Richard E. Grant liked to shoot ‘a bonus take’ while filming The Lesson

Richard E. Grant likes to do bonus takes when he’s in the director’s chair.

Richard E. Grant liked to shoot “a bonus take” while filming his new movie The Lesson.

In Alice Troughton’s noir thriller, the Withnail & I actor plays legendary author J.M. Sinclair, who is trying to complete his next novel. His family are harbouring a dark secret, which is unravelled when a young writer arrives on his estate to tutor his son.

During an interview with Cover Media, Troughton revealed that Grant likes to do bonus takes when he’s directing, so they “got into the habit” of doing so on her set.

“Richard, when he directs… he’d always give a bonus take and so we got into the habit of doing that,” she said. “It’s something I do do quite a lot in my work which is that you just either give a take where you allow an actor to just go back to their first performance and to go back to their first instincts and see if there’s anything that they’ve missed and that they can just be free to just perform.”

Grant directed the 2005 movie Wah-Wah as well as the 2015 TV series Richard E. Grant’s 7 Deadly Sins of the Animal Kingdom.

In addition to the bonus takes, Troughton also kept the camera running at the end of each take to give her more options in the editing room.

“I often leave things running at the end of the take. I won’t cut – until somebody breaks it and then I will cut. And that’s from being in an edit and going, ‘Why didn’t I just get… three seconds more of that?'” she explained. “It’s something I’ve learned craft-wise to do and… when you have a cast as focused and chamber piece as precise as what we were trying to create, those sort of techniques felt very useful. And we used a lot of those bonus (takes) and ends of things and just the gaps.”

The Lesson, also starring Julie Delpy and Daryl McCormack, is in U.K. cinemas from Friday 22 September.

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