For Love Or Money
Q&A With Mark Murphy, Film Director
Tell Us A Little Bit About The Film
A: “Full of Money” or “The Revenger,” as it was originally called, had the tagline “An Unromantic Comedy,” which was a different take on the typical British romantic comedy. It needed to have some teeth. It’s essentially about a character who is about to come into some money, and nobody knows about it.
At the funeral of a former school bully, he sees Connie, who was the love of his life when he was at school, he was besotted by her. She ended up being the girlfriend of his burly friend. Being at the funeral, he tried to engage with her, which she immediately realised. He was trying to chat with one character, who was a friend of Connie’s and worked at the company that was buying Mark’s company for a lot of money. She decided to encourage the character Connie to show interest in Mark.
Eventually, Mark and Connie’s date blossomed into something, and he thought she was absolute heaven. Eventually, they married, but then divorced, and Connie took half of his 20 million. However, he eventually realises that she knows about his impending fortune and is only with him for that reason. Instead of confronting her, he decides to see how much unpleasantness and discomfort she will go through for that money. So he just makes her life deeply unpleasant (though not in a horrible way) for comedic effect, and builds from there.
Did You Already Have Any Actors In Mind When Going Into Casting?
A: Only one actor, Tony Way, was chosen to play the part of Tim, who was one of my closest friends in real life and had based the character on himself. I couldn’t think of anyone funnier than Tony to play him, so I invited him for an interview. After he read the script, he liked it and felt that he could get into the character. Through a casting process, we were lucky to get who we did, but I consciously and premeditatively chased after Tony.
You Label The Film As “An Unromantic Comedy”, What Does This Mean To You?
A: Essentially, that’s why it was a romantic comedy that goes massively unromantic, it goes in the other direction. Additionally, I like the tagline. Although the film initially had the title “The Revenger,” it was changed to “For Love or Money” by the sales agent, which I can’t argue with. I don’t agree with it, but I can’t argue with it, they were a very well-established, big company from Los Angeles and they did a terrific job selling it. Win some, lose some, they got the new title, but I did get to keep my tagline: a non-romantic comedy.
You Have Directed Some Cool Horror Films, How Was Directing A Rom-Com In Comparison To Those Films?
A: Well, I wouldn’t focus so much on the romantic aspect, I’d focus more on the comedy, and that’s where I think I can bring a certain skill set. I’m strongest in this area and I found it more fun. The counters have more depth and, overall, it was a more enjoyable experience.
Samantha Barks Is An Incredible Actor, How Was She To Work With?
A: Samantha was amazing, she didn’t have any ego throughout the whole film. She was kind and friendly, never showing any annoyance or frustration, she just got on with it. She was a surprisingly fantastic actress in a comedy. Amazingly, she hasn’t been put forward for other comedy roles, she seems to focus more on dramas, or at least that’s what her agent keeps putting her towards. I think that’s a huge loss because Samantha has great comedic timing and I enjoyed working with her, she’s a really sweet person.
Were There Any Other Romantic Comedies That Had Any Influence On This Movie?
A: Not only in the sense of there being some romantic comedies that had an influence but also an influence in terms of what to avoid, to do the opposite, to go against the grain.
If You Were To Play Any Character In This Film, Who Would You Choose And Why?
A: Well, it’s the reverse, the main character in the film is called Mark and is based on me. However, the story, which is a semi-real story that happened years before, wasn’t a romance, it was a corporate disaster. Someone who had been working with me stole from me and had been lying to me the whole time. It was a cathartic experience to write the story, but instead of telling it as an angry story, I decided to spin it into a comedy and take the characters and motivations and make it a romance, even though it was unromantic. That was the one thing it shouldn’t have been, a romantic comedy. So yeah, Mark was based on me, that probably would have been the character I would have played, but of course…If I had played, it would have been awful, as my acting ability is similar to my singing ability and is very minimal, not to be explored.
Have You Acted In Projects At All, Or Have You Always Been A Writer-Director?
A: Consistently, and in every film I do, I often make a cameo, albeit a minor one, but I like to have a presence in the final project in front of the camera. Whether it be literally in front of the camera, with dialogue, or even voice-over (for example, in “For Love or Money” I do the voice in one of the telephone conversations) I always love having a bit of fun in front of the camera, but nobody needs to see me.
Do You Have Any Other Rom-Coms In The Works?
A: Yes, well, the next films I’m doing are comedies with an element of romance in them, or at least one of the projects wouldn’t be classified as a romantic comedy. However, a producer I’ve been working with in Los Angeles has asked me to put together a story treatment on…I’m not going to divulge what it’s about, since that’s its unique selling point, but essentially it would be classified as a romantic comedy, so we’ll see. I have also written two scripts for a romantic comedy which are currently sitting on the shelf, but who knows? I would love to get them made, so stay tuned!