'Empire of Light' Director Sam Mendes Explains How Cinema Is Film's Centerpiece (Exclusive Clip)

Empire of Light is now available on Digital and features an all-star cast including Olivia Colman, Colin Firth and Micheal Ward. Sam Mendes directed Empire of Light and loves he was able to film at Dreamland Cinema, which is located in England. PopCulture.com obtained an exclusive clip of Empire of Light's bonus footage which shows Mendes talking about how the cinema is the centerpiece of the movie. The clip also features  Mark Tildesly (Production Designer), Michael Lerman (Executive Producer), Eddie Kemsley (Dreamland CEO), Emma Till (Location Manager) and Roger Deakins (Cinematographer), and they talk about how they found a perfect location for filming.

As the official synopsis states, Empire of Light is a "moving drama about the power of human connection during turbulent times. Set in and around a faded old cinema in an English coastal town in the early 1980s, it follows Hilary (Colman), a cinema manager struggling with her mental health, and Stephen (Ward), a new employee who longs to escape this provincial town in which he faces daily adversity. Both Hilary and Stephen find a sense of belonging through their unlikely and tender relationship and come to experience the healing power of music, cinema, and community."

Empire of Light has earned multiple award nominations since its release in theatres. It recently earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Cinematography, and Colman was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama. 

In an interview with Collider, Mendes talked about writing Colman's role for her and not having a backup plan if she said no. "No, I didn't have a backup," Mendes said. "I didn't, really. I think most writers, or any people who try to make films, will tell you that their laptop is full of unfinished projects. It could have just been an unfinished project. I started it, but I didn't really know I was going to end up committing to it, 100%. And then, I'd gotten about 20 pages in, and it was during lockdown, and I watched The Crown. There was Olivia, and I thought, 'Oh, that's Hilary. That's who should play Hilary.' So, I started steering it towards her." Empire of Light will also be available on Blu-ray and DVD on Feb. 21.