'Good Luck to You, Leo Grande,' Emma Thompson and Daryl McCormack, as well as Finding Inner Freedom

'Good Luck to You, Leo Grande,' Emma Thompson and Daryl McCormack, as well as Finding Inner Freedom ...

Leo Grande follows Nancy (Emma Thompson) a 60-ish retired teacher who realizes that she is not satisfied with her sexual journey and decides to do something about it. Leo (Daryl McCormack), a sex worker who is equally compassionate and adept, ends up developing a deep personal connection with a client that he didn''t expect.

During this conversation with Collider, co-stars Thompson and McCormack talked about what most excited them and what most terrified them about taking this on, how the rehearsal process allowed them to leave go of their own self-consciousness, the joy in finding an inner connection, and how they forged so much dialogue.

Collider: First of all, I loved everything about this film. It''s everything that I never imagined or anticipated that I could even have, and I''m glad that it exists in the world. So, thank you for being a part of making that happen.

EMMA THOMPSON: Okay, thats what made my day.

What most excited you about this script when you first saw it, and what most terrified you about it? Did it feel equally exciting and terrifying?

THOMPSON: Yes, it was both outrageous and terrifying. I thought it quite difficult to think back, but I think the thing that frightened me most of all was, please God, let it be truly stunning, pleasurable, interesting, and dynamic, all the way through. I thought, if there is one moment in which we let the enjoyment of these characters drop, then were not gonna make it. The thing that frightened me was an artistic depreciation, but it was also an emotional touch

DARYL McCORMACK: For me, the most exciting and frightening thing was together, in that we were completely exposed and the reliance for each other as actors was crucial because there was literally no one else we could turn to. That was frightening because youre vulnerable, as a performer, but it was also exciting because there was just one route between these two people to play for, and that was just about how these two people were moving, or moving further away. I felt like a joy for me, just plugging in with

When you read this and your role, Emma, I always find it interesting, and I learned that this was the case with this and your role. What you think was to know when you read it. If you do not like the script, it may seem that you should know how to say it.

THOMPSON: If you want to say something, then you have to think, too, that you know it. I thought, if Katy has written it, I thought, it would be a mind bomb. But it is also something you have been desperately thirsting for, and it hasnt happened, so now, we know it. It''s just Nancy, and then Leo, you know it.

Before making this, Daryl, youve stated that she was a fan of Emma Thompson. What were your references points for her work? Did you have any favorite performances of her?

McCORMACK: Mrs. Trelawney (from the Harry Potter franchise) Im not even joking. I liked the character. Emma''s ability to be completely hilarious and, at the same time, heartbreaking and true and real, is a real gift, and I realize that it was crucial. I was very concerned about myself, being an equal partner, and not really dropping the ball because I really cared about this script. These people felt so valued to be effective in the best possible way. So, today is the day.

It appears to be a gift and a curse to work with someone you admire. The gift is that you know they will deliver in scenes with you, but at the same time, how do you get out of your own head, so that you can be in the moment with your scene partner rather than thinking about who you are working with?

McCORMACK: For me, it took a little time.

THOMPSON: What''s more than ten or fifteen minutes?

McCORMACK: When I met Emma, we talked about the script and we just felt so connected to these people and this story. I think a lot of people think that these things are still there, but we are also trying to be other people. We are not really trying to carry too much of ourselves in.

THOMPSON: It''s something that you admire is there, but it all falls away as soon as you meet someone. When I was a young actor, I was seeing Anthony Hopkins and Vanessa Redgrave. They were fantastic heroes to me, but as soon as I met them and started working with them. We needed to make it as effective as possible. And also, like me, they were acting actors. That goes very quickly.

Emma, you''ve mentioned how enjoyable and comfortable this set and event was, particularly thanks to Sophie Hyde. It was so interesting to hear that the three of you got naked with each other, to talk about your bodies, to reconnect, and to gain that intimacy. What was the significance of that experience for both of you as actors and these characters? How much did that really, helped your filming?

