[WATCH] Gavin Hood (‘Eye in the Sky’) on directing a ‘morally complex’ thriller with ‘something to talk about’

“I just loved the fact that I kept getting multiple points-of-view from different characters,” recalls Gavin Hood during our recent webcam chat (watch above) when talking about reading the script to “Eye in the Sky” for the first time. None of the characters, he adds, “were judged,” and all of them, “had a valid point-of-view given the specific situation in which they found themselves.” This Bleecker Street release stars Helen Mirren as a military officer in command of an operation to capture terrorists in Kenya who sees her mission become compromised when a little girl wanders into the kill zone, sparking an international dispute over the implications of modern warfare. The film’s internationally renowned cast includes Aaron PaulBarkhad Abdi, and the late Alan Rickman.

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“I didn’t feel as if I was being preached to or told what to think in any way,” he adds, “and yet it was constantly challenging me, and exciting at the same time.” In bringing Guy Hibbert‘s original screenplay to life, the director hoped to make a film that would, “do two things for an audience. It will give them a great thriller, full of tension, and leave them with something to talk about afterwards.”

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Hood, a native of Johannesburg, South Africa, directed the Oscar-winning foreign language film “Tsotsi” (2005) before coming to Hollywood to helm such blockbusters as “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” (2009) and “Enders Game” (2013). He views “Eye in the Sky” as, “a homecoming,” explaining, “I think I’ve been able to take what I learned in Hollywood,” and apply it to, “a story which was morally complex, not preaching to its audience, and leaving them with something to think about.”

“Eye in the Sky” was recently named one of the Top 10 Independent Films by the National Board of Review. Are the Oscars next?

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