Good luck to you, Big Leo.

Good luck to you, Leo Grande stars Emma Thompson and Daryl McCormack talk sex positivity and the space they were given to explore their characters.

Good luck to you, Big Leo., currently on Hulu, is a charming film that nonetheless takes its message about sexuality and sex work seriously. Directed by Sophie Hyde and written by Katy Brand, the film stars screen legend Emma Thompson as Nancy Stokes, a woman who realizes that she’s not satisfied with the sex she’s had so far.

To correct that, Nancy brings in Leo (Daryl McCormack, Peaky Blinders). The two embark on a journey of sexual fulfillment and self-discovery that isn’t quite what they initially expected.

Related: Emma Thompson directs a charming drama in Good Luck To You, Leo Grande

VIDEO PROJECTION OF THE DAY

rant on screen spoke with Thompson and McCormack about the space they were given to explore the intimacy between their characters, the lessons they learned about sex work, and the experience of being at peace with one’s body.


Ranting on screen: What a wonderful, wonderful movie. I loved every second of it, and how most of the movie is the two of you just chatting together. What can you say about your association in this film and working together?

Emma Thompson: It was a great privilege, really. Many external things also helped us. Sometimes I think if we had done this… If we had more time, if there had been no COVID, if we hadn’t been in lockdown, if there had been more money and we were shooting it in a bigger way somehow – all about it , so to speak, conspired to make it more intense. The intimacy we could and needed to find.

If we had been with the team and knowing everyone else, I don’t think we would have been able to get to the kind of spaces that we needed to get to. There was a kind of silence around us, because the city was closed and as if it was closing. It was winter and we were holding each other because we were the only ones.

And we were very lucky because Sophie Hyde, our director, created a safe space where we could really be and explore. But she felt so intense and intimate, right? And I’m sure that was part of it, don’t you think?

Daryl McCormack: Yeah, it felt very primed for us to actually exist and co-exist with each other in that space. And we had a small intimate team who all felt like they were leaning on and leaning on us to explore these characters.

And one of the main things, I think, was the chronological order in which we shot. We were able to feel more and more comfortable as actors alongside the characters who were getting closer and closer to each other.

One thing that I love about this press tour is that it’s a continuation of the sex positivity that’s in the film, because we’re having these discussions. Daryl, I heard you had some conversations with sex workers before this movie. What did you learn and what do you hope people take away from watching this film?

Daryl McCormack: I felt, and I hope people learn too, that there is a generic image of sex workers as people who are diminished and who are victims. And in our research, we didn’t find that.

One thing I’m really proud of is that this film really highlights that experience, and also the ability of sex work to heal spiritually and release physically. That was what I hoped to bring to the character of Leo. Not really feeling like I was here to represent sex work in its entirety, but just to really embody that essence that I was privileged to receive from the people I spoke to.

Lastly, Emma, ​​I just want to hear from you what you learned about yourself from making this movie. Is there anything you would look back on and wish you could say to the younger version of you, that she may not feel safe? Seeing this, I thought, “God, I just want to get naked in front of a mirror and say, ‘I’m hot.'”

Emma Thompson: I think one of the lines you hear on this tour is really interesting. It is the neutral look that Nancy is capable of looking at herself. Neutral sounds like such a neutral and bland word, but it’s actually nonjudgmental, one way or another. Not, “Ooh, I’m so hot” or “Oh, I’m so horrible.”

Neither of those things is really what happens in the end. She has unlocked herself. Something has happened in her body, yes, but also in her soul; in her spirit. She’s not looking at her body the way she looked at him before, or the way we tend to look at our bodies from the outside in. She’s just internalizing a sense of ownership that she hasn’t had until now.

It is a strangely innocent and heavenly moment; almost prelapsarian, something like Eve in the Garden of Eden. Just for a moment, suddenly, there is no shame. There is no self-awareness. She is alone, naked with her pleasure and with her body that is hers and precious to her.

Good luck to you, Big Leo. Synopsis


Retired widow Nancy Stokes hires an attractive young sex worker named Leo Grande, hoping to enjoy a night of pleasure and self-discovery after an unfulfilling married life.

Plus: The 10 best Emma Thompson movies, according to Ranker

Good luck to you, Big Leo. is now available to stream on Hulu.


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