×
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

  • 1982 El Gouna Festival

    Egypt's El Gouna Film Festival Puts Arab Helmers at Center Stage

    The upbeat state of Arab cinema will be on the screen and in the balmy air at Egypt’s El Gouna Film Festival (Sept. 19-27), which is steadily gaining traction in its stated ambition to become a key platform and solid driver for Middle-East producers. “This year was one the best for Arab cinema,” says Intishal [...]

  • Star Skipper Paramount Animation

    Meet Star Skipper, Paramount Animation's Magical New Trademark Logo Character

    Studio logos are powerful signals to audiences.  Multiple generations of moviegoers flipping through channels or scanning streaming titles have frozen at the sight of a desk lamp hopping across the screen, because it means a Pixar movie is about to play. Likewise, when a young boy lounging inside a crescent moon casts his fishing line into [...]

  • Sybil

    Cannes Competition Movie 'Sibyl' Finds North American Home With Music Box (EXCLUSIVE)

    Music Box Films has acquired the U.S. and Canadian rights to Justine Triet’s darkly comic drama “Sibyl,” which competed at Cannes and had its North American premiere at Toronto in the Special Presentation section. Represented in international markets by mk2, the film follows the ambiguous relationship between Sibyl, a jaded psychotherapist (Virginie Efira, “An Impossible [...]

  • Kent Jones Directs 'Diane'

    Kent Jones to Exit New York Film Festival (EXCLUSIVE)

    In a surprise move, New York Film Festival’s director and selection committee chair of seven years Kent Jones will step down following this year’s 57th edition, which runs Sept. 27-Oct. 13. The departure comes as Jones’ feature filmmaking career is taking off. Issues of potential conflicts of interest have arisen as his work has moved [...]

  • Ava-Mark-Split

    Ava DuVernay, Mark Ruffalo Selected for SAG-AFTRA Foundation Honors

    Ava DuVernay and Mark Ruffalo have been selected by the SAG-AFTRA Foundation for its fourth Annual Patron of the Artists Awards. The awards will be presented on Nov. 7 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. The show benefits the nonprofit SAG-AFTRA Foundation and is not televised. Previous SAG-AFTRA Foundation Patron of the [...]

  • Wes Anderson

    Fox Searchlight Buys Wes Anderson's 'The French Dispatch'

    Fox Searchlight Pictures has acquired worldwide rights to Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch,” extending the indie studio’s long collaboration with the filmmaker. The company has released four of Anderson’s films, including his two most recent pictures, “Isle of Dogs” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” “The French Dispatch” is described as “a love letter to journalists” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content