Opening in theaters, on digital and on demand April 5th is the new thriller ‘Strictly Confidential', which was directed by Damian Hurley ('The Boy on the Beach') and stars his real-life mother Elizabeth Hurley (‘Passenger 57’, ‘Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery’).

Related Article: Elizabeth Hurley to Play 'Marvel's Runaways' Season 3 Supervillain

Elizabeth Hurley in 'Strictly Confidential'.

Elizabeth Hurley in 'Strictly Confidential'. Photo: Lionsgate.

Moviefone recently had the pleasure of speaking with Elizabeth Hurley and director Damian Hurley about their work on ‘Strictly Confidential,’ Damian’s process as a director, casting his mother, her character, Elizabeth’s experience producing and being directed by her son, and casting Georgia Lock as Mia.

You can read the full interview below or click on the video player above to watch our interview.

Elizabeth Hurley and director Damian Hurley talk 'Strictly Confidential'.

(L to R) Elizabeth Hurley and director Damian Hurley talk 'Strictly Confidential'.

Moviefone: To begin with, Damian, can you talk about the genesis of this project?

Damian Hurley: I came up with the initial idea for this film when I was 17, right after me and my friends lost a very close girl friend of ours to suicide. It was a horrific time. We were 17. It was the first real loss any of us had ever known. I was really struck by taking in and observing some of the people in my friend group who steadfastly refused to accept what had happened. While I could sympathize with them, I couldn't really understand it until a year later when my biological father (Steve Bing) took his own life, and suddenly, I understood that refusal to accept what had happened all too well. I really pulled on that when I was writing this film. So, how this film came about is I made a short film as we were all coming out of lockdown, as the world was starting to heal and rebuild itself. My life at the end of the tunnel was a producer from Lionsgate. I got a call out of the blue when I was 20 from one of the head executives at Lionsgate who called me and said, "Hey, we've just seen your short film. We love it. We love you. We'd like you to write and direct a feature for us. Are you in?" I was like, "Yeah." They were like, "Great. Do you have a script?" I was like, "Of course, I do." I had this fabulous idea, which I found in a dusty drawer. I was like, "Yeah, give me some time." I frantically panicked as I turned this old treatment that I'd written when I was 17 before I'd really experienced anything to what this film is today. That's how 'Strictly Confidential' was born.

MF: Can you talk about how making the short film ‘The Boys on the Beach’ prepared you to make ‘Strictly Confidential’?

DH: It was the best experience. I mean, for this film it was great because I made it with the production company who I made this feature with. So that was amazing. I had been on the island, and I'd made a movie on the island. My DP was the same, my composer was the same, a lot of my crew was the same. So, that was amazing. It was helpful having a familiar shorthand because I was 21 when we made the feature. To be in charge decades younger than anyone on set, and in charge of a hundred plus cast and crew would be so terrifying if I literally didn't know a soul except my mom. So luckily, I'd worked with a lot of them before and I'd shot on the island. So, I wrote it for the island once I knew that's where I was going to shoot. So, the island itself is really a character. But no, I learned so much. For a young creative to tell their story at 20, I thought that would be the biggest thing I'd get to make. For a long time, this was totally out of the blue and the most exciting thing in my life. But I've been making short films since I was eight, running around with a camcorder, torturing every long-suffering family member around or a friend in the world that I can get my hands onto. So, in a funny sort of way, it did feel like a natural progression, especially having a family member to continue torturing. It was a wonderful experience.

MF: Elizabeth, originally you were going to play a character that was deceased before the movie begins. Did it bother you that your son wanted you to play a dead person in his film?

Elizabeth Hurley: No, not at all. Because I was always going to produce this for him, and it made a lot of sense to him because I'd promised I'd be in his movie. Of course, also to the backers who wanted a name in a movie. So, I always said I'd be in it. Which was great, because I mean, I knew I was going to have my hands full producing. Because going back to what you said earlier, I knew that Damien would be able to direct the movie. I knew he'd be able to run the edit suite and post-production. But what he started to learn on his short movie, and what he continued to learn on this, of course, is all the stuff which has nothing to do with the creatives. It's the hideous logistics of making a movie. It's the scheduling, it's the timekeeping, it's getting everything into lines. It's understanding when there's a problem, how to deal with it without letting it affect how you're directing. So, that to me was always going to be my primary function on this film is still to be the person to take the bullet so that he could get on with what he needed to be able to get on with, which he did. So, when my part got a little bigger, I just thought I'm just going to be in front of the camera a bit more. So instead of holding a clipboard behind, I'd have to be in front as well. But in fact, we made it work, it was fine.

