Exclusive: Made in Dagenham Director Nigel Cole


Anyone who has seen director Nigel Cole’s 2003 film Calendar Girls might immediately assume that Made in Dagenham is a thematic follow-up, because it does involve a group of British women trying to make a difference and he’s a similar impressive cast for it. In fact, it’s the very real story of women factory workers at the Dagenham auto plant of the Ford Motor Company who left their jobs in order to protest the lack of fair wages i.e. equal to their male counterparts. The 1968 strike ended up closing the factory down, putting both Ford and the British government on the fence on how to handle the situation, but ultimately leading to the Equal Pay Act of 1970.

Besides another fantastic performance by Sally Hawkins (Mike Leigh’s Happy-Go-Lucky) as Rita O’Grady, the working mother who inspired the women to walk out, Cole’s impressive cast this time around includes Bob Hoskins, Miranda Richardson, Rosamund Pike, Daniel Mays and newcomers Jamie Winstone and Andrea Riseborough.

ComingSoon.net sat down with the eloquent filmmaker for the following video interview in which we discussed:

* Talking about his own connections to Dagenham
* How this story was either unknown or forgotten
* A bit on how and why he got involved with it
* Meeting with the original women
* How to cast all the different roles
* If any of the cast had connections to the material
* How things have changed in England re: car manufacturing
* Does he see this as a thematic follow-up to “Calendar Girls”?
* Why didn’t a woman direct the movie?
* How to make a story like this more entertaining
* We talk briefly about his next movie “Rafta Rafta”
And lots more!

Made in Dagenham opens in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, November 19, and you can read our earlier interviews with Sally Hawkins and Miranda Richardson.