Interview: Behind the Scenes with 'Hanna' Director Joe Wright

Director Joe Wright returns to basics in the action-thriller HANNA and he takes CineMovie behind the scenes on his decision to keep the action raw, even with a young teen as the lead action star. 

In HANNA, Soairse Ronan is Hanna, a biologically enhanced 16 year-old trained by her ex-CIA father (Eric Bana) to be the ultimate assassin and escape the clutches of ruthless CIA operative played by Cate Blanchett.  For his first action film, the director of period dramas Atonement and Pride & Prejudice decided to shoot most of the fight sequences with his young star Saoirse Ronan and Eric Bana in one take instead of cheating it in the editing room through fast cuts.
"I'm a huge fan of Paul Greengrass' Bourne films. But I certainly felt they've been imitated rather too much since.  So I wanted to see what I could do differently."
Joe tells CineMovie he learned much more about the action genre with HANNA and how to keep the drama going during the action scenes.
"I learned a lot about how to construct an action sequence.  I learned it's very important not to stop the drama when the action begins.  I think a lot of action films, there's the drama, then there's a fight scene and everyone does some cool moves.  And then they stop the fighting and then get on with the drama."

Joe Wright HANNA Director

Director Joe Wright put his HANNA star Soairse Ronan on the Hollywood map when he directed the 13 year-old in her Academy Award nominated role in Atonement opposite Keira Knightley and James McAvoy, making her the seventh youngest actress nominated.  Four years later, Joe Wright reunited with Saoirse Ronan for filming in Finland and Morocco for the action-driven film.  Joe has seen quite a change in the young Irish star whose career is going stronger than ever with  role in Peter Jackson's Hobbit movies and in The Brothers Grimm: Snow White as Snow White with Julia Roberts.
"She's a bit more serious than she was when she was twelve-years-old.  But maybe that's a good thing. As an actress she has evolved. She's more controlled in her craft.
For HANNA, Saoirse trained in self-defense and martial arts to take on grown men but Jim told his stunt men and Eric Bana to not hold back on the 16 year old during her fight scenes. Jim joked it wasn't the men who were in danger.
"Everyone was a bit nervous that she was this little girl and therefore might get hurt. Actually they were in far more danger in getting hurt by her than she was of them.  I needed to make sure that they weren't too shy about filling their roles."
For more with the director and a behind the scenes look at HANNA, check out the video above.

HANNA is in movie theaters April 8, 2011.

Latest Interviews

Latest News

Latest Trailers