MF: Elizabeth, can you talk about the challenges of producing a project that you are also performing in?

EH: I mean, there's photographs where I'm sitting talking to somebody while someone's trying to curl my hair behind me as we're having earnest discussions. It is a little hard. I am always in awe of people who can direct themselves because it must be incredibly difficult. Luckily, we were so prepared, and I knew the script so well, because Damien had had it for so long that I knew it inside out and backwards. I've been on sets for a long time, so it wasn't new to me or getting the equipment in. But it was a small island, it was a small crew. So, I had to be quite on my toes to make sure Damien had everything he needed when he needed it.

Elizabeth Hurley in 'Strictly Confidential'.

(Center) Elizabeth Hurley in 'Strictly Confidential'. Photo: Lionsgate.

MF: Damian, can you talk about your process as a director?

DH: I play it quite safe with how many takes. I like one-take wonders, but I will always then get another one-take wonder straight afterwards because I love being covered. I really believe you can make a film in the edit. Even with footage that one doesn't love, you can really make something beautiful in the edit. I think that's my favorite part of the process. So, for me, I like to be covered. The scenes in this are so covered, story boarded up to the eyeballs. It's just that you can't shoot any other way when you have such a tight schedule, 18 shooting days. You've got to just keep going and doing as much as you can. So, the scenes are cut with every possible shot you could possibly want from any scene that I made sure to get on the day, which just saved me in the edits. Anything you want, I think maybe we counted the shots that we wished we'd had that we didn't have, that we would've done on reflection if we'd had the luxury of reshoots, which we didn't. But if we had, and there are very few because we just tortured ourselves during prep to make sure we were covered.

MF: Elizabeth, what was your experience like working with Damian as a director on set?

EH: I think what his trademark's going to be is that I think he's going to be an actor's director. I think I could really see this in ‘The Boy on the Beach,’ because there's only one other actor. So, we had a rapport anyway. But in this film, I could really see him building great relationships with all the actors that came in of either sex or of any age. I feel that they felt in very safe hands, and you can't say that about every director. Some are camera directors, or whatever it is. But I think he's an actor's director.

MF: Finally, Damian, can you talk about casting Georgia Lock as Mia?

DH: It's very, interesting. Georgia's part is a tricky part on paper. Because when you are that sort of part, you are taking the audience on a journey with you, of your suffering, of your in pain whilst keeping it light, and fresh, and interesting, and not just dreary and depressing. I think Georgia is just a revelation. She's become one of my best friends. She's so phenomenal. I can't even begin to put it into words. I was so lucky when I found her. So, my other French producer on this had made a movie with her. So many people auditioned for Mia, and just everyone was great, but it just wasn't quite right. I knew I hadn't found her. Finally, my producer went, "Oh my god, there's this fabulous girl that I made a movie with last year. You've got to watch her." I sat down and watched her. I would say, within 25 seconds of her being on-screen, I was like, "Done. Yes, perfect." Thank God the stars aligned for that moment because I can't imagine this film without her. I think that really is when you know you found the right person for a part. There's no one I would rather have played Mia. Georgia is just phenomenal.

Strictly Confidential

"Some secrets are meant to stay buried."
R1 hr 28 minApr 5th, 2024
Showtimes & Tickets

What is the Plot of 'Strictly Confidential'?

On the anniversary of her best friend's (Lauren McQueen) suicide, Mia (Georgia Lock) goes to her house located in the Caribbean after accepting an invitation. Mia learns that every family member is holding a secret during her stay. Upon learning this, Mia tries to find out what happened to her best friend.

Who is in the Cast of 'Strictly Confidential'?

Elizabeth Hurley in 'Strictly Confidential'.

Elizabeth Hurley in 'Strictly Confidential'. Photo: Lionsgate.

Other Elizabeth Hurley Movies:

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