Interview: Elijah Wood and Celyn Jones on Set Fire to the Stars

Elijah Wood plays John Malcolm Brinnin, the man who brought Dylan Thomas to America, in a new biopic called Set Fire to the Stars.

Both Wood and co-writer Celyn Jones, who also plays Thomas in the film, spoke to Jonathan Melville at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.


Elijah Wood introduces the premise of Set Fire to the Stars:

“It chronicles the first seven days of Dylan’s first trip to the US and what happens in that time, as this poetry professor meets his idol, and then has to become babysitter to this madman. That’s the concept of the film.”

For both Wood and Jones, EIFF seemed like a natural place to give the film its world premiere.

“When we were making the film and we were looking towards where the film would start its life once the film was finished, Edinburgh always came up in the conversation, as a place we would hope to be able to show the film for the first time,” Wood says. “Partially because of [director] Andy Goddard’s relationship to the city – he studied here, and has a relationship with the festival, so it felt personal and organic.”

Celyn continues:

“He was the young film-maker here, had short films in competition here. He won his first award here, and to come back with his debut feature film after 15, 20 years doing big TV work, it’s a very special thing for him. For us also, it’s a great festival, with great people. The line-up is fantastic, the slate of films that are here is amazing, and also timing-wise, we’re aiming for this film to be out in September, so there’s not a huge amount of festivals you can play before it’s out, so it’s perfect that Edinburgh is now.”

EIFF review: Set Fire to the Stars

EIFF on WOW247

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