Chris Connor chats with See How They Run star Pearl Chanda…
The latest whodunit to grip viewers, See How They Run, is a spin on classic 50s films from Alfred Hitchcock and the works of Agatha Christie. The film stars Sam Rockwell, Saoirse Ronan, Ruth Wilson and Reece Shearsmith among a host of others.
We were fortunate to sit down with one of its stars, Pearl Chanda, who plays real life actress Sheila Sim, starring in the Mousetrap alongside Harris Dickinson’s Richard Attenborough. Pearl discussed why the genre has endured so much and how she found stepping into Sheila’s shoes.
Congratulations Pearl on See How They Run.
Thank you so much.
Why do you think the whodunnit has endured so much as a genre? See How They Run, Bodies Bodies Bodies, and Glass Onion are all out this year.
I think it’s the sense of escapism and fun. Brits love to guess the murderer and love a good detective story. At the minute as we’re returning to cinemas after Covid, so it’s a welcoming genre to come back to and audiences I think want to be entertained and there have been so many brilliant films in the genre over the years. It’s a great time.
Do you have any favourites in the genre?
I’m a huge fan of the classic 50s Hitchcock films which were an influence on this film so Dial M For Murder is brilliant and also Vertigo and North By Northwest. I’m also a big fan of the Audrey Hepburn/Cary Grant film Charade from the 60s which wasn’t directed by Hitchcock but is equally brilliant.
How did you find stepping into Sheila Sims’ shoes for the film?
Well its funny because one of my first stage productions was directed by Richard and Sheila’s son Michael Attenborough so I spoke to him about it after getting cast and he was able to provide some information about his mother. Of course its a fictional story so its not a biopic of Richard and Sheila but I think some of the real traits of who she was were brought into the film. She was an interesting woman and was actually a successful leading lady and film star before Richard.
You’ve got a background on the stage, did you find that helped with this film?
It was interesting because we filmed during lockdown and I hadn’t been on stage for two years and I’m normally on stage twice a year so it was fun to be back on stage in a sense with a very limited audience. It was also interesting how we pitched the film with the stage connection, is it a film or a stage play?
See How They Run’s been compared to Wes Anderson, how would you describe it?
I can see the Wes Anderson connection through Saoirse Ronan and Adrien Brody but for me its much more of a tribute to the classic 50s films of the genre, some of which we’ve already mentioned. It’s very idiosyncratic and fun in nature.
How did you find working with such a great cast?
It was fantastic, I’m a fan of so many of these actors, Sam Rockwell and Ruth Wilson in particular I’ve been an admirer of for years and watched a huge body of both their work. So it was just a treat to work with so many brilliant actors.
Obviously there are several connections to This Country through director Tom George and Charlie Cooper, were you a fan before?
I love This Country, I think its so sharp and funny. We also had Paul Chahidi in this film who acts in some scenes with Charlie Cooper and I think the pair of them really struggled to keep a straight face during some of the more dramatic scenes.
Can you tell us what you’re working on next?
Yes I’ve been in a series of War of the Worlds with Gabriel Byrne and the new series will be on Disney+ in October.
Thank you so much for your time Pearl and congratulations on See How They Run.
See How They Run is in UK cinemas now. Read our review here.