Jaime Winstone: "It's scary. It's not for everyone"
Elfie Hopkins doesn’t seem like a typical British film… No it’s not. It’s a very stylised psychological thriller for teenagers and we haven’t really had anything like this for a while. We made it because it’s the sort of thing I would want to watch as a kid. I grew up on Lost Boys, Twin Peaks, Fright Night… It’s scary. It’s not for everyone.
What’s it about? Elfie Hopkins is a girl who lives in deep suburbia – out, out and beyond. She’s a bored stoner detective stuck in her teenage years who investigates things in the village. Everyone’s fed up with her making up lies and ruining everyone’s lives but then a family move in called the Gammons and they turn out to be way more exotic than we could ever imagine…
They turn out to be cannibals. Yes, so this becomes her real first case and from then on in it becomes one big whirlwind of blood, sweat and tears.
Would you handle the situation like Elfie does? I might just call the police. She’s very ballsy and very brave. In a sense she was an alter ego of mine. She’s quite fierce, frustrated, stoned, intelligent – but can’t channel her talents until she’s faced with something where she needs to up her game – and she becomes quite good at what she’s supposed to do.
You also served as associate producer. Did you like having some control over the production? We achieved this film in under 20 days with a very low budget and managed to deliver. For me it’s inspiring. I really feel we’ve broken some ice here. Is that even an expression?
It’s an expression, but maybe not in the right context. We’ve handled it, so it’s good.
And your dad makes an appearance as Butcher Bryn. Did you have to be on your best behaviour? Did he? I don’t really worry about that sort of stuff. My dad’s there for support and he carries a lot of respect. We just do our thing.
Was this the first time you’ve worked together? No, we worked on something called Vincent years ago, but this was altogether different.
He was working for you this time, I suppose? It was an amazing honour to do a scene with my dad on my first producing project. But he doesn’t work for anyone.
Elfie Hopkins is available on DVD and Blu-ray from August 13