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Interview: Talking About The Sex Pistols with the Cast & Executive Producer of ‘PISTOL’

Recently, we spoke with the cast and the executive producer of FX/Hulu’s new limited series, PISTOL. The six-part series, which was directed and produced by Danny Boyle (TRAINSPOTTING, 127 DAYS, 28 DAYS LATER, SUNSHINE, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, 127 HOURS), chronicles legendary punk band, the Sex Pistols, and their rise to fame in the UK in the 1970s. 

Our interviews include Anson Boon (Sex Pistol’s frontman John “Jonny Rotten” Lyndon), Jacob Slater (drummer Paul Cook), Thomas Brodie-Sangster (manager Malcolm McLaren), Louis Partridge (bass player Sid Vicious), Emma Appleton (Sid’s girlfriend, Nancy Spungen), Sydney Chandler (future Pretenders lead vocalist and guitarist Chrissie Hynde), Talulah Riley (fashion designer Vivienne Westwood), Maisie Williams (model Pamela “Jordan” Rooke) and writer/creator/executive producer Craig Pearce. 

This is not the first time we’ve seen the tumultuous, and ultimately tragic, relationship of Sid and Nancy portrayed on camera, but for Appleton, it was about bringing a different interpretation of Nancy that we hadn’t seen before. “She’s so infamous in popular culture and I just wanted to bring different layers that we hadn’t thought about; a more emotional quality, and have the audience understand her in a different way,” she says. “With this series, we have six episodes to unpack a lot of people, so we’ve got we’ve got a chance to get to the heart of what it was about and what drew them to each other,” adds Partridge. “I think the script did a really good job of dissociating them from what we already think of them.”

Being able to consult the real-life people they were portraying allowed to actors to bring elements of the characters to the screen that were not in the script. “I think it’s just really interesting when you’re portraying a real-life person to see their physicality, how they move, their mannerisms, tone of voice, says Riley. “To see how they react in real life.”

While most of the cast members were able to meet their real-life counterparts, others were not as fortunate. However, Williams states that model Jordan acted as a consultant on the film, which was incredibly beneficial. “She provided a lot of help and had a lot of insight on that the time and the outfits, and the hair and makeup, and the techniques that boys would use to do their hair et., so she was an incredible help not just to myself but the whole production,” says Williams.

You can watch our full interviews below. PISTOL premieres on Hulu on Tuesday, May 31.

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Written by Jeff Heller

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