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  M.   June 14, 2014

Set on the beautiful beaches of the Italian coastline, Walking on Sunshine is a musically-infused romantic comedy featuring hit songs from the 80s. Starring Annabel Scholey, Hannah Arterton and singer Leona Lewis, it promises to be a film that celebrates life and sunshine, and one that will have audiences singing and dancing in the aisles, if they should feel that way inclined.

The Upcoming spoke to leading lady Hannah Arterton and directing team Max Giwa and Dania Pasquini on the red carpet at the world premiere at Vue West End.

Are you excited about tonight?

Hannah Arterton: Really excited. It’s a bit of a big night for me: it’s my first premiere. I’ve got all my family here, and yeah, it’s really nice.

Have you had the chance to see a proper screening of the film?

Hannah: Yes, I’ve seen it a couple of times actually. I’ve been very lucky to see it a few times and I love it. It’s hard to be objective when you’re in it, but I really do. I’m very proud of it. I think we’ve achieved what we set out to do.

It looks like it’s a film that has a great sense of fun about it, and is bit of a celebration.

Hannah: Yeah, which I think is a quite rare in cinema nowadays. Everything can sort of feel a bit like it’s not good unless it’s really heavy; where you can’t do a good performance unless you’re crying all the time. I do cry quite a lot in this, but I think it’s important that movies entertain, and make you feel good, and have that escapism.

Were you very familiar with the 80s material before the film?

Hannah: Very familiar. My god, I grew up listening to all of these songs, and especially the Madonna tracks. My mum’s a huge Madonna fan, so it was just incredible to be on a beach singing. I mean, the nine-year-old me was incredibly happy.

Was that a part of why you jumped at the chance?

Hannah: Absolutely, and because it was shooting in Italy for three months that was a big draw. But also, I absolutely love the script, I love the character: I think she’s very modern in that she doesn’t initially give everything up for love. She goes and she gets her education and that’s very important to her, and she actually stands by that. And I think that’s a very great message for young women today.

What can people expect from the film then?

Hannah: Oh my god, they’re going to sing, they’re going to come out with sore throats, and you’ll be breathless. Singing, dancing, incredible landscapes, beautiful scenery. Lots of filthy one-liners from Greg Wise. It’s very fun.

With the recent success of films like Mamma Mia and Les Mis you’re obviously pretty confident that there’s still a strong appetite for musical cinema?

Dania Pasquini: Yes

Max Giwa: I think there’s always been an appetite for it, it’s just that there hasn’t been a lot of them for a while. But when they do come around it’s like you get one, and then there’s a short period of time before another one. So yeah, I think there’s a big appetite because people want to go to the cinema and escape, and just indulge and enjoy the moment.

Dania: Yeah, and have fun and come out feeling uplifted.

So that’s the main objective here, to give people a good time?

Max: Yeah, it’s a feelgood film. And it’s like, you want to go away and escape for an hour or so and hear some of your favourite songs, and just enjoy the moment. In the beautiful sun.

This is your third film together?

Dania: Yes.

Max: Third and a half.

So what works? What doesn’t work with your partnership?

Dania: Well clearly, we’ve got back here to making our third movie, so it’s working.

Max: And we enjoy making films.

Dania: We love to make movies.

And it’s a nice working agreement where you bounce ideas off one another?

Dania: Yes, we’ve been working together for a very long time. So, sometimes we don’t even need to talk. We know. We just know.

Piri Eddy

Walking on Sunshine is released nationwide on 27th June 2014.