The Irish directors of #MeToo nail-biter Rose Plays Julie explain why it’s their most accessible film yet – and how Aidan Gillan was initially not keen to play its monstrous celebrity archaeologist

Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor are chatting away over Zoom. The Irish film-makers, who are married, have worked together since the late 80s, when they were part of the experimental theatre scene in Dublin. In 2008, they made their first film, the micro budget Helen, about a young woman taking part in a police reconstruction. Shot in long takes at glacial pace, it featured non-professionals speaking their lines with a highly stylised anti-realist delivery. It was so unnerving, it pushed even lovers of art films out of their comfort zones.

So I’m braced for an intellectual barrage. But they turn out to be anything but austere or po-faced. Molloy, speaking from the front room of the London flat they share with their 18-year-old daughter, is thoughtful and wryly funny. Lawlor seems the more extrovert, wisecracking, effing and blinding, and name-checking Euripides.

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