During our recent webcam chat (watch above), composer Rupert Gregson-Williams divulges that for him, “Hacksaw Ridge,” “was not all about war,” but rather, “a love story.” Directed by Mel Gibson, this Lionsgate release tells the true story of Desmond T. Doss (Andrew Garfield), a WWII US army medic who refused to carry a weapon in violation of his Christian principles. He saved the lives of several men during the Battle of Okinawa, becoming the first conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor before returning home to his wife Dorothy (Teresa Palmer). “This is a war film of such brutality and such truth,” adds the tunesmith, “but really, I was working at it from the angle of spirituality and love.”
Before writing a note of music, Gregson-Williams wanted to understand the central character, who was, “quite a difficult man to empathize with,” because, “he was one of the bravest souls. He was a very committed, spiritual man, and sort of a lot of things I’m not, necessarily.” He was helped along the way by Gibson, who he calls, “an amazing director,” and, “a very sharp storyteller.”
Gregson-Williams hails from a musical family: his brother, Harry Gregson-Williams, is also a prominent composer of film and TV. Rupert has scored a wide variety of titles ranging from prestige pictures like “Hotel Rwanda” (2004) to various Adam Sandler comedies like “Grown Ups” (2010) and “Jack and Jill” (2011). He’s also worked in television, including the first four seasons of “Veep,” and the Hallmark miniseries “Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story” (2002), for which he received an Emmy nomination. His music is currently showcased on Netflix’s “The Crown” and will next be heard in the upcoming superhero flick “Wonder Woman.”
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