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Payback Director Andrew Cummings on Working on Scottish Crime Drama

Director Andrew Cummings (Out of Darkness) spoke with Bleeding Cool about ITV & BritBox Scottish crime thriller series Payback and more.

Article Summary

  • Andrew Cummings discusses directing ITV's Payback, starring Peter Mullan and Morven Christie.
  • Cummings shares his transition from the horror film Out of Darkness to the Scottish crime series.
  • He expresses a desire to explore genres like sci-fi, noir, and subversive thrillers in future projects.
  • Payback features a stellar cast and is available to stream on BritBox after its gripping first season.

Andrew Cummings has accomplished quite a bit since emerging from the shorts scene active into British television with the BBC's River City and Clique, ITV's Cold Feet, and his latest in the Scottish crime thriller Payback. While promoting his Stone Age era horror thriller Out of Darkness from Bleecker Street and Stage 6, Cummings spoke with Bleeding Cool about directing the final three episodes of season one of Payback and what genres he hopes to work on in his future. The series follows Lexie Noble (Morven Christie) as she becomes entangled in a police investigation into a dangerous crime boss.

Payback Director Andrew Cummings on Working on Scottish Crime Drama
Derek Riddell and Morven Christie in "Payback". Image courtesy of ITV/BritBox.

How Working on Payback and Out of Darkness Provided Dramatically Different Experiences

Bleeding Cool: What was it like working on the first season of Payback and the final three episodes of the season?

Cummings: It was great. I finished 'Out of Darkness' and was looking. I want to work on good stuff, whether it's movies or television; if it's good, and I can lend something of myself to it. That's the main thing. When my agent told me about Payback and said, "It's Peter Mullan and Morven Christie," two fantastic Scottish actors who I've looked up to for a long time to get the chance to work with these people. I'm going to take that all day long, and selfishly, after doing 'Out of Darkness' in the middle of the Scottish Highlands, to be on a set with a roof was great. I'm doing something a bit more modern where you don't have to worry about how you will light the scene. That was helpful. I like the pace of it, and the crews are great. It was a great compelling story, especially for something in Scotland. We don't do crime thrillers in Scotland often. It was cool, and again, you do usually stuff on television that shows that I'll take on to my next job in terms of style, camera move, or there'll be something that I've tried out there that I'll take on the next thing while developing my craft. I don't want to be a director who sits in my pajamas for ten years and develops my one dream project. I want to keep getting better at this thing.

Was there a genre or maybe something that you're hoping to do in the future over there or maybe in the States?

I would love to do sci-fi. I'm working on a contemporary noir right now. I'm writing about this different type of darkness, but I still have the energy and a study of the darker side of human beings. I would do another horror if it were at the concept. I would love to do a heist movie or a thriller, just as long as it's a little dark and a bit subversive. I'll be in on both feet.

Payback, which also stars Prasanna Puwanarajah, Derek Riddell, Steven Mackintosh, Jack Greenlees, Grace Chilton, and Eileen Duffy, is available to stream on BritBox. Out of Darkness, which stars Safia Oakley-Green, Kit Young, Chuku Modu, Iola Evans, Arno Lüning, and Luna Mwezi, is in theaters on February 9th.

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Tom ChangAbout Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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