Big news out of the Sarasota Film Festival In Conversation series today as writer/director Tom Browne, whose debut film Radiator screened at the festival this year, announced to moderator David Edelstein and the gathered crowd his intention to leave acting behind and focus on writing and directing in the future.
“I don’t particularly want to do any more acting,” said Browne, who has amassed a body of work under the alternate name Tom Fisher, including parts in The Illusionist and The Mummy Returns, where he met actress Rachel Weisz, who executive produced Radiator and joined Browne onstage for the In Conversation. “That world’s been too much.”
He recalled a singular moment during the shoot of Radiator, watching Gemma Jones, who delivers a wonderfully understated performance as the beleaguered Maria, as she waited for three hours on-set for her call. As the hours went by, Browne knew it would mean less time available for her to do what she needed to do for the scene, for her to work her craft. In the end she would likely get one shot to give her performance, due to budget and time constraints. Just watching, Browne was frustrated for her, recalling his own experiences and contrasting those to the freedom he experienced working on Radiator as the writer and director, but not an actor.
“It’s so difficult to do,” said Browne. “I’m so over it.”