Fast Girls is an inspirational, Bend it like Beckham-esque sports movie. Released just months before the Olympic Games, this athletics Brit flick has a fresh and fun take on romance and relationships that will have everyone wanting to be a sport star!
We went on set with the director, producer and several cast members to find out just how much of a runaway success this is going to be.
REGAN HALL, DIRECTOR
So how did you get involved in the film?
Damian Jones, the producer approached me out of the blue. I was recommended to him by the BFI. This is my first feature.
Has the sports world been supportive?
The world of athletics has welcomed us with open arms actually. As soon as we said we were doing it loads of people said they wanted to help. Everyone’s been really good to us.
The girls had a pretty rigorous exercise and eating regime. Did you ever have to say “Hey, you with the Kit Kat, get off my set!”
No they were saying that to me!
Has the world of athletics worn off on the non-acting crew members?
Does it look like it?! I try and wear different trainers every day. That’s about it I’m afraid. But it has really opened my eyes. It wasn’t till I became involved in the film that I went along to my first athletics mete and it was fascinating. I had no clue about athletics past running a relay aged nine and probably dropping the baton. I’m definitely a film boy, not a sports boy.
With all the athletics they have to do, presumably you’re quite limited as to how many takes you can actually ask them to do…
Yes, absolutely. It’s not only how often they can run, they have to go for a 45 minute warm-up period before they can sprint. Plus it’s was bloody cold. Once you’re out on the track in a bikini more or less=, for more than a couple of minutes, it’s really cold!
LORRAINE BURROUGHS (TRIX)
Tell us a bit about your character:
She’s an athlete she’s meant to be Britain’s number one hopeful for the championships and theres a lot of hope resting on her. She’s so above the love interest. Shes very focused. Her running is her life. She’s a young mother, she’s got a child and a husband but she’s been neglecting even that because of her running.
So you’ve been doing a bit of athletics training…! Have you have been studiously watching athletics.
Yes I’ve sort of based my character on Florence - Flo Jo. Shes still down as the world’s fastest woman, 100 and 200 minutes. She’s was a showman, with really long nails and flamboyant outfits. When you see her run it’s with such grace and ease. I wanted to get to a stage where it looks natural. So the training is intense but it’s also the mindset.
So what’s your 100m time?
You know, we’ve never timed it! We were training at least two hours a day, five or six hours a week, with abs stuff to do on our own as well.
Were you sporty before?
I used to run for Birmingham, where I grew up, and wanted to do the 100m professionally. But I stopped when I was 15. I had to choose between sport and acting. To be honest, going into this, it was a lot harder than I thought it would be.
Are you going to keep up the fitness afterwards?
Yes. Not as intensively though! But I’ll do a lot more outdoors training, rather than just the gym. And some of the nutritional things I’ll keep, like the portion sizes which are much smaller than I was used to.
What will you miss least about the production?
Rice and oat cakes!
DAMIAN JONES, PRODUCER
Sky Movies: Were there any sports movies you looked to for inspiration?
Damian Jones: We’ve always pitched it like a kind of Bend it Like Beckham and Streetdance squashed together. Hopefully we can capitalise on interest in 2012, sports and athletics… But crucially we’ve just got a universal story at the end of the day. Bend I like Beckham wasn’t really about football. We’ve got these two girls, and it’s a coming of age, a love triangle, people coming from different sides of the tracks with a lot to prove.
Do you think that men will go and see it?
I hope it’s a family film. Fast girls was a wonderful title for it allowing strong and sexy to be projected at the same time, I mean these are fit women!
Is there something esp interesting about women in sport that makes this the perfect story?
I don’t know if Fast Men has quite the same ring to it!