’s happening every day in the U.K., Europe and around the world.”

The film is a gear change for Headey after the dragons and fantasy of “Game of Thrones.” “In ‘The Flood’ she is very raw and emotionally accessible in a way we haven’t seen her before, which I think will be exciting for audiences,” said Andrew Herwitz, president of the Film Sales Company.

He added that by looking at a global issue from a very human point of view, “The Flood” can further the conversation around immigration. “I think an analogue may be the film ‘Philadelphia,’ which changed the conversation in the early ’90s about HIV and AIDS,” he said.

Michael S. Constable co-produces. Julie-Anne Uggla, Mike Woodley and Merlin Merton are exec producers.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Alexander Skarsgard in the front rowGiorgio

    Film News Roundup: Alexander Skarsgard Joins 'Passing' With Tessa Thompson

    In today’s film news roundup, Taryn Manning, Shane West and Alexander Skarsgård have new roles, and Warner Bros. unveils a modernized logo. CASTINGS Alexander Skarsgård has signed on to join Tessa Thompson, Ruth Negga and André Holland in “Passing.” The film marks Rebecca Hall’s directorial debut and is based on a screenplay that Hall adapted [...]

  • Spike Lee

    Spike Lee to Direct Hip-Hop Love Story 'Prince of Cats'

    Spike Lee will direct a big-screen version of the hip-hop love story “Prince of Cats,” based on Ron Wimberly’s graphic novel. Legendary has been developing the project with Janet and Kate Zucker of Zucker Productions. Lee, who won the Academy Award for adapted screenplay for “BlacKkKlansman,” will also re-write the “Prince of Cats” script with [...]

  • DOLEMITE IS MY NAME!, 2019, DOL_Unit_06284.RAF

    'Dolemite Is My Name' Writer Larry Karaszewski Recalls 10-Year Journey to Make Rudy Ray Moore Biopic

    “Harriet” writer-director Kasi Lemmons was in a reflective mood at Tuesday night’s “Behind the Scene” event at the Formosa Cafe in West Hollywood, sponsored by the Writers Guild of America West. The biopic, starring Cynthia Erivo as slave-turned-abolitionist Harriet Tubman, has been receiving buzz since its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. It’s Lemmons’ [...]

  • Writers vs Agents Packaging War WGA

    Abrams Artists Agency Signs Writers Guild Deal

    In a major triumph for the Writers Guild of America, the Abrams Artists Agency has signed the WGA’s Code of Conduct, allowing the agency to return to representing WGA members again. Chairman Adam Bold made the announcement Wednesday, saying that the agency wants to put its clients back to work. He also noted WGA West [...]

  • Taika Waititi and Roman Griffin Davis

    Holocaust Experts Debate 'Jojo Rabbit' at Museum of Tolerance Screening

    With its comedic, cartoonish portrayal of Nazis, Taika Waititi’s satirical Hitler youth tale “Jojo Rabbit” has polarized critics and audiences alike. And that division continued to be stirred at Tuesday night’s screening of the film at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, where Liebe Geft, director of the museum, moderated a heated panel discussion [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content