McCORMACK: There''s something new about objectifizing ourselves. That day, Sophie made us observe our body and highlight the things we like, and we dislike. I think this was vital because we needed to be fully liberated to do so, at the end of the film. I think it was amazing. Through a series of simple exercises, we can even allow ourselves to avoid our own self-judgment, and then serve these people.

THOMPSON: Yeah, it was fantastic. We all feel shame about that. Nancy''s journey is towards something beyond me, and I marveled that. I hope she can ever express gratitude to have given her something, every time she sees herself, for a reason. At the end of her journey, she sees herself openly and positively; also, she sees herself in the mirror. It''s like she was born again. She may have loved herself since then, so

Did this project, like everybody, who, no matter how beautiful or how successful, has insecurities change your perception of how you think about and perceive yourself and your own bodies? Did this experience reduce your insecurities, in any way?

McCORMACK: Every day, we live in a world that corrupts our self, and we were faced with those challenges, every day, regardless of what we do and how we look. What I really gained from this film was that intimacy is so internal and so spiritual. It may, therefore, do us a lot of good, by just keeping examining that element, that freedom. Thats where the joy is.

Daryl, this seems to be a bit of a tricky character, in the sense that he is self-assured, but never really comes across as arrogant or cocky. What is the result of finding that balance and finding the appropriate balance, to make him someone who could easily give a client a sense of ease and be attractive to them, and not never be off-putting?

McCORMACK: I think his self-acceptance and generosity are all key to success. It''s not about him. He is making a revolutionary, massive decision, and he just has the opportunity to express his gratitude and understanding to her. It''s interesting because he is still conscious of the physical and how that is an invite into intimacy, but what he is really trying to offer is something much deeper.

THOMPSON: What else I love about him is the fact that he finds her quite human and funny to him. However, we can see him going, and it is easy to see him. Even though he desperately wants to laugh about the list and the safe word, but just manages not to. When we were exploring, he brings out this bondage equipment, and says, I was just playing a game. It''s okay. We can let it happen.

The amount of dialogue in this is remarkable. It''s such a great way to get to know these characters in a matter of time, but, in the same time, the reality of that appears to be overjoyed, even if you''re figuring it out correctly? Are there anything you do that might help you remember all of that?

THOMPSON: I had learned as much as I could. Everything at once was a task. Obviously, as we went on, we learned more. Of course, the better you know something, the more able you are to leave the words behind, and they''re just there. It gets triggered by something, and it becomes so spontaneous. There was no improvisation because it was a beautiful script.

McCORMACK: As a result, we shot in chronological order. That was fantastic.

THOMPSON: It was impossible to have done it in another way.

McCORMACK: Emotionally, it has its own journey. It would have been so difficult if we were to shoot out of order, and to find those moments in each direction, thus we could have reached the final 10 pages, and that would be on the list. In the meantime, we would have gone through the whole script with some bits.

Nancy is a woman who manifestly hasn''t been very vocal in what she wants and what she would bring her to life. Emma, are you someone who is better at communicating what, or is it something youve learned to give more voice to?

THOMPSON: I am likely to have a lot of internal anxieties about being a woman and what I''d rather want and dislike, or say, instead of saying. In general, nobody is interested in female sexual pleasure. Literally, across the board, it is not of any importance. This movie and Nancys situation, at the moment, is made even more poignant because, in the post #MeToo atmosphere, the mainstream discussion about sex, consent, and abuse is much more accessible.

The women''s perspective has become more acceptable and accessible, but there are certain aspects of Nancy''s experience that are more taboo. For example, she says, if she knew what she would have done, and she knows he will not judge her, but I think it''s one of the greatest taboos in the film. However, many women feel that motherhood is completely devastated, and it''s too harmful. It''s only something that must be understood. It must be perfect, and if

This film requires a lot to unpack and talk about, and it is given to us in the form of this very normal, ordinary lady who has done everything right. Shes ticked all the boxes. Shes done her job. Shes probably made a lot of lists. Now, she''s become a leader in different roles, even if they are closer to someone else who''s doing the interesting thing. They''re not the focus. Nancy is really the everywoman.

Leo Grande is available for download at Hulu.