November 29, 2020
The film-maker on his new documentary about the former Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan, Johnny Depp’s role in it, and why he’s still hungry to create
Julien Temple: People who are considered difficult are very rich subjects for a film
When film-maker Julien Temple met Shane MacGowan to discuss making a documentary about his life, the 62-year-old, hard-living former Pogues frontman was watching a David Attenborough programme about SNOW leopards. The image has stayed with Temple: many times, while making Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds With Shane MacGowan, he found himself feeling like a naturalist stalking an elusive species. The film, though, is a hugely entertaining and revealing one. While MacGowan wouldn’t sit still for Temple, he would for Friends and fans such as Johnny Depp, Gerry Adams and Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie. Temple has made acclaimed documentaries on the Sex Pistols and the Clash, as well as the cult feature film Absolute Beginners. He’s 67 and lives in Somerset.
Just how chaotic was it making a film with Shane MacGowan?I knew it was going to be difficult going into it, so I can’t really blame anyone other than myself. Obviously, periods of turbulence were experienced. He’s a difficult guy on a lot of levels, but I guess that’s what makes him great. If you can weather the abuse and stay focused on the film, he’s definitely a subject who deserves respect. And he’s a subject for an exciting film, I believe.
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