fri 18/10/2019

Steve McQueen on Directing Shame | reviews, news & interviews

Steve McQueen on Directing Shame

Steve McQueen on Directing Shame

Video interview with the director of a much-anticipated new film about sexual addiction starring Michael Fassbender

Oft, in lonely rooms: Michael Fassbender in 'Shame'

“Brandon is everyone.” Shame, Steve McQueen’s new film, opens later this week. It is a brutally frank portrait of a man’s struggle with addiction to sex. As McQueen explains here, it was shot in New York for the specific reason that no one in the UK would talk to him about sex addiction. No sex please.

And yet the film has a distinctly British flavour. McQueen co-wrote the script with Abi Morgan, the television scriptwriter who has branched out into film and theatre: she wrote the script for The Iron Lady, which opened last week, as well as the plays 27 and, opening this week at the Lyric Hammersmith with Siân Phillips, Lovesong. Carey Mulligan as Brandon’s nightclub-singing sister “gives her best performance to date” according to Demetrios Matheou, who gave advance word on Shame when he saw it at the 2011 Venice Film Festival.

And then there is the ever-rising star, Michael Fassbender, German by surname, Irish by upbringing. “It’s impossible to take your eyes off him,” reported Demetrios, “and not just when he shows a commendable lack of inhibition in its raunchier scenes.” It’s a second collaboration between actor Fassbender and director McQueen. In 2008 they made Hunger, a portrait of the IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands. Sarah Kent reviews the film for theartsdesk on Thursday. Here in the meantime is an exclusive interview with McQueen, who begins with that bold claim: Brandon is everyone. 

Loading the player ...

Add comment

Subscribe to

Thank you for continuing to read our work on For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a gift subscription?


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters

Advertising feature


A compulsive, involving, emotionally stirring evening – theatre’s answer to a page-turner.
The Observer, Kate Kellaway


Direct from a sold-out season at Kiln Theatre the five star, hit play, The Son, is now playing at the Duke of York’s Theatre for a strictly limited season.



This final part of Florian Zeller’s trilogy is the most powerful of all.
The Times, Ann Treneman


Written by the internationally acclaimed Florian Zeller (The Father, The Mother), lauded by The Guardian as ‘the most exciting playwright of our time’, The Son is directed by the award-winning Michael Longhurst.


Book by 30 September and get tickets from £15*
with no booking fee.