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Susanne Bier: Trying to match The Night Manager would have been road to failure

Susanne Bier directs dystopian horror Bird Box (Ian West/PA)
Susanne Bier directs dystopian horror Bird Box (Ian West/PA)

The director behind The Night Manager has said that trying to replicate the series’ success would have led her down the “sure road to failure”.

Susanne Bier, who directed the successful 2016 BBC miniseries, said she had felt pressure not to repeat herself with Bird Box, her new film starring Sandra Bullock.

The Danish producer, 58, was the first female director to win an Oscar, a Golden Globe and an Emmy.

She said the dystopian horror had been born of her trying not to look backwards.

She told the Press Association: “You feel the pressure of doing your utmost. You feel the pressure in anything you do to succeed.

“You can’t look back. You can’t go: ‘I’ve got to match this, I’ve got to match that’.

“I think that’s the sure road to failure because no project is ever going to work (when you are) looking back. You’re just going to start repeating yourself.”

Bier said the move towards equal representation in the film industry had become “too slow”, adding that 2017 had actually been a worse year for female directors than the previous year.

She said: “You know, I never used to think it but I do think that the development is too slow. 2017 for female directors was a worse year that 2016.

“I do think we need to make a conscious effort and conscious choices which are going to push the development to the right place.

Things We Lost In The Fire Premiere – London
Susanne Bier, pictured with Halle Berry, directs dystopian horror Bird Box (Ian West/PA)

“For me personally, it has not been a problem but for young female directors it is a huge, big problem. We need to make it possible for them to get to the right place.”

She added that the best way to ensure women could succeed in the industry was by having more women in decision making roles.

She said: “It’s almost like a vocabulary.

“I think a young female director and young male director come into a room full of men who decide, and the men are going to have an easier time accessing the other men’s minds.

“That does not mean the guy is better qualified or would make the greater film, possibly the opposite. We need to change the perception of everybody who decides.”

Bird Box will become available on Netflix on December 21.

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