The fabulous `Baker’ boys
TWO members of the cast and crew currently filming The Baker in Grosmont are having the time of their lives. Because the star and co-producer of the film is Damian Lewis (Band of Brothers, The Forsyte Saga, Friends and Crocodiles) and the writer/director is his younger brother, Gareth, directing his first feature film.
The relationship meant there wasn’t the usual getting-to-know the director, though learning to take instruction from a younger sibling called for a slight adjustment.
“It’s a great feeling to be working with Gareth as one of his producers,” Damian said as shooting began. “I am just getting my head around being bossed about by him as one of his actors.”
Spending time with his brother is the cherry on the The Baker’s cake for Damian. “I’m loving spending time with him, just loving it.
“You don’t often get the chance to spend two and a half months with anyone apart from your partner and it’s great.”
The film, produced by Adrian Sturges, Damian Lewis, Justin Williams and Dan Shepherd, is a black comedy.
Damian plays Milo, a hitman who wants out and decides to leave murder and mayhem for the less extreme pleasures of the Welsh countryside.
Mistaken for the new baker when he arrives in Gwynfyd (Grosmont’s alter ego for the film), Milo is on a swift learning curve with the dough hook to ensure his cover remains intact.
But Milo has left some unfinished business behind him – a commission he failed to execute – and his employers are after him.
“He doesn’t like the fact that he hasn’t got a girlfriend and he’s decided that he doesn’t like killing people, so he doesn’t.
“Then his company send people to eliminate him and he flees to a bolthole in Wales,” Damian explained.
“He’s a man who’s got to a point in his life where he feels trapped,” added Gareth.
“The hitman thing is a way of exaggerating his dilemma.”
The past, however, has a way of catching up and Milo is no exception. While he finds the possibility of love with the local vet, played by Kate Ashfield (Shaun of the Dead), local residents find out what he does and there’s a rush to take out contracts.
Although it’s the first time the brothers have worked together, the writing was always on the wall.
“Since we were small we made up characters and then went on adventures,” said Gareth. “This time I’ve made up the characters and Damian is the character going on the adventure.
“He’s a fantastic actor and he’s got great comedic timimg.
“When I’m on set I believe he is Milo. Between takes, I am able to use a sort of shorthand – we’ve been doing it all our lives.”
Damian and Gareth had always wanted to work together but for a long time, it looked unlikely.
“It’s not easy,” Gareth explained, “being a first-time director trying to get it off the ground but Grandville Pictures have been willing to take a punt on a relatively unknown director.”
Filming in Grosmont finishes next week and the film is expected to hit cinemas in 